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First “Food Truck Tuesday” draws crowd in downtown Davenport

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — The first 'Food Truck Tuesday' kicked off at K-Square across from the Adler Theatre in downtown Davenport. Three food vendors set up shop on public property for the new pilot program.

The City of Davenport and the Downtown Davenport Partnership have been working on the food truck program for a couple of months.

A total of nine food trucks are signed up for the Food Truck Tuesday pilot program, which is intended to be rolled-out in a more permanent fashion next spring.

"I've had the opportunity over the last couple of months to work on creating this pilot program with our team," said Mallory Merritt, Budget Management Analyst for the City of Davenport and one of the key figures in bringing food trucks to Davenport.

Previously, food trucks could only park on private property. Through the Food Truck Tuesday pilot program, the City will test out three different locations across downtown Davenport.

"We traveled to Des Moines to learn about how they have their program structured and we've researched different food truck programs from here to California, so we're really excited to present this program and kick it off today," said Merritt.

The goal of the program is to get people out of their offices, out of their houses, and walking around downtown Davenport, while trying a mix of food at various food trucks.

The Davenport Fire Department was at K-Square during Food Truck Tuesday to ensure the food trucks complied with fire safety regulations.

"If they have fryers or cook tops, anything that produces grease-laden vapors, they need to have a hood over it and an extinguishing system. We'll check their propane cylinders for leaks and make sure they're in an appropriate location and protected appropriately," said Mike Hayman, Davenport Fire Department Fire Marshal.

The lines at all three food trucks - Streets of Italy, Static Melt, and LaFlama were backed-up at K-Square.

"I think the novelty of it is fun," said Daniel Sheridan, as he sat with his wife, Jessica and infant baby towards the back of K-Square. They stood in line for sandwiches from Static Melt.

"You're outside and you're in your community. We've run into friends and fellow employees we haven't seen in a while and catching up with people is a lot of fun," said Daniel Sheridan.

Daniel and his wife love the idea of food trucks. They plan to go to the next three Food Truck Tuesday events in September.

"We love trying new food and when we found out there would be a ton of them, we got really excited and want to come out and try some new food," said Jessica Sheridan.

The next Food Truck Tuesday is September 13 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at East 2nd Street near the Government Bridge.

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