COLORADO SPRINGS — Food truck Tuesdays are back for the summer in Colorado Springs. The pop-up event brings community and food lovers together to enjoy a growing industry in El Paso County.
Chef Bob’s Lobstah Trap is one of nearly 350 licensed food trucks in El Paso County. That number is up from 251 licensed mobile food units in 2019.
The Lobstah Trap began as a food truck in Colorado Springs nearly five years ago. It’s also one of the food trucks that became did well enough, that they expanded to a brick and mortar location on the east side of town about a year and a half ago.
David Allen, the truck manager at the Lobstah Trap said, while the pandemic was a challenge for many restaurants, it opened a lot doors for food truck owners.
“We thrived during that time because of the dining situation, and the food trucks were still able to rock,” said Allen. “It kind of blew up within, within the last three, four or five years.”
While dining rooms were closed throughout the pandemic, people could still safely place a food order from a food truck window.
“I know bob (the owner) did exceptionally well during COVID from that, so it's it led us to be able to lock in the restaurant and expand from there, so we definitely did well during COVID.”
The story is similar for another food truck in town called “Lucy I’m Home,” serving up Cuban cuisine. They opened their food truck about seven years ago, and opened a brick and mortar location right before the pandemic began.
“It just blew up. it got bigger than he expected,” said Elyse Diaz, co-owner of the business.
Diaz said during the pandemic, “it was kind of cool then because, you know, neighborhoods started inviting food trucks out, you know, just for because they have a large community… It’s been really fun. The food truck community has probably tripled since we started seven years ago.”
A spokesperson with El Paso County Public Health says, the department has observed the growth in food trucks over the past several years, including during the pandemic. Overall, 2021 represented an all-time high number of licensed food establishments in the county.
Meanwhile, Chef Bob’s Lobstah Trap will be expanding once again in June. They’ll be serving their New England seafood out of a shipping container at Red Leg Brewing Company on the west side of Colorado Springs.
It’s the fifth year in a row, the pop-up food truck festival will be happening every week. 12 food trucks will be there on Tuesdays, and 24 total food trucks are on a rotating schedule. It’s happening outside of the Pioneers Museum every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event will run through late October.
“This gets a lot of exposure for a lot of trucks too. And then every year here, we see new trucks that are popping up that we hadn't seen before or hadn't linked with at a rally or whatnot either,” said Allen.