for more than a decade, Civic Center Eats Downtown Denver has marked the start of summer, as food trucks line up at Civic Center Park to serve lunch to people who work in the city. But in 2020, the downtown lunch rush all but disappeared, as the pandemic kept most offices closed. Civic Center Eats Made A Debut in August With new, COVID-era social distancing guidelines and one big change: dinner time. It was an experimental move back then, but it is sticking with those extended hours for the 2021 season, which started on June 1.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we believe it is time to look at how Civic Center is going to evolve to better serve the Eats community,” explains Eric Lazzari, executive director of the Civic Center Conservatory. (pay attention: westward Sponsor of the event.)
From now until the end of September, Civic Center Eats will be held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Securing vendors for the 2021 series has been a challenge, Lazzari admits, but he says “Slow growth as food trucks” become available and they have a chance to clear their schedules.” Mobile food vendors have been in hustle and bustle since the pandemic hit, with bars and breweries throughout shutdowns partnering and filling their schedules with outside markets and other pop-up opportunities.
Committing to eight-hour shifts three days a week is a big demand for trucks, especially when their operators are facing the same rent crunch as restaurants. But as the lunch and dinner crowds return, Lazzari expects Civic Center Eats to grow as well. “It’s about finding the variety that customers want and making sure it’s successful for food trucks as well,” he says.
Original by Greeks co-owner Waza Tello is back for its fourth season of Civic Center Eats. “That’s why many of us can succeed and expand,” she notes, “so we’re happy to return.”
The lineup will change daily based on food truck availability; Current lineup includes original by the Greekshandjob Cirque Kitchenhandjob peaceful compositionhandjob X’tabai Yucateco Mayan Street Foodhandjob gyros king and Paneer Love Grill. Many offer an order-forward option via truck Civic Center Eats The website as well as the QR code on the site, but you can also order from the trucks in person.
Civic Center Conservatory is planning additional programming this summer, including the return of weekend outdoor fitness classes in the second week of June.
“Downtown is ready,” Lazzari says, and the return of the Civic Center Eats “is a strong signal to the community that we are back and operating.”
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