Food Truck Court: Richmond’s first outdoor dining community

The Boka Truck started serving the streets of Richmond in January of 2010 with a single white truck resembling a large UPS box Truck with a flat top grill and a yellow “Boka” Logo with big black letters that read “Takos for your MouF!”. The goal was simple: To offer Chef inspired street food based on French culinary principals using seasonal ingredients that utilize the flavor profiles and characteristics of Asian, Mexican and American modern cuisine in a fusion of sorts. Back then Boka Truck was the first of its kind down here in Richmond. A chef driven vehicle for superior street food, unlike any that had hit these streets before it. Since it’s inception Boka has introduced a food cart that serves privately during the week and makes it’s way downtown on Fridays where waves of people trickle from the buildings to get their tako fix and see what new culinary adventures are being displayed by the diligent street chefs for tasting each week. Now, going into year number 3, Boka is on the verge of launching a second full size tako truck, planned for downtown in the city center. With the help of sponsors, this tako truck will be wrapped in vinyl with black flames rolling up from the bottom into a vibrant yellow background. We have come a long way, but the journey has just begun…

Boka started it’s business model as a lunch time operation, and has developed into a cult phenomenon with followers that will travel whole counties to find us, they know the menu without a glance, and stake out the time and locations of our stops as a highlight to their week. To all of you, we are humbly grateful. “When will you be open for dinner?” we heard, a (few hundred times at least). “Where can we find you?” is a common tune. “We want takos for dinner!” has been another familiar cry. Closed. We have not been open for any scheduled services beyond lunch hours except for the exception of events. Well, that is up until now.

As many of you are aware, food truck courts have been sprouting up all around the country. It is a phenomenon reserved mostly for cities with restrictive vending laws for trucks. Richmond happens to be one of those cities. A food truck cannot even pull up in a space on the street and sell for more than half an hour at a time. We work around this law during our lunch time run-around-town business model, but it fails us for dinner service. The law was designed for ice cream trucks in the 1950’s. It is 2012 and Richmond is stuck in the past. Other cities have re-evaluated their laws to allow food trucks permission to park and serve from the streets, within the parameters of parking laws of course. Here in Richmond we are not so fortunate. Food Trucks here were born into an environment of restriction, and have consequently had barriers to entry for even the dinner business market. That is, up until we decided to put together a private food court.

With all of the restrictions to serve from the street still in place, we have found a way to offer you delicious fusion takos for dinner. We are putting together Richmond’s first mobile truck food court where diners can come out and enjoy specialty beverages, a variety of innovative food trucks with global cuisines using local ingredients, and top it all off with a cut on the ole sweet tooth with a treat from a dessert truck. We are organizing this food truck court with cooperation and team work within the food truck community, and we are excited to introduce a couple of exciting new chefs and their trucks with this act. Community and local support for this project have been strong, and we only look for that to strengthen as we get closer to the much anticipated launch date.

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