St. Paul’s indoor food truck place opens soon. Here’s how to navigate it.
When owner/CCO Brian Ingram opens Seventh Street Truckyard next door to his New Bohemia Wurst + Bierhaus on St. Paul’s West Seventh this month, it will be the great American road trip meets camping meets carnival meets food truck hall meets the 1970s.
Ingram hopes to roll out the spot (214 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; truckyardusa.com) by Aug. 21 — just in time for the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert the following weekend at nearby Xcel Energy Center.
“I’ve had this in my brain for some time. The food truck craze took off and I wanted a way to bring the concept indoors. I’ve been thinking of how to make a food hall with food trucks all year-round,” Ingram said. “We set this up like a campground. Our summers are so short in Minnesota, we like to feel like we’re outside as much as possible.”
With several food, drink and entertainment options inside the hall, it will take some know-how to navigate. We previewed the spot, and here’s what you need to know to be a happy camper.
Plan your food route. Several road trip-themed food windows will be available, so map where you want to stop along food truck row. One truck will serve pizzas with either a pretzel or New York-style crust as well as flatbreads. Strange pizza toppings — such as alligator and rattlesnake — will be part of the options. Or, head to the window serving street tacos or fried chicken. If dessert is in order, roll up to the ice cream sandwich truck selling local products such as giant T-Rex Cookies, Sebastian Joe’s ice cream and Mojo Monkey Donuts with varieties made special for Truckyard.
Grab your beverage at one of three bars. Truckyard will feature three garage doors along West Seventh that will open to trucks and trailers doubling as bars parked just inside. Pull up to the trailer bar specializing in Kool-Aid cocktails, the main shipping container bar or Volkswagen bus bar featuring Dippin’ Dots cocktails.
Stay and play for a while. The grounds will include ring toss, football toss, giant tic-tac-toe. “It’s set up to make you feel like you’re at a ‘70s fair,” said Ingram. A stage featuring live music also will be part of the lineup.
Plan on a return trip. The food truck offerings will rotate. So what might be there on your first expedition may not be there the next. “Right now we’re starting with pizzas, tacos and ice cream sandwiches. In four months, we could offer different food if we wanted to.”
Travel back in time. The spot will give a nod to all things ’70s, from pop culture posters on the walls to sitcoms and movies such as “The Brady Bunch,” “Good Times” and “Grease” on the television.
While not an official car show, check out the vintage collection. Speaking of traveling back in time, all of the food will be served out of classic vehicles that have been gutted and retrofitted. The fleet includes a 1972 Palm Springs reminiscent of the urban assault vehicle in the film “Stripes,” a 1971 Dodge recreational vehicle, a 1971 VW bus, a 1970 Terry Travel Trailer and a 1950 Grumman Milk Truck. Transporting some of the vehicles that were wide and no longer running was no easy feat. “We had to shut down West Seventh to get some of these vehicles in here,” Ingram said.
Come one, come all. Seating is plenty and ranges from small to large communal tables. Campsite-style seating areas include benches. “If you want to bring a group of 100, we can easily fit large groups,” Ingram said.