When Cowtown Chow Down, Fort Worth's second food park, opened in May, it debuted with some fanfare and big ambitions -- a food-truck park with space for nearly 20 trucks. Fifteen trucks were there at its grand opening, but in the months since then, it has cut back its hours -- it's now closed Mondays and Tuesdays, down from a seven-day-a-week schedule -- and the number of food trucks there on any given working day has dwindled.
DFW.com content partner DFW Food Truck Foodie had been hearing rumors that the park was struggling, and after a commenter on the park's Facebook page said she stopped by during lunch time Saturday to find a closed park, we decided to find out what's going on.
Charlie Flores III, the park's owner, says that the park is not -- repeat, not -- closed. But after running the park for six months, Flores, who has other businesses, says he has decided to let someone else manage the park, and that deal isn't complete yet. The name will stay the same.
This being a holiday week, though, don't expect the park to be booming. And Flores says he's found the business to be seasonal.
"It seemed like we had a better following during the summer months," says Flores, who has run the Snoball Corral stand for 11 years. "And as long as I've been doing this, prior to opening the food park, my snow-cone business was a seasonal business."
That's not surprising, considering a) how hot the summers are here and b) that school's out during the summer and there are more opportunities for families to patronize a snow-cone stand. But it's not exactly like we've been having ice storms so far this fall, and this week's weather is expected to be mild. Whether that means you'll see trucks at Cowtown Chow Down is hard to tell.
Flores does say, however, that when he renews his permits for Snoball Corral, he gets yearly permits, rather than the seasonal permit that only allows him to operate for six months a year. And the park is available for trucks that want to operate there.
The park's calendar (which you can see by going to its home page and scrolling down) shows that it had a few trucks there on the first couple of weekends of November, but this weekend (which is subject to change) is slower.
Flores adds that with all the plans for the Trinity River Uptown/Central City development nearby, he expects Cowtown Chow Down -- which is off Main Street halfway between downtown Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Stockyards -- to have a future. "That's kind of what keeps me motivated," he says.