Food Truck Tuesday Needs more Space

Food Truck Tuesday is awesome.

Food Truck Tuesday is awesome.

Food Truck Tuesday is awesome.

Food Truck Tuesday really is awesome. It’s one of the coolest things Buffalo has going on in the summertime. However, it’s quickly outgrown the space it occupies in Larkin Square and I wonder what the result will be if something isn’t done to address the layout of the weekly event.

The sole issue at hand is simply that too many people want to be down in Larkinville to enjoy great food and sunny Tuesday evenings in the summer. But the popularity has resulted in massive crowds that not only create massive lines at many trucks but also a sardine-like experience in every other portion of the square. Next summer’s iteration will need to find some sort of plan to help disperse the crowd.

Moving to a different, larger location would be the easiest solution as the trucks could spread out and provide more space for attendees to mingle and enjoy the food.

Canalside is really the only other public space that could potentially deal with the crowds, but I don’t know if it would be possible to fit all of trucks that attend each week without parking a number of them on the wharf. Silo City could certainly fit the trucks and crowds with ease, but it lacks the amenities that accompany Larkinville or even Canalside. There are a number of public places that could easily take on Food Truck Tuesdays and help thin out the overcrowding that has defined the event this summer, but it’s not the right solution.

Any plan to relocate means leaving Larkinville behind. This is an event that defines the Larkin District and helps add life to an area of the city that has gained steady momentum in recent years. However, I’ve overheard and read more complaints from attendees who say it’s too crowded each and every week which means it’s time for this to grow.

Obviously Larkin Square isn’t getting any bigger. But the district as a whole does continue to grow as the former Swan Lounge is sporting a very cool sign for the Hydraulic Café and Flying Bison’s headquarters are quickly coming together. The easiest solution would seemingly be to move part of the party on to the streets around Larkin Square.

If the Larkin Square team was able to get permission to close off the section of Seneca St. between Hydraulic and Emslie St. they would effectively expand the area of Larkin Square without seriously disrupting the flow of traffic.

The fire station at Swan and Seneca wouldn’t be affected much since Swan, Seneca (inbound to the city) and Van Rensselar would all remain open should they get a call during the three hours the event runs. Additionally, Hydraulic St. would remain open to provide access to parking.

Meanwhile, there would be a full block of street space to park trucks on and for the crowd to mingle on. Trucks that had previously been jammed onto the area near the pickleball courts could be spread across that space and the street while the entire crowd would have more space to wait in line and walk around seeing what each truck is offering.

The crowds at each Food Truck Tuesday I’ve attended this year have been very difficult to manage and I hope to see some sort of decision made to accommodate the growing popularity of this awesome event. I haven’t yet been deterred from going due to the crowds, but it sure would be nice to see it addressed.

2 thoughts on “Food Truck Tuesday Needs more Space

  1. runfastorfaster July 31, 2014 / 7:00 pm

    I’ve never been to food truck Tuesday but plan to go one of these weeks… disappointed to hear how crowded it is. I can manage crowds but my boyfriend hates anything crowded and I hate that he will likely have a bad experience at something awesome.


    • Chris Ostrander August 1, 2014 / 11:23 am

      It’s tough. This past Tuesday was the worst I’ve seen it in the few times we’ve gone. I went later in the evening on a rainier Tuesday earlier in the year and didn’t have to wait for anyone. But it was about 7:45 and it was a stormy night. So keep your fingers crossed for rain!!!


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