Food trucks in West Seattle: Junction ‘pod’ now dinner-only

(WSB photo from October 2011, when Uptown’s “pod” launched)
Another chapter in the ongoing saga of West Seattle’s food-truck scene. The owner of Uptown Espresso, who gave permission for a “pod” of trucks in his Junction lot 7 months ago, is no longer allowing food trucks there before 5 pm. The folks from first mentioned this in a WSB comment last week, after Lucky Devil Doughnut Co.’s short-lived Uptown run; at least one truck, Contigo, alluded to it via Twitter; and we just confirmed it in a phone conversation with Uptown partner Pete Noble. He told us it’s strictly a decision about keeping the parking available for Uptown customers in the morning and afternoon. (Back when launched in October, the pod was described as an “experiment” anyway.)

The website had been posting the Uptown-lot schedule, and after the change, it only has one truck on the schedule right now, Rainy Day Gourmet for Thursday nights. That was the only Junction-area “pod”; on weekends, Marination (Saturdays) and Snout and Co. (Sundays) have continued to frequent the Hans VW lot at 35th/Graham, while the Highland Park Improvement Club lot at 12th/Holden has Lumpia World and Sweet Wheels visiting at lunchtime on Saturdays, according to its website sidebar. West Seattle has a few every-day trucks, too – Beloved Mexico at West Seattle Produce (Fauntleroy south of Alaska), and taco trucks El Rey del Taco on SW Orchard north of Home Depot as well as La Playita at Alki Auto. As mentioned in its comment, they’re open to helping find a new site for the trucks that used to be at Uptown.

10:38 PM UPDATE: As noted in comments: Since we published this story, Snout and Co. has told us they’re not planning to return to 35th/Graham on Sundays, and Lucky Devil Doughnut Company has announced via Facebook that they have a new West Seattle spot for Tuesdays. More to come.

41 Replies to "Food trucks in West Seattle: Junction 'pod' now dinner-only"

  • Sue May 15, 2012 (11:52 am)

    I think it’s a good decision. We met someone at Uptown one Saturday morning and someone from one of the food trucks came in and told him that he had to move his car from where he was in the lot since it was in the way of him parking his food truck. (No signs had been up asking us not to park there.) I thought it was bad business for Uptown: since there were no other empty spots in the lot (and nothing in the area on the street) we all ended up leaving, instead of patronizing either business.

  • MacJ May 15, 2012 (12:29 pm)

    Seems like a lot of foot traffic to be giving up on the weekends. I can understand not inviting competing businesses, and even using the new 5pm rule for weekdays, but this might be an overreaction.

  • asteria May 15, 2012 (12:40 pm)

    WSB: I think there’s an open italics tag in this story – or a new look for the site? Not sure the best way to let you know except commenting.

  • YumYum May 15, 2012 (1:18 pm)

    I like the Uptown, a LOT. But this new policy, whether intentional or not, appears petty and stingy. Why not work toward getting the morning/pre-dinner food trucks in one of the lots at the north or south end of the 4700 block? You know, directly across from Uptown. It’s a shame to run off the best doughnuts to be made in the southwest quadrant since Spudnut closed. I mean, have you HAD a Lucky Devil plain glazed noughtnut? Uh. May. ZING! I hope they come back and treat us again.

  • Food Truck Fan May 15, 2012 (1:29 pm)

    How about the Charlestown Street Cafe lot? NIce and big with plenty of room for the trucks and car parking. Been sitting empty for a while…

  • Brian M. May 15, 2012 (1:36 pm)

    I wonder if it was Lucky Devil’s decision to sell coffee that gave them the boot.

  • Peter May 15, 2012 (1:47 pm)

    A couple of quick clarifications:

    1. Uptown hasn’t changed our mind about hosting food trucks. In fact, we host food trucks at our 2 locations we are capable (ample space and sole proprietor).

    2. The difference in scheduling between West Seattle and Wallingford, is the available parking for the community of Uptown customers we serve.

    3. I’m a partner in Uptown, not President.

    Thank you to Uptown customers. Thank you to food truck supporters that frequent the trucks; we hope you find your favorite truck at West Seattle or Wallingford soon.


