Trail’a Confusion

Closed, Open or shut forever?

Closed, Open or shut forever?

[Yes, it’s a pun]Austin’s food/shops-in-a-trailer community continues to grow, it’s amusing now to think back to the City Council meeting about 801 Barton Springs road when the developers proposed a massively oversized building, when it looked like they were going to be turned down, one of their team threatened to fill the space with more food trailers. Really, thats bad ??

Still, I’m guessing that one of the attractions of running your business out of a trailer is that it’s “unconventional”, well sort of. You can move it around, you can keep your own hours, and of course the costs and regulations are significantly less than running out of a traditional building. They have their own blog, the Trailer Food Diaries. [Complete with annoying music playing widget].

What’s clear though is there is a huge turnover of these businesses, some are little little more than “fly-by-nights” they arrive, they last a couple of weeks and are gone. Part of their problem is one of their strengths, not only do they come and go, you really can’t predict when they will be open.

There’s a trailer park just up the street from me on South 1st, not the South Austin Trailer Park Eatery where Torchies is, but on the South West Corner of Live Oak. It was 98f and I decided to walk up and get a sno cone. Closed. Now, I can’t be sure if thats closed, or out of business. Cafe Racer was there a month or so ago, now it’s gone.

Although not strictly a trailer, the same was true for the Mary’s Cubana Coffee that I wrote about back in September, originally open only 7-11am, then it seemed to be 8-10am, then it was gone. Another uncertainty was the Austin Daily Press, it was there, then it wasn’t. A trailer currently it sits on South 2nd during the day all closed up. Who knows if it heads somewhere under cover of darkness or is just abandoned on a residential street. [According to this Austin360 entry from last week, it looks like it might indeed move overnight to Club De Ville].

What’s clear from my perspective is that opening a trailer doesn’t appear to be an “easy job”. The successful ones I visit keep regular and mostly long hours. They don’t appear to be part-time jobs.

Another place to keep up with Food trailers or carts as some are called is the Austin Food Carts Blog, they even have a map of locations.

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