Montgomery food trucks hone in on restaurant-scarce areas -- Gazette.Net


Pulled pork, dry-rub ribs and a side of coleslaw — right outside the office door. Some food trucks hope to attract customers in Montgomery County by making walking to lunch easier for even the most suburban of office parks.

David “Curley” Cornblatt owns Curley’s Q, a Montgomery-based barbecue food truck and catering business. He also runs the Montgomery County Food Truck Association, a group of food truck owners who work together to promote and support each other.

One of Cornblatt’s latest projects is a partnership with The JBG Cos., which owns several office buildings on Fishers Lane in the Twinbrook area of Rockville. His hope is to soon bring a group of food trucks to the area, which is short on restaurants, on a regular basis.

“(The goal is) to keep that space exciting, new and fresh, as well as helping the Montgomery County food trucks out,” he said.

Food trucks can make the area more vibrant and add amenities for building tenants, Cornblatt said.

Rod Lawrence, a partner at JBG, said several food trucks were already showing up along Fishers Lane, but JBG is working with the food truck association to get a few more trucks there on a regular basis.

“The idea is to make it more consistent so people know who’s going to be out there on any given day,” Lawrence said.

While there are still a few kinks to work out, the partnership could eventually bring groups of food trucks to other areas of the county.

“We’re trying to use Twinbrook as a prototype,” Lawrence said.

One of the reasons for focusing on Fishers Lane right now, Lawrence said, is that the area is home to a lot of government office buildings without many restaurants or retail stores on the first floors because of security requirements. JBG would like to see more restaurants in the area, he said — maybe even a few that got their start as food trucks.

“In an area that has limited retail opportunities ... it seems like a good opportunity for these people to come in and see how strong this location is,” he said.

Of the few brick-and-mortar restaurants nearby, Lawrence said he doesn’t want food trucks to draw away their customers.

“We want to be sensitive that we don’t take away from their business,” he said.

Cornblatt said the association tries to help food trucks get along with their stationary neighbors.

“We want to make sure that we’re not an eyesore and we’re not a problem,” he said.

Trucks should not pull in front of competing restaurants, Cornblatt said, but could hand out drink coupons or do other promotions to support restaurants in the neighborhoods they serve.

“We don’t want to hurt anybody (and) we don’t want to take away from anybody,” he said. “Hopefully, we can use the food trucks to bring people to our friends and even to competing restaurants.”