  • Jtk May 15, 2012 (2:25 pm)

    The trucks can’t be allowed to park there for free. I’m sure Uptown gets a cut somewhere… sounds like they want their cake and eat it too… we want you to park here, but we want all of the people that would stop for your to park elsewhere. If they had to park elsewhere, so can people frequenting Uptown. Park down the street and use those things on the end of your legs people…. That parking lot is so small anyway …. Anyway, good food there… walk a little people… and then the trucks can be there all the time… uptown can get their money from the truck and the people coming to frequent the store… win, win, win….

  • Chris May 15, 2012 (2:36 pm)

    I’m really bummed about this. I frequent Uptown coffee almost every day, and have loved seeing the trucks come in. Having a truck on the lot never dissuaded me from buying coffee, or being able to park. I hope that Uptown reconsiders its decision.

  • WMF May 15, 2012 (2:56 pm)

    All I want is for Uptown customers to learn that they can’t take a left out of the north side of the lot :p

  • Austin May 15, 2012 (3:11 pm)

    I agree that the old Charlestown Cafe spot would be great for food trucks. There’s the patio, some parking, and restrooms. The only downside is that it’s so far away from the junctions. Probably worth looking into though, if anyone is looking to organize a new food truck pod.

  • JR66 May 15, 2012 (3:17 pm)

    I love Uptown and am bummed when I can’t park there to get a cup of coffee to go because of the food trucks.
    I can think of plenty of empty spots to park a food truck that used to be car lots located in W. Seattle or Lincoln Park, lots of foot traffic, soccer/baseball games/ferry traffic etc…

  • LanceR May 15, 2012 (3:24 pm)

    This will be a real shame for the weekends. Having Skillet and Contigo there on the weekend days was awesome.

    I had done a double-take with Lucky Devil showing up and serving coffee. I don’t know the back story if they had originally agreed to not serve coffee in order to park there, then went against it or not. In fact I chose to not try the truck because of that, as I support Uptown as a customer mainly because of their support as a food pod during the weekend days.

    I try to plan my eats there, getting my beverage at Uptown while I wait for the trucks to prepare my food.

  • Brian M. May 15, 2012 (3:28 pm)

    How about the former Blockbuster parking lot in North Admiral? There always seems to be spots open now that it is a paid lot.

  • SeattleFoodTruck May 15, 2012 (3:29 pm)

    JR66 – Do you have any specific locations in mind? We would love to pass them along.

  • Moon May 15, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    Snout & Co haven’t been in WS for weeks by my account, we live just down the street and have missed those yummy sandwiches. Not sure what happened to them.

    • WSB May 15, 2012 (3:41 pm)

      Moon – The youngest member of our household is a fan of their Cuban sandwich. So we know their comings and goings. Last week they were gone for Mother’s Day; week before, it was the Fremont food truck roundup. They also were gone for Easter. But the week BEFORE the food-truck roundup … they were here. I’ll e-mail them to doublecheck my assumption that they’ll return this week … TR

  • WMF May 15, 2012 (3:53 pm)

    What about PCC’s lot? Even during prime shopping hours, it’s never packed. Plenty of space, easy access. Parking for the trucks when they’re at uptown is a big pain. For that matter, parking anywhere in the Junction before 10pm is a pain :p

  • rw May 15, 2012 (4:10 pm)

    While on the subject of food trucks, and food generally:

    1) What is the status of the Marination move into the boat house? I seem to recall a June estimate, but last time I was at the dock I saw absolutely no sign of activity within the restaurant space.

    2) Any idea on the status of the West City Sardine Kitchen (formerly Bohemian)? I hope that plan didn’t fizzle out.

    Thanks, as always.

    • WSB May 15, 2012 (4:22 pm)

      RW – you must have missed the drama over the additional city permit. “Mid- to late summer,” currently. Most recent Marination story, from our coverage of Roz and Kamala visiting the Alki Community Council a few weeks ago:
      Sardine Kitchen remains a big ol’ mystery. We saw workers in the space recently. They didn’t know anything. The owner has never returned the various messages we have left in various forms (no e-mail – their North Seattle restaurant doesn’t even have a website!). But we keep trying! – TR

  • pigeonmom May 15, 2012 (4:20 pm)

    Oh rats. Due to my work schedule I’ll never get to try these trucks during that time frame. :'(
    I vote for the Charlestown site for lunch trucks please! :-)

  • quiz May 15, 2012 (4:30 pm)

    Seems like something around Morgan Junction, just north of Bev. Place Pub, would be smart. Maybe make use of all that parking at Short Stop cleaners that never gets used.

