After one last bash, the Justice League of Street Food will end the party
August 3 marks the finale for the Justice League of Steet Food.
Judging from the notes of woe on the Justice League of Street Food's Facebook page, where it was announced earlier today that the coalition's food truck parties will come to an end on August 3, there are an awful lot of saddened loyalists. "What a downer," wrote one disheartened fan. "What. The. Fuck." wrote another. "Why stop a good thing?" wondered someone else.
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Those of us at Westword loved those parties, too, even awarding the Justice League (the name of which can be credited to sausage slinger "Biker Jim" Pettinger, who also has his own food truck) the city's Best Street-Food Gathering in our 2011 Best of Denver issue, in which we wrote:
Last summer, a SWAT team of Denver street-food slingers gathered in a graveled parking lot just beyond the ballpark to play curbside hosts to hundreds upon hundreds of foodophiles, all of whom showed up to get a taste of the city's best pavement cuisine. The fleet of trucks and carts -- Biker Jim, Steuben's, Pinche Tacos, Deluxe Burger and the Biscuit Bus among them -- called themselves the Justice League of Street Food. We call them muscle-flexing superheroes and can't wait to see what new powers they display this summer, as they turn out everything from bánh mì and biscuits with buttermilk fried chicken to pork-belly tacos and pulled-pork sandwiches, one mobile meal at a time.
The bashes began in the summer of 2010, when Vesta Dipping Grill, Ace, Eat, Drink and