Beachwood Truck Park, featuring food trucks, drinks, seeks to foster sense of community
BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- It's been a long time coming, but the Beachwood Truck Park is finally open for business.
A ribbon cutting involving city officials was held at the site July 8, about two years after City Council first considered rezoning the site of the former Beachwood fire station number two to allow for the park, which presents an ever-changing cast of food trucks, a bar, and a family- and dog-friendly gathering place. Outside the building, in a fenced-in area, are a number of picnic tables that foster a sense of togetherness.
Like most things, the pandemic held up plans for the BTP, while time was also needed to convert the former firehouse, 24619 Chagrin Blvd., into its new use.
Justin Costanzo is part-owner, along with Dan Deagan and Jackie Ramey, of the Beachwood Truck Park, as well as the Lakewood Truck Park, 16900 Detroit Ave., also an indoor/outdoor food truck park.
Speaking of how an east side location came to be, Costanzo said, "We were on the west side of town and Beachwood kind of reached out to us because they liked what we did in Lakewood, and we had some interest in the east side. And, as the meeting of the minds happened, we really loved the old fire station, the uniqueness of it.
So that's how it came about.
"In putting together the truck park, our mission is to make it a social gathering place," he said. "The reason we have picnic tables that seat eight people is that, we want two people to join a family of four at a table. We want neighbors to engage again. Too many times, we don't know our neighbors any more.
I grew up knowing all the neighbors on my street. We want this place to be a community gathering."
Beachwood's former fire station number two in 2020, as it appeared before being remodeled into the Beachwood Truck Park.
BTP held its soft opening July 8 and has just a couple of week of business under its belt. "It's been going well," Costanzo said. "Like any business that's just starting, we're still learning what we're going to be good at. Lunches and happy hours are very busy in this area.
We've seen a great mix of clientele, so far, young to old, and the middle ground. Lots of dog owners. We built our patio to be very dog friendly.
"I will tell you, the city of Beachwood has been fantastic to work with -- the mayor (Justin Berns), council, the law director (Stewart Hastings), the fire department and police department.
And that's not just a line, they have been fantastic. One of the people with the fire department said this is the best thing to happen to Beachwood in 25 years."
Michaela Amato, who handles marketing and social media for the two locations, said that there are normally two to three food trucks parked at the Beachwood site for lunch, and another two to three for the evening shift, which lasts from 4 p.m. until closing. The BTP is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
"We try to get a good mix (of foods)," Amato said. "One of the trucks we've got really good feedback on is called Parilya, which sells Filipino food. People have said, 'Oh good, we can never find Filipino food.' We have Black-owned food trucks, trucks with Southern food.
We look to get a good variety. A lot of them have been with us in Lakewood, but we're starting to hear from more food truck owners here on the east side."
A wall of the former fire station was removed so that the bar could jut out into a portion of the picnic table seating area. Three garage-style doors can be opened on nice summer days to give the bar an open, breezy feel.
A mezzanine within the building, complete with seating areas and large screen TVs, can be used for gatherings, such as reunions.
Costanzo is also having work done on a mezzanine room that will be outfitted for those wanting a conference or meeting room.
As for the brick building's interior decor, he said, "We've used a lot of red, because we want to keep that fire station feel.
We'd like to add firehouse memorabilia, so if anyone has any to donate, we'd like it."
A schedule of trucks that plan to sell outside the building for the month can be found at the BTP website, beachwoodtruckpark.com.
Amato noted that the schedule is always subject to change in case a truck owner is unable to make it, or if additions are made.
While Costanzo said there is plenty of parking now at the site, construction is taking place next to the building to add 45 additional spaces.
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