Following the success of The Waldorf's Canada Day Block Party that saw an estimated 5,000 visitors sample fare from the city's largest gathering of food trucks to date, a rotating roster of 18 food cart vendors will sling treats in the parking lot on Sundays starting this weekend.
The Waldorf Hotel for a Food Cart Fest will run from noon to 6 p.m., each Sunday from July 29 to Sept. 2.
Danny Fazio, brand and design director for The Waldorf, says organizers of the Canada Day Block Party didn't expect several thousand people to show up to the event that included 11 food trucks.
"That really inspired that 'this is great, let's just do it [attitude],'" he said. "Summer is finite in Vancouver. Let's capitalize on it."
Fazio said the refurbished Waldorf didn't take full advantage last summer of the fact it encompasses nearly a full city block. This year, organizers are determined to draw more visitors to the destination spot.
"We built a tiki beach," Fazio said. "It's basically like an outdoor beer garden with a giant sandbox, so we're going to have beach chairs out there and we have a margarita machine and DJs, and just try to get a little bit of that beach vibe in East Van."
He added Black Mountain and other Vancouver and national bands will play the Waldorf's parking lot for a separate concert Aug. 25.
Participating food carts in the weekly fest so far include La Brasserie, Soho Road, Off the Wagon, Re-Up BBQ, The Juice Truck, Mom's Grilled Cheese, Cartel Taco, Street Meat, Pig on the Street, Guanaco and Holy Perogy. Zach Berman, co-owner of The Juice Truck and a director on the board of the Vancouver Street Food Society, expects specific schedules to be posted on The Waldorf's website.
The society is presenting the family friendly event with the Waldorf and the Yelp online review site.
In addition to live music, organizers will are lining up a different market each week. Jamie Leah Gill of the online Moonrock store has planned a market of more than 50 vendors selling vintage and original clothing, accessories, art, jewelry, and home decor on July 29. Upcoming bazaars include a farmers and artisan market and a book and comic sale.
The first large food cart "pod event" happened during Dine Out in January, according to Berman.
"In the wintertime it was more about boosting sales," he said. "Summertime, it's more about coming together to put on an awesome event. And a lot of us don't get to work together or try each other's food, so we have a good reason to do that as well."
Admission is free.