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Austin's Food Trailer Migration: South Congress to South Lamar

The food trailer park on South Congress was one of Austin’s most popular. But the trailers had to clear the lot this week to make way for a hotel and retail space.

Four food trailers made the two-mile move to a vacant lot at South Lamar and Bluebonnet Lane – including Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice.

Owner Dominic Gonzales says it was sad to leave South Congress after more than four years, but he sees great potential in this new spot.

“The owner’s allowing us to invest," Gonzales said. "We want to do, like, a playscape. We’re going to try to put washer pits out here and just kind of draw a lot more people in. Just so it’s more of a family-oriented place.”

Gonzales isn’t sure the new spot will provide the foot traffic of South Congress, but he sees a big business opportunity in all of the new condos going in on South Lamar, the street traffic, and locals like Eric Dingus.

"I think it’s good, just since I live in the neighborhood and don’t drive, to have more options in the neighborhood to eat and stuff," Dingus said.

The future, however, remains uncertain. Gonzales says he’s been told they’ll have at least two years in the spot. A representative for the Talisman Group, which is leasing the lot, says that's not true. Leases are only month to month.

Bobbi Jo Rice, her sister and her mom own three of the other food trailers setting up on the lot (Fry Baby, Taco Baby and Waffle Baby).

“I hope that we can repeat the same success and all stay together and live happily ever after," Rice said.

Right now, there are six trailers in place, with lots of colorful picnic tables. Owners plan to open for business this weekend -- and hope customers find them.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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