  • Lulu May 15, 2012 (5:23 pm)

    I vote for Highland Park Improvement Club, aka HPIC.

  • Dave May 15, 2012 (6:06 pm)

    I talked to one of the Marination owners at an event and I think late summer is right, they were saying September.

  • rw May 15, 2012 (6:49 pm)

    Thanks Tracy and Dave. I did read about the Marination kerfuffle (I’m a fairly loyal reader, even when out of town), but figured that it would be ironed out sooner rather than later. Bummer that they (and we) will miss the summer season on the waterfront. I wish they would set up shop with the truck down there to start generating the Marination-waterfront habit.

  • Jason F May 15, 2012 (6:55 pm)

    I’d like to think that a few trucks down on Alki would be ideal. Keep them just west of the 61st intersection near Cactus?

  • Heckraiser May 15, 2012 (7:03 pm)

    Do these trucks need to prep and clean at commercial Kitchens? And do you know if any of those have a hand in coordinating pod sites?

  • YeloRose May 15, 2012 (7:03 pm)

    There is a big empty hole we could use. Make a slide to go down; rappel back up the sides. Not sure how to get the trucks there. I was a frequent customer for the Fusion on the Run truck. Miss their yakisoba.

  • May 15, 2012 (8:00 pm)

    Heckraiser – Yes, they all have to have commissary kitchens, but to my knowledge none of the current commissaries organize pods.

    And thank you everyone for the ideas! Compiling a list and sending to the trucks. Keep ’em comin!

  • ohthehorror May 15, 2012 (8:09 pm)

    I live very close to the former Charlestown Cafe site and it would be great to have food trucks in what has been an empty space for over a year now. There’s room for 10 trucks in that huge lot. There’s a lot of foot/bike and car traffic (plus bus stops) on that part of California and no coffee shops between Freshy’s and Hotwire, so someone selling good coffee could probably make a killing in the mornings.

  • AdmiralGal May 15, 2012 (8:51 pm)

    Thirding, fourthing, etc. Charlestown Cafe lot. Sure would be nice to get some life in that area while development is on hold.

    • WSB May 15, 2012 (8:59 pm)

      P.S. to earlier in this comment thread – Snout and Company confirmed to us via e-mail they will not return to 35th/Graham on Sundays, it wasn’t working out. – TR

  • NW Momma May 15, 2012 (9:22 pm)

    I’ll repeat. Old N admiral blockbuster or charleston lots. Any chance schools can rent out their lots for food trucks? If so- WSHS

  • carlton May 15, 2012 (9:28 pm)

    Uptown’s coffee is about as expensive as it gets.

    • WSB May 15, 2012 (9:34 pm)

      Not in my experience, but I guess it depends on your favorite drink.

      • WSB May 15, 2012 (9:36 pm)

        This just in. Lucky Devil Doughnut Co. just put up a graphic on Facebook saying Tuesdays at “West Seattle Veterinary Clinic” (I think they mean VCA on California SW but we’re checking). The saga continues. – TR

  • cj May 16, 2012 (3:54 am)

    There is the request post from the vet clinic on Seattle FoodTruck web site.

  • carlton May 16, 2012 (7:12 am)

    people complain about high gas prices, but rather spend money on an overpriced cup of coffee.

  • Moon May 16, 2012 (11:38 am)

    So sad about Snout! :( Thanks for the follow up TR.

  • Bostonman May 17, 2012 (1:02 pm)

    I am at Uptown most everyday. I will miss the food trucks but they are still a business and need to do whats best for them. I did see the donut truck out there one morning and have to guess that had something to do with the decision.

  • DBurns May 17, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Just saw the Lucky Devil Doughnut truck in the parking lot of the new Harbor Tool place in Georgetown this morning. Had no idea what it was but after reading this I suspect my son will get a doughnut on the way to school tomorrow! (Can they compare to family favorite – Original Bakery? We’ll see!)

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