By Francesca Paris
This month, food truck organization Off the Grid will expand its East Bay presence with a new market in Walnut Creek. The market, which will be located at 1380 N. California Blvd. in the parking lot of a recently closed McDonald’s, will host food trucks for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, starting July 14.
The rotating line-up will feature nine food trucks each week including Filipino-cuisine ADOruBOwl, Bacon Bacon, Ceviche & Co, Asian fusion vendor The Chairman, Curry UpNow, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, GyroStop Kebab G, Lobsta Truck, and, for dessert, IzzyA’s Frozen Custard and Johnny Doughnuts. There will also be a beer and wine garden provided by LHP Trading Co.
The market will also include a line-up of local bands and musicians to play live music from 6 to 8 p.m. every week. The launch will feature Oakland-based blues rock band Borrowed Trouble.
“Walnut Creek was always of interest to us as an emerging city, and there’s an existing customer base,” said Off the Grid Director of Business Development Ben Hamlin. “This gives us a chance to create more opportunities for vendors in Contra Costa County.”
Hamlin said that, as with other Off the Grid markets, the selection of trucks will be a mix of new trucks and “anchor” trucks, which have been working with Off the Grid for a while. The repertoire will also reflect what is already available in the area, so as to bring “new and diverse food options” to the downtown.
Off the Grid’s interest in opening a Walnut Creek market began in 2013, when it partnered with Walnut Creek Downtown to find a locale. After Off the Grid had looked at, and exhausted, many possibilities, about six months ago the opportunity arose to run the market in the parking lot of the former MacDonald’s restaurant. The location is indicative of “the next generation of new ‘fast food’ in an urban space” Hamlin said in a press release. Rescore Property company donated the use of 1380 N. California Blvd. on Tuesday evenings to make the event possible, according to the release.
Walnut Creek will be Off the Grid’s 44th market and 36th location in total. It will be the 11th location in the East Bay, since the Southside Berkeley market closed last year as a result of lagging interest. It will join the Wednesday dinner market in Pleasant Hill as the second location through the Caldecott Tunnel.
Off the Grid has been consolidating food trucks for lunch and dinner markets in the Bay Area since 2010.