During this year’s ArtPrize, downtown Grand Rapids was filled with the expected sights — oversized artwork, misused crosswalks, the guy riding a fish bicycle. But there was a surprise greeting visitors who flocked to the eighth-annual event: Food trucks. All over the place. With lines in front of them.
Grand Rapids has been notoriously slow to embrace the food truck trend, but an expanded presence at ArtPrize coincides with a push to make the city friendlier for the mobile businesses. Over the summer, the City Commission passed a long-sought ordinance to more clearly regulate food trucks and establish several public spaces where licensed operators can park and sell their cuisine.
“It was phenomenal,” said Lauren D’Angelo, who owns the Patty Matters gourmet burger truck, which spent most of the three-week competition in prime ArtPrize real estate alongside the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Over that time, D’Angelo estimates she did about $40,000 in sales.