East Downtown’s Food Truck Parking Park

This is where Houston’s food trucks will come to loiter — er, idle: The so-called Houston Food Park is opening in about a week here at 1504 St. Emanuel in East Downtown, in the parking lot beside the vacant Meridian Sports Bar. You might recognize the weedy lot bound by Leeland, Bell, St. Emanuel, and Chartres from its cameo in Alex Luster’s street-art documentary Stick Em Up. (And this is also catty-corner from the human espressos and doggie hemp treats served at The Green Bone on Leeland.) According to Alison Cook Syd Kearney, the Food Park will celebrate its opening with a festival this Saturday, and regular lunch service from 11 to 3 will begin June 24. Co-owner Ponce Tirzo tells Cook Kearney that there’s room here for 8 or 9 trucks, but they’re hoping to use some of the other vacant lots nearby, too.


Additionally, co-owner Jack Gillet writes in a Facebook post, there are plans to renovate the heavily muraled building into a concert venue with a rooftop bar.

Photos: Allyn West

19 Comment

  • It’s been several years now, and I still am not a food truck fan. I guess I just need the mental reliability that comes with a restaurant being anchored to the ground.

  • “I guess I just need the mental reliability that comes with a restaurant being anchored to the ground.”

    7 out of 10 cockroaches surveyed agree.

  • I’d like to see a *slightly* more central location for this- downtown workers cant really walk here- but overall im excited.

    I’m even *more* excited about the the prospect of a renovated Meridian though.

  • I’ve seen alot of concerts there.

  • This seems like an awful location. I understand that they don’t have the ability to congregate right in the middle of downtown, but isn’t the whole point to create a location that is easily accessible?

  • Actually that story was written by my colleague Syd Kearney.

  • This is actually an excellent location. It is easily accessible from major freeways, has plenty of street parking and will serve the growing population within walking/biking distance.

  • I was in Dallas over the weekend and at their new Downtown park built over a span of freeway, food trucks were lined up in parallel parking spots along the feeder road to serve the park’s guests and it was booming. It is a travesty that our city leaders cannot just embrace this new wave and create some energy. HEB in Montrose does this on certain Friday nights and it is incredible to see the people who swarm to it. This EaDo spot should prove interesting but it is absurd
    the city could not sponsor a food truck Friday around Tranquility Park or another
    central location. Please don’t give me the it is unfair to brick and mortars and it shouldn’t show favortism to businesses. The City gave Kroger an advantage other grocers did not receive as well as the one for the Wal-mart development.

  • @Alison Cook: Thanks! The story has been updated.

  • Food trucks give me the creeps. The one that was once parked at W. Alabama Ice House (then moved to the Hollywood parking lot) gave my friend severe food poisoning. I complained to the health department and they swore it was moved every night and cleaned. NO IT WASN’T.

  • @JT: Why don’t you just hand out bombs to Al Qaeda to blow up downtown? Don’t you know that there is a sleeper cell in Houston running a peanut butter and jelly food truck?

    And, scene . . . .

    Yes, JT. It is idiotic that Houston has not embraced the food truck thing. I suspect the franchise owners threw around a lot of cash at City Hall to keep the status quo. They know that no one would eat a lousy subway sandwich or crusty Quiznos when you can get something creative and delicious from one of the brilliant food trucks around town.

  • “I suspect the franchise owners threw around a lot of cash at City Hall to keep the status quo.”
    Yeah, food trucks seem very Houston and also harken back to the days when entrepeneurs opened shops using moxie and creativity instead of buying formulaic franchises requiring little more than money following a script and long hours to succeed.

  • Where is the Parks Department in all of this??? Why don’t we have food trucks lined up somewhere in Hermann Park? Or Memorial Park? Other places? There are plenty of public amenities in Houston that would benefit greatly from having some food and drink options.

  • Pay full restaurant prices for food off of a roach coach?? So you can stand around in a dingy parking lot (or sit on a curb) and horf down your pricey roach coach fare while enjoying the aroma and noise of gas generators??


  • If $1.50 for a taco with meat and cheese from Tierra Caliente is “full restaurant prices”, I wonder what sort of restaurants you go to.

  • Obviously a lot of commenters on here don’t like food trucks but your opinion of food trucks is irrelevant because they are popular even without your business and they will remain popular. I am not thrilled about this location. I work downtown and I either ride the light rail in or drive and park on the 12th floor of a garage. When I drive, getting my car out at lunch is a pain and it is unlikely I’ll drive there. When I take the rail it’s just too far to walk. I love the wednesday farmers market which has a few food trucks. I wish we could see more trucks (especially ones with propane stoves) in the actual downtown so I could walk to them.

  • Glad to see it happening for the new entrepreneurs plan to be at the Grand Opening driving from Katy, TX to show my support we love the bar-b-q that parks across the street from us. Get out and meet new people Houston. No walls.

  • @GoogleMaster: $1.50 for a taco with meat and cheese is more than full restaurant price if you throw in the cost of the beans, rice, and endless chips and salsa that comes with most Tex-Mex meals. If you just want cheap tacos with meat and cheese there is always Jack-in-the-Box where you can get three for a $1. What is so special about a side of roaches?

  • Hi there! Does anyone know how to get in contact with the owners of this venue? I wanted to see about having my event there this coming year. This building attracts SO. MUCH. ATTENTION. I would love to have my event there if possible! Drop a line @ ndidiabili@yahoo.com