- File: Luke Awtry
- ArtsRiot Truck Stop in 2018
Twin brothers Louie and Max Orleans have taken over operations of the popular South End food truck gathering and will move it across the street from its original ArtsRiot home to 377 Pine Street. ArtsRiot, which is gearing up to open its on-site distillery, will run the Truck Stop bar.
The new location will feature the same number of vendors, with the brothers aiming for 16 each week. Half of the food businesses signed on for this summer have attended Truck Stop in the past, including three from the event's first season in 2013: Jeffersonville-based Burger Barn, Burlington's Taco Truck All Stars and Winooski's Southern Smoke Cajun & Caribbean BBQ.
Other confirmed vendors include Penzo Pizza, Dale Boca Food Truck, Scout's Honor Creamery, Mac's Sugar Shack, Luiza's Homemade With Love, Ahli Baba's Kabob Shop, South End Sliders Cart, Omakase, Kitsune Japanese Soul Food, Conscious Eatz, Mister Foods Fancy, the Shoppe Food Truck, Hangry the Donut Bar and One World Brothers. The lineup will vary week to week.
The Orleans twins and their father, Bill Orleans, purchased the property at 377 Pine Street in August 2021. Stretching from Pine Street to the lake and including the building that houses Myer's Bagels, Barge Canal Market and Speaking Volumes, the property will be rechristened "Coal Collective," a nod to its history as the home of Citizens Coal in the early 1900s.
Nearby businesses that don't normally operate food trucks, such as Myer's, might make guest appearances at the event, Louie said. "We want it to be a showcase for the South End," he added.
Truck Stop attendees will enter the spacious, closed-off lot by Barge Canal Market to find vendor trucks, tents and carts lining its south and north sides.
The area will offer more seating and surfaces for placing drinks, not to mention three bars instead of one. All run by ArtsRiot, they will sell canned cocktails from the business' soon-to-open distillery, Citizen Cider, wine, and canned beer from Fiddlehead Brewing, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery and Narragansett Beer.
DJs will set up in the warehouse's loading dock each week, including Disco Phantom, DJ Cre8, Blanchface, Abby Shaw and DJ Big Dog. For the kids, Truck Stop staple Joy Danila of Vermont Face and Body will return to paint faces.
"There's even a sunset view," Louie said.
Truck Stop grew quickly from its start in 2013, when it was "two food trucks and 10 people playing chess," former ArtsRiot co-owner PJ McHenry said. "We knew pretty quickly that we had hit a thread of popularity there."
- File: Jordan Barry ©️ Seven Days
- Southern Smoke's crawfish boil
"Truck Stop was the big proving grounds and a sort of incubator for all the trucks," Stefan told Seven Days a year ago. "It was a sustainable income at least once a week. You need that mass of hungry people all showing up in the same place."
Even though things aren't back to normal in the food industry, Stefan said this week, Truck Stop's return "is a good sign." The new location, he added, "should be a fresh look... and new truckists won't need half the practice backing up required of the old space."
ArtsRiot's new owner, Alan Newman, said he's heard questions about when the event will return "all the time" — even before ArtsRiot itself reopened last summer. "It's an institution," Newman said.
"So many people in the community, including myself, want it back so badly," Louie said.
Truck Stop is free to enter. Limited parking is available at the nearby Maltex Building, and Local Motion will provide valet bike parking. The event will start slightly earlier than in past years, running 4:30 to 9 p.m.
"We want to catch people as they're coming off of work and in those family-friendly early hours," Louie said. "Then they can take off to ArtsRiot or the rest of the South End."