Monmouth says farewell to favored food trucks

Downtown food truck pod demolished to make way for Monmouth Commons

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

On Oct. 28, demolition began of the Neighborhood Market and Deli and the adjacent food truck lot. To many, this change was sudden, but according to Monmouth Community Development Director Suzanne Dufner, this project has been in the works for a while — at least a year and a half, she recalled.

Nick Dhote — owner of the Neighborhood Market and Deli and the property leased out to food trucks — and Salem real estate brokers Sim Dhote and Baset Shagrun submitted a design review application through Studio 3 Architecture to the city back in March. They proposed a new multi-use building deemed the Monmouth Commons. The ground level is to be commercial space, nearly half of which is already allocated to the Neighborhood Market and Deli. Two more businesses — allegedly a restaurant and a coffee shop — will occupy the rest of the ground floor. There will also be three floors of apartments built above this business space for a total of 27 two-bedroom spaces.

Nick Dhote and partners are enthusiastic about this project.

“We are so happy and excited to bring something new and (exciting) to the city of Monmouth,” Sim Dhote said via Facebook. Those involved in creating the Monmouth Commons hope to meet the demands of Monmouth residents by providing new living spaces and a place for desired businesses.

These plans were approved by Monmouth’s Planning Commission on May 20, 2020. According to Brian Etienne at Tucky’s food truck, the food truck owners were originally informed that they would need to leave by the end of August. Etienne said Tucky’s began looking for a new location at that point.

“We were going to have to move eventually,” Etienne said, “but in some way I feel we were hoping we would be able to get through 2020 and have an opportunity to rebuild what we had lost financially.”

Etienne said Dhote contacted the food trucks on Oct. 26, informing them that the Neighborhood Market and Deli would be moved out by Oct. 28. The next day, Dhote told them they would need to move out that night so demolition could begin.

Both Etienne and the owners of Lonney’s Lunch Wagon say the situation is bittersweet.

“I miss seeing our customers more than anything,” Etienne said. However, both food trucks are embracing the change and are looking forward to the future.

“Even though we had to leave,” Lonney’s said, “(there’s) always other opportunities out there so we always continue to look and work forward, always (pushing) on.”

Tucky’s plans to move their business to Springfield, OR and is in the process of finalizing location details. In the meantime, Tucky’s is offering dinner delivery service to the Monmouth and Independence area. Check out their online store at lunch-menu.square.site to place a dinner order by 3 p.m. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram @tuckyskitchen to stay updated and get access to deals.

As for Lonney’s, they plan to use their time to renovate their trailer for the winter season and get set up at a nearby space in Independence. While closed for now, customers can get excited for easier online ordering and more Lonney’s merchandise. Follow Lonney’s on Instagram @lonneyslunchwagon to get the latest information.

Taj India Food Cart, the final truck that was located at the food truck pod, has relocated to Independence. Their new address is at the Space Age gas station: 1082 Monmouth St. in Independence. Contact them at (503) 422-8299.

The Monmouth Commons expects to begin construction in July 2021. They anticipate it will take 11 months to finish, though it could take as long as 18 months due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations. 

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

 

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