Burlington food truck fans have spent the past two years searching for the ArtsRiot Truck Stop, which was on hiatus due to the pandemic. The Friday night event returns in 2022 — from May 27 through Labor Day weekend — but attendees will find it in a new location with a new team running the show.
Twin brothers Louie and Max Orleans have taken over operations of the popular South End food truck gathering and will move it across the street from its original location. ArtsRiot housing 377 Pine Street. ArtsRiot, which is preparing to open its on-site distillery, will run the Truck Stop bar.
The new location will feature the same number of vendors, with the brothers aiming for 16 each week. Half of the food companies registered for this summer participated truck stop in the past, including three from the first season of the event in 2013: based in Jeffersonville burger barnfrom Burlington Taco Truck All Stars and that of Winooski Southern Smoke Cajun and Caribbean BBQ.
Other confirmed vendors include Penzo Pizza, Dale Boca Food Truck, Scout’s Honor Creamery, Mac’s Sugar Shack, Luiza’s Homemade With Love, Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop, South End Sliders Cart, Omakase, Kitsune Japanese Soul Food, Conscious Eatz, Mister Foods Fancy , the Shoppe Food Truck, Hangry the Donut Bar and One World Brothers. The composition will vary from week to week.
The Orleans twins and their father, Bill Orleans, purchased the property at 377 Pine Street in August 2021. Stretching from Pine Street to the lake and including the building that houses Myer’s BagelsBarge Canal Market and Speaking Volumes, the property will be renamed “Coal Collective”, a nod to its history as Citizens Coal in the early 1900s.
Neighboring businesses that don’t normally operate food trucks, like Myer’s, could make appearances at the event, Louie said. “We want it to be a showcase for the South End,” he added.
Truck Stop attendees will enter the large gated lot near the Barge Canal Market to find trucks, tents and vendor carts lining its south and north sides.
The area will offer more seating and areas to put drinks, not to mention three bars instead of one. All run by ArtsRiot, they will be selling canned cocktails from the soon-to-open distillery, Citizen Cidercanned wine and beer Brewing Fern Heads, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery and Narragansett beer.
DJs will be hitting up the warehouse loading dock each week, including Disco Phantom, DJ Cre8, Blanchface, Abby Shaw and DJ Big Dog. For the kids, Truck Stop staple Joy Danila of Vermont Face and Body will be back painting faces.
“There’s even a sunset view,” Louie said.
Truck Stop has grown rapidly since its beginnings in 2013, when there were “just two food trucks and 10 people playing chess,” said former ArtsRiot co-owner PJ McHenry. “We knew pretty quickly that we had reached a thread of popularity there.”
Brian Stefan of Southern Smoke said the absence of Truck Stop left a hole in the food truck community, although similar local events continued to take place.
“Truck Stop was the big testing ground and a kind of incubator for all trucks,” Stefan said. Seven days one year ago. “It was sustainable income at least once a week. You need that mass of hungry people all showing up in one place.”
Even though things haven’t returned to normal in the food industry, Stefan said this week, Truck Stop’s return “is a good sign.” The new location, he added, “should be a new look…and new truckers won’t need half the backup practice required of the old space.”
ArtsRiot’s new owner Alan Newman said he’s heard questions about the event’s return “all the time” – even before ArtsRiot reopened last summer. “It’s an institution,” Newman said.
“So many people in the community, myself included, want it back so badly,” Louie said.
Truck Stop is free to enter. A limited number of parking spaces are available in the nearby Maltex building and Local Motion will provide valet parking for bicycles. The event will start a little earlier than in previous years, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We want to catch people as they come out of work and into those early family-friendly hours,” Louie said. “Then they can take off for ArtsRiot or the rest of the South End.”