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Downtown Food Truck Park Coming To Cookeville In October

A new food truck park is coming to the west side of Cookeville next month.

Trackside will provide space for six food trucks to park. Trackside will be located on Broad Street near the Train Depot. Owner Ricky Shelton said there has already been interest from local food truck owners.

“It’s kind of been like a Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come.” Shelton said. “I got advice from them. Talked to them about the idea. What that might look like and what there needs will be. We tried to match that up, that’s kind of how we designed the space.”

Shelton said the process for selecting food trucks for the space is still on going, but trucks would be renting space. He said he was open to the idea of both having permanent trucks and rotating trucks in and out of spaces. He said four food trucks have shown interest in being a permanent fixture in the park.

Shelton said he is focusing on the environment. Electricity has been ran to each of the locations so no generators will be running. He said he is creating an “atmosphere.”

“The West side and Cookeville in general is really becoming a food destination, a foodie destination if you will,” Shelton said. “There’s a lot of great restaurants and chefs downtown. This isn’t really to compete with them. It just creates more traffic coming into this area.”

Shelton said him and his wife came up with the idea for a Cookeville food truck park about six months ago.

“Well its a vision my wife and I had for a while,” Shelton said. “We visited other areas and seen food truck parks. The public would mingle around that. We didn’t just want a truck in a parking lot, but something beyond that.”

Shelton said his goal is to create a fun, family friendly park. He hopes in the future Trackside will be able to host live music. He also said he wants to put sporting events on a big screen to watch while at the park. Shelton said he may be bringing something new to the area, but he is still going to maintain the history of the west side.

“It’s on what used to be an old railroad rail yard,” Shelton said. “So there was a spur that came right through the middle of this property. When we were excavating we actually uncovered a couple of very large support timbers that were part of a loading dock in the 1920s. We actually utilized those on site along with a lot of the other railroad timbers we got through that.”

Shelton also utilized some bricks that were part of the Shanks Hotel, the first hotel between Nashville and Knoxville.

“We tried to keep the depot vibe going,” Shelton said. “We wanted to utilize and reclaim some materials and that’s part of the story. That’s why we wanted to name it Trackside.”

Trackside will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting October 13.

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