SoMa Streat Food Park Opens
Opened in June, the SoMa StreatFood Park, located on the corner of 11th and Division streets, is the brainchild of 25 year old Carlos Muela. Muela, whose Mission District family own Picaro, on 16th Street, and Esperanto on 22nd, had been mulling the idea of a collective food truck destinatiton for a while, but it took him two years to get the proper licenses and permits and secure the lot that formerly held U-Haul trucks. The park features up to 10 food trucks at each of two daily shifts, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“This is definitely 100 percent a family effort,” said Muela, whose girlfriend, Whitney Mahani, is operations manager, and sister, Paloma, is in charge of the beer garden, which opens this month. According to Muela, dealing with independent business owners — the food trucks — presents different challenges than managing employees. The truck owners often jockey for the most advantageous schedule; part of his daily responsibilities is accommodating each of the ever changing trucks and their owners’ requests.
The triangular lot, ideally located to serve the three bordering neighborhoods of Potrero Hill, Mission and South-of-Market, as well as nearby nightclubs, has been impressively renovated to provide a welcoming place for both trucks and diners. White lines are painted to clearly mark where each truck should reside, and there are multiple eating areas that encircle a main dining pavilion, complete with gas heaters, piped in music and dual flat screens flanking long picnic tables. Electricity to power overhead street lights and restroom lighting has been installed. The property has a beautiful array of plants, including large palm trees in repurposed bins, and a multitude of other flora in creative containers. There’s Wi-Fi, an automated teller machine, stand up eating bars, bicycle parking and the appropriate tri-bin disposal units. The place is welcoming and clean.
Muela and Mahani have relied on word of mouth, social media and a bit of hired public relations to spread the word on their new venture. The space is available for special events; the Potrero Hill Goodwill donation party will be held there on September 15th, from noon to 4 p.m.. On weekends after-hours events will be held from midnight to 4 a.m. to accommodate the crowd closing the local night clubs. In the future, Muela plans movie nights, live music and perhaps a "Taco Tuesday," where each of the various food trucks can put their own ethnic twist on the food that started it all.
For more information: somastreatfoodpark.com.
This Month's Stories