Reader: Civic Center Eats looks like the Nebraska State Fair!

Categories: Cafe Society

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It was just two years ago that Steuben's Food Service became the very first food truck to roll into Civic Center Park, a ground-breaking, if not turf-smashing, development that rated a cover story in Westword. Today, of course, mobile food vendors are all over the city -- and Civic Center Eats, whcih kicked off its seventh season last week with a welcome from Mayor Michael Hancock, is bigger than ever.

Civic Center Eats will be back in the park at 11 a.m. today -- but not everyone is greeting this movable feast with open arms.

Writes Disgusted in Denver:

It's difficult to imagine a more inappropriate and crass commercialism of a public place than the parking of thirty tacky and gaudy catering trucks in the middle of Civic Center Park! The Civic Center Conservancy has taken it upon themselves to seize control of a park belonging to the people and ruin its aesthetic beauty by making it look like a Nebraska State Fair, to support funding of their dubious non-profit. It is amazing that they have those ugly trucks parked in the middle of the park all day long for an event that is supposed to take place from 11 to 1! They are going to ruin the beauty of our Civic Center Park, two days a week, all summer long! The event which benefits the Conservancy doesn't draw enough of a crowd to support the businesses involved; it is just another tax deduction for the parasitic rich looking to employ their useless children. Meanwhile a third of the park, restored by the taxpayers, remains fenced off from use! Shame on the self-serving Conservancy sitting on their fat useless asses in their plush office! Shame on the corrupt public officials who stood by and let this happen!

Whew! What do you think of Civic Center Eats? Is it a blight...or a boon?

Location Info

Steuben's Food Truck

Denver metro area, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Jon S
Jon S

Disgusted has a valid point. The park was much better utilized by strung out heroin addicts, drug dealers and aggressive vagrants. How dare the Civic Center Conservancy ruin that remarkable aesthetic with food trucks.

Civic Center Love
Civic Center Love

This bizarre rant doesn’t merit a response, but here goes anyway:  First, Civic Center Park’s Broadway Terrace is temporarily fenced off to provide the new sod time to take hold – thereby protecting taxpayer investment and ensuring the community-at-large can enjoy the park improvements.  Access through the Broadway Terrace is still available, as are its center benches.  Second, Civic Center EATS only takes place for three hours, two days a week, four months a year.   The colorful food trucks are only located on the central hardscape, so the Park’s lawns are all available for picnicking, playing Frisbee, enjoying the gardens, etc.  Third, after years of the park being empty most days – and thus inviting criminal activity which made people further avoid the park – the point of this 7-year-old program is to give more people more reasons to come to Civic Center more often.  Judging by the 1,500 or so people who lunch at Civic Center EATS on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s working.  Families, tourists and workers enjoying lunch and live local music in the park is far preferable to the type of commercial activity for which Civic Center used to be known.  Fourth, Civic Center EATS’ vendor fees are among the lowest of all food-oriented events.  The vendors do well and enjoy being part of the park’s revitalization.  In fact, there’s a waiting list of food trucks wanting to participate.  Fifth, Civic Center EATS is a much smaller event than the large annual festivals that take place in Civic Center Park.  The event is specifically designed so attendees can enjoy the park’s architectural and horticultural beauty…making it a frequently photographed event and improving the public’s perception of Civic Center one person at a time.  And finally, since the Conservancy exists to generate private resources for a public asset, it would be impossible to call them “self-serving.”  Not that it matters, but none of them are “fat, useless or the children of the parasitic rich” either – a little harsh, don’t you think?   I would encourage this conspiracy theorist to visit other U.S. cities where both nonprofits and food have helped transform public spaces into beloved destinations and sparks for economic vitality in the surrounding areas.  Thank you, Civic Center Conservancy, for helping Denverites reclaim Civic Center Park and creating community traditions that add to Denver's unique vibrancy and quality of life.

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