Recently, there has been much talk in the local media about the redesign of Valley View Mall in Dallas. Beck Ventures purchased the property in April, and over the next 10 years, the company plans to convert the mall in to an urban development with retail and residences, under the name of "Dallas Midtown." The first step in property owner Scott Beck's revitalization plan is to bring people back to Valley View Mall. One of several points in that first step is a monthly food truck festival, the Midtown Food Truck Fest.
To date, 21 trucks have been confirmed for the July 20-22 festival: Cajun Tailgators, Crazy Fish, Coolhaus, Cup-Cakin, Dos Paisanos, Dough Boys Pizza, Eat Jo Dawgs, Enticed, Gandolfo's New York Deli, Jack's Chowhound, Lee's Grilled Cheese, Nammi, Potato Potahto, Rockstar Bakeshop, The Butcher's Son, Yes Taco, Yum Yum, The Bomb Fried Pies, Chile Pepper Grill, Cruzin Chef, and Austin truck, Chi'lantro Korean BBQ.
I was able to visit Valley View and see the layout of the festival and hear some of the long-term plans that Beck has for connecting the food trucks to the mall. The Midtown Food Truck Fest will be held the third weekend of every month. Proceeds from admission to the fest will be given to a local charity each month. July's charity is Dress for Success, an organization that provides professional attire, networking support and career development tools for disadvantaged women.
The monthly event will have a unique layout, with an indoor/outdoor setup. The food trucks will be outdoors, under the cover of the J.C. Penney parking structure. No standing in the hot sun at this festival! On Wednesday, when I was at the mall at 1 p.m., it was at least 15 degrees cooler under the garage than it was in the sun. Misters and large fans will also keep the heat at bay under the garage.
The festival events will take place inside the mall. The majority of the first floor of the mall will be in festival mode, with tables and chairs; DJs or live bands will be providing music all weekend. Bounce houses, a mechanical bull and other activities will keep the kids entertained. On Saturdays, the mall has also been holding "Arts Fest," to showcase the Gallery at Midtown, a space where artists can rent studios and they, along with other local artists, will be exhibiting their art work.
A new twist to this fest is that food will be purchased with tickets. All food prices on the trucks will be rounded up to the whole dollar and tickets will be sold for $1 each, from ticket booths. The bounce houses, mechanical bull and other activities will also use tickets for access. Additionally, several of the mall's existing restaurants will be accepting tickets, if you or someone in your group would rather eat at one of those locations.
The CBS Radio Group, which includes Jack FM, KLUV, 103.7 Lite FM, MEGA 107.5, KRLD and Indie Verse are all supporting the Midtown Food Truck Fest, and several of the stations will be broadcasting live at various times over the three-day weekend. Jack FM will also be sponsoring some Test Kitchens, which will be located in the Valley View Food Court. I'll have many more details about that in the coming weeks, but expect to start seeing some of your favorite food trucks set up and sell in these test kitchens on a monthly basis.
Stay posted for details of each month's Midtown Food Truck Fest; the trucks and activities will change each month.