'Food truck alley' to bring more variety to Hamilton

The area will have at least one food truck at all times, Gorilla Cheese's Graeme Smith hopes.
Hamiltonians line up to be served at a food truck on Ottawa Street. (Jessica Young/CBC)

Ever had a craving for a grilled cheese with a side of kettle corn followed by a fresh baked cupcake? This summer, if all goes as planned, you'll be able to get all your favourite Hamilton food truck grub in one convenient location.

Dubbed 'food truck alley,' a portion of land on Aberdeen Avenue at Longwood Road South is currently being leased to host local food trucks throughout the spring and summer when they don't have other obligations.

Graeme Smith, owner of Gorilla Cheese, and Mike Pitton of Southern Smoke Truck teamed up to lease the land. Their trucks are there every Thursday already, but they hope by the summer there will be at least one truck there at all times, every day of the week.

"It's something we're building right now. Once we do something with the land and put some picnic tables in we want to have as many trucks as possible at any given time," Smith said.

"We're just creating our own food truck zone."

Right now, city by-laws limit where and when food trucks can operate, meaning most trucks have a rotating schedule and sometimes find themselves in-between venues. The food truck alley will provide an area for them to serve customers during those times, as well as give customers access to new and different cuisines, Smith said.

"A lot of the Toronto trucks, because they have tight laws there, often fill up their weekends but don't have anything booked during the week," Smith said. "They can do their weekdays here. Most of them already have a Hamilton licence from Sew Hungry (food truck festival)."

So far, the response to the idea on social media and customers has been positive, Smith said, and they're looking forward to it growing as they reach out to more vendors and spruce up the lot with seating. They may even host events at food truck alley, he said.

"We've already got a pretty good stable of regulars that come every week," he said.

"I think by summer it's going to be flying and it's really going to be a lot of fun."