published Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

New downtown Chattanooga park to feature food


by Cliff Hightower
A stretch of Market Street’s 700 block sits vacant.
A stretch of Market Street’s 700 block sits vacant.
Photo by Alex Washburn.

FRESH ON FRIDAYS

Fresh on Fridays will open April 12 with vendors selling food at the 700 block of Market Street. Food trucks and trailers will be on site every Friday until October. The following vendors will participate:

• Taste of Argentina

• Local Slice

• Famous Nater's World Famous

• Southern Burger Co.

• Missing Link

• The Muenster Truck

Source: River City Co.

The vacant lot in the 700 block of Market Street will be turned into a new "pocket" park, a green space called Center Park that will be used to help house River City Co.'s Fresh on Fridays program.

"Center Park will offer a fun, functional use of the space until future development decisions can be made," said Jim Williamson, vice president of planning and development for River City Co., in a news release.

The announcement of Center Park comes on the heels of the City Council unanimously approving an ordinance last week to permanently allow food trucks and trailers within the downtown district.

The food trucks had been on a pilot program for a year that was set to end on March 31.

River City Co., along with food vendors, talked with city officials for two weeks before coming to agreement on how food trailers can be placed within the downtown district. The ordinance originally stated that food trailers would have to be attached to trucks at all times.

But the city allowed for food trailers to be detached as long as they receive a special events permit.

"As far as I know, everyone was happy with it," Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd said Tuesday night.

Steve Leach, administrator for Public Works, said River City has requested the permit and it was approved. He said the trailers can be detached.

Other events such as Movies at Center Park will be held at the site in September. River City Co. also is looking at establishing a community garden at the park, the news release states.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/cliff.hightower.

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