Hot tubs and food trucks aren’t common bedfellows but they’ll both grace South Hill come September.
VIVA Vancouver and the South Hill Business Association have paired up to celebrate the arrival of a food truck to Fraser Street and the installation of hot tub-style patio seating, which is part of the city’s public space project.
SHBA Executive Director Aila Karpio said the association jumped at the chance to bring VIVA to Fraser Street and made the call for food truck applications earlier this year. “We don’t have any parks within the BIA [business improvement area], no community spaces, no place for people to gather,” she said.
The mini-park will be a place for people to enjoy food, coffee and greenery in an unlikely laneway on 44th and Fraser. The semi-circle installation will mimic a wood frame hot tub with seating for 10 to 20 people. While the seating isn’t permanent, the city plans to keep it in place for three years.
JJ’s Trucketeria is a first for South Hill and one of the few food trucks far outside the downtown core. The call for submissions garnered about four food truck applications, Karpio explained, but JJ’s Trucketeria beat the competition.
“It’s reasonably priced, healthy food,” Karpio said.
The truck will be parked close to a high school and is expected to serve food that isn’t available in South Hill, reducing the competition with existing businesses.
JJ’s Trucketeria co-owner Jordan Oregas said the inspiration for his menu came from the community itself—a cultural mix of people and flavours.
“It’s a hodgepodge of foods and affordability,” Oregas said.
“Grilled meat skewers will sell for $2 a pop, sandwiches for $3—and they’re not little sliders, it’s actually a good bun sandwich.”
All day breakfasts will be offered and one of the highest priced items and healthiest vegetarian options, the Fraser Bowl, will run for $5. They also plan to serve perogies, tacos and garlic fried rice plates.
Oregas said he’s not in it for the money. After working at high-end Vancouver restaurants for 15 years, he was ready to go down a different path. Oregas grew up in Mount Pleasant but has paid attention to the South Hill area for a while. “You know when a little neighbourhood’s getting up and going and ready to explode? That’s where Fraser is,” he said. “Main Street is a good place for food already and Fraser’s itching to do it.”
Karpio said that that the SHBA may consider inviting more trucks to the area if JJ’s Trucketeria proves to be a success. For now, she is looking forward to delicious tacos from the new business.
The celebration and launch party for VIVA’s installation and JJ’s Trucketeria will take place Sept. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. with entertainment featuring folk singer Jim Cook and reggae band Brother Below.