Cafe Society

Civic Center EATS in Civic Center Park extends its street food scene through the end of the year

Beginning today, and continuing through the end of the year -- weather permitting -- up to four local street-food trucks and carts will hustle their grub at Civic Center Park, the site of Civic Center EATS, this summer's hit food parade that elevated Denver's meals on wheels movement to superstar status. The pavement feedlot, which took place every Tuesday at Civic Center Park, is now welcoming vendors from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting this morning, when breakfast and lunch will be doled out by Sugar Lips Mini-Donuts, the Crock Spot, Sully's Food Truck, the Steamin' Demon and MaxLunch, a new vendor that will peddle roasted chicken tortilla, cannellini bean with prosciutto cotto and wild mushroom with beef soups, as well as gourmet sandwiches on fresh-baked focaccia.

Other vendors, including the Biscuit Bus, Mikes 2 Kitchen, Steuben's Food Truck, Pinche Tacos, Moe's BBQ, the Gastro Cart, El Caribe Arepera, Walt's Mobile Bistro and the Little Orange Rocket, the street truck from Deluxe, will rotate in. The schedule, which is posted above, spells out which vendors will be at Civic Center Park on each day. If there are updates, they'll be posted on the Civic Center Conservancy Facebook page, or on its website.

The Civic Center Conservancy spearheaded the Civic Center EATS launch, and according to CCPC executive director Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, it generated enough support to warrant an extension. "Given how successful Civic Center EATS was in activating Civic Center Park on summer Tuesdays and introducing new audiences to the growing local street-food scene, local vendors were eager to help us extend Civic Center EATS' activation daily and year-round, albeit on a smaller scale," says Lent.

"Our cooperative agreement with the City currently limits us to no more than four vendors at a time, but we've made every attempt to include as many vendors in the rotating lineup as possible, thereby providing variety for our customers, as well," she adds. "We're taking this pilot program one step at a time -- new applications for the first quarter of 2011 will be forthcoming, so we can adjust it if necessary based on our experiences this fall and allow new vendors the opportunity to apply as well, given that the street-food scene continues to grow."

If you're interested in pimping food at Civic Center Park, here's what you need to know:

The Civic Center Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on helping the City and County of Denver restore, enhance and activate Downtown Denver's historic Civic Center Park. As a means to activate Civic Center and generate revenues to support the Park, the City has contractually granted the Conservancy with the ability to bring up to four vendors a day into Civic Center Park on days that the Park is not otherwise permitted for other events. While all eligible vendors may apply, applications will be evaluated by the Conservancy based upon the following criteria: (a) visual appeal and self-contained nature of the mobile food facility (ie: preference for food trucks and carts), (b) proven quality and demand as demonstrated by sales volume at Civic Center EATS or elsewhere, (c) vendor fan base loyalty and proven willingness and ability to market and promote, and (d) product diversity so participating vendor menus don't overlap and diverse options can be provided on any given day...Applications will subsequently be available for 2011.

"The larger-scale Civic Center EATS will return in spring 2011 with what we anticipate to be an even larger roster of incredible street-food vendors," says Lent.

In the meantime, there's plenty of grub to to get you through the winter.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson