SANTA MONICA BLVD — Move over Main Street, there’s a new food truck lot in town.
This Wednesday head over to the corner of 14th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard to sample grub from a dozen different food trucks at the Hump Day Lot created by entrepreneur and confessed foodie Brian Spire.
“I’ve always been a foodie and I just love the opportunity to bring smiles to the faces of people,” said Spire, who lived and worked in Ocean Park for 20 years selling Batman belt buckles and other jewelry.
He plans to have at least six trucks during the lunch rush and six more in the evening, and has worked out a deal with Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club, a music lounge located next to the lot, so that diners can have a place to sit, relax and sip a cocktail.
“We’re happy to do it and are hoping that it works out well and that it continues,” said Rory Lovett, owner of Central.
The site of the food truck lot was home to the first in Santa Monica before city officials shut it down in January of 2010 because of a lack of proper permits.
Spire made contact with the property owner, Steve Taub, and worked out an arrangement in which the two would share in the profits made from charging food trucks a flat fee to set up shop in the lot, which normally sits empty aside from Christmas trees during the holidays.
Spire then went to City Hall to obtain a conditional use permit and is so far complying with the requirements. He has to provide security, over 20 parking spaces, restrooms and a place to discard trash, city officials said.
Spire said he has three week’s worth of food trucks lined up and if it is a success plans to apply for a permanent permit once the City Council approves a change to the Municipal Code to allow for off-street food truck lots on a regular basis. The change is in response to the seemingly unstoppable trend of gourmet trucks that appeal to those who want quality food fast.
Santa Monicans already have a regular food truck court on Main Street, which is open every Tuesday night adjacent to the California History Museum. It is operating under the same conditional use permit that Spire has.
Olympic High School has also brought in the mobile eateries to help raise money for students.
But with the food truck craze still going strong, who couldn’t use another night to sample a variety of foods? Spire said the first evening of the Hump Day Lot will feature food from Border Grill, Roll’n Lobster, George’s Greek Truck and Trailer Park Truck.
The lot will be open every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner.
“I’ve been a person who loves all sorts of ethnic food and that which is a little bit out of the norm,” Spire said. “I hope people come out to experience that many different flavors so that we can keep this going.”