TACOMA, Wash. —Tacoma foodies have a new place to find great food, a fun atmosphere, and a cold beer. Chowtown, a food truck marketplace at 1602 S. Mildred St, is hosting two pop-up experiences this summer on July 12 and August 2-4, 2019. Local vendors will provide food, beer, and wine, and outdoor games will be available for a fun and family friendly atmosphere. Events will feature movie nights, live music, and entertainment from local performers.
Business partners Kirsty Kalkhoven and Devon Long created Chowtown to answer Tacoma’s need for a fun dining option with diverse culinary choices for the whole family. Kalkhoven combines her expertise in business, marketing, and event planning with her passion for food and community involvement, while Long utilizes her skill as a chef and Nutrition and Food Service Supervisor to bring their vision to reality. Chowtown’s creators graduated from the Spaceworks Incubator Business Planning Cohort in May 2019. They hope their food truck marketplace with be Tacoma’s first step towards a vibrant street food scene.
Cities all over the country, especially nearby Portland, are realizing that these alternative venues create an energized neighborhood. Food trucks are known for their unique, international fare, serving delicious and made-to-order food. Food truck parks, such as Chowtown, are able to satisfy a wide range of food options while offering a casual, entertaining, and interactive experience.
We wanted a place to take our kids where we could have a drink and relax and they could have fun too,” says Kirsty Kalkhoven, co-owner of Chowtown. “We are opening the place that we wished Tacoma had already.–Kirsty Kalkhoven, co-owner of Chowtown
Chowtown will be a place to have a quick snack, a full meal, or just a drink for happy hour. Outdoor games include cornhole, ring toss, and giant versions of Connect Four and Jenga. A fire table seating area with Adirondack chairs will be reservable by the hour, including a s’mores kit. The entire space will be available for event rentals, parties, birthdays and more.
Live music and entertainment will rotate among local groups. The kick-off weekends in July and August include performances by The Happy Sinners, Daniel Walker, The Stingy Brim Olde-Time Blues Project, and Miranda Kitchpanich. The Audubon Society is co-hosting a movie night with Chowtown on August 2, 2019.
For food trucks and vendors, Chowtown offers a stable location without opening a brick and mortar restaurant. The creators plan to be an incubator and support network for culinary entrepreneurs to follow their passion.
Chowtown’s location is in an underused corner of the James Center North parking lot. James Center North is comprised of nearly 7 acres and is owned by the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA). THA is exploring the redevelopment potential of the site to provide mixed-income housing in a mixed-use and transit-oriented development.
THA provides high quality, stable and sustainable housing and supportive services to people in need. It does this in ways that help them prosper and help our communities become safe, vibrant, prosperous, attractive and just. The James Center North redevelopment can be explored at www.jcntacoma.com.
We hope Chowtown will help spark a sense of place and create a buzz in this part of the West End.-Joshua Jorgensen, Project Manager, Real Estate Development, Tacoma Housing Authority
Chowtown expects to be open full-time in the fall of 2019, operating until redevelopment construction begins. They are working closely with THA to build the food truck marketplace into the new development.
July 12, 2019
Food and beverage – 12:00pm – 9:00pm
Music with the Happy Sinners at 7pm
August 2, 2019
Food and beverage – 12:00pm – 9:00pm
Audubon Society outdoor movie night – “The Big Year” at 8pm
More events and details at www.chowtowntacoma.com.