Like hoarfrost and the mayfly, food trucks are vanishing as quickly as they materialized a few years back. Last weekend, the Clearfork Food Park announced that it would be shuttering its rolling food court for good. The operators of the park told the Star-Telegram that the property owners didn’t renew the lease because the real estate that housed the ill-fated park was just too hot – which I interpret to mean “too valuable to be wasted housing a languid park of five or six rotating locally owned eateries when god-knows-how-many out-of-town restaurant chains could move into another cookie-cutter development and suck even more character out of our town.” (I’m sure several Dallas and Houston chain owners just peed a little reading that.)
To my knowledge, Clearfork was the last of the food truck parks to be open on weekdays here in the Fort. There is another one near what’s now known as the Foundry District behind Montgomery Plaza, but it’s only open on weekends. The here-and-gone Cowtown Chow Down lasted less than a year on North Main Street between downtown and the Stockyards. A few more parks were rumored to emerge but never appeared.
I’m not sure if Clearfork’s announcement was the death knell of the Fort Worth food truck craze, but if the 10-year-old fad were a person, I wouldn’t recommend it buy any ripe bananas. Some people are of the mind that food trucks can just go back to existing as mobile kitchens that can come right to your door, office, or bar and that they will be a permanent and flourishing fixture on the restaurant landscape forever and ever. So for those folks, allow me to read the tea leaves out loud (well, in print).