Lakeland Food Truck Rally celebrates 1st birthday - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland Food Truck Rally celebrates 1st birthday

Posted: Updated:
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Lakeland's downtown Food Truck Rally celebrates its first birthday tonight. The event consistently draws crowds of more than 3,000 people but hasn't always been embraced by local businesses.

When the idea for the Food Truck Rally first circulated some bricks and mortar business owners raised a red flag.

Chris McArthur, owner of Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro, was among the restaurateurs who feared food trucks would be a threat to his business.

"My initial reaction was I didn't want to open a Pandora's box," McArthur said. " I was worried that that would invite food trucks in on a permanent basis, and I don't feel that we have the density in downtown to support that."

Over at Palace Pizza owner Giovanni Moriello and his family were also initially concerned about the rally.

"It was kind of scary. I was kind of worried, and you know I didn't think it was smart," Moreillo said.

But a strange and surprisingly sweet thing happened for some of the permanent businesses in downtown Lakeland. The Food Truck Rally actually increased their business.

"Just right off the bat we had increased business on those Thursday nights," MacArthur said.

Palace Pizza estimates their business is up 20%-30% on the second Thursday of each month when the Food Truck Rally is in town.

" Cause a lot of people will go there. They'll see the lines. The lines are too long, and they don't want to wait, and they end up coming here or they go up the street, but it brings a lot of foot traffic down here," Moriello said.

Lakeland's anniversary Food Truck Rally takes place tonight from 6-9pm in downtown's Munn Park. It features about 25 trucks from all over Central Florida that are all part of the Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally group.

Related Content: Mobile Food truck feast expands in Tampa

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations
http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD claims training stories fell short

    TPD claims training stories fell short

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:12:02 GMT
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
  • TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:48:17 GMT
    Jason TurkJason Turk
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
  • Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:26:13 GMT
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.