Rick Bannan / [email protected]
Old Town Battle Ground’s most important food truck will have neighbors, as plans for a full food truck pod were released this week.
The largely vacant lot at the corner of East Main Street and Northeast Second Avenue now bears a sign advertising “Battle Ground Station,” a food cart pod development on the property.
Currently sporting Taqueria Los Toritos, the property has been owned by Alkesh and Bindiya Patel for decades, their son Parth said. The property previously featured a family-run dry cleaning business, and the family still owns the Best Western hotel farther west on Main Street, he said.
“This lot has been open for a while and we thought it was the perfect time to get these carts going,” Patel said.
With Battle Ground’s continued growth, Patel said the family wanted to use the open ground, located in the center of Main Street. Since Taqueria Los Toritos was already set up on the grounds, it made sense to bring in more food carts.
Patel said development of the property had been underway since just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted it to start then, but it was just difficult because not everyone could work,” Patel said.
The development is the first of its kind in the city. This made navigating the authorization process more difficult, he added.
The space will feature a number of amenities, including electricity, water and gas, waste and recycling, and portable toilets, among others. The space will also include a covered seating area, as well as heaters on cold days and fans on warmer days, Patel said.
When complete, the lot will have spaces for 10 food carts, Patel said. Not even a week after the plans were released, Patel said local food cart owners had expressed interest in renting space. If the project gets the permits it needs in time, Patel said the space should be ready to operate before harvest days.
Patel said Battle Ground Station’s goal is to create a destination worth visiting as the city expands further away from the Old Town.
“Battle Ground is developing in a way where I want to make sure — we all want to make sure — that it still retains that small-town vibe where people can walk around and have a good time,” Patel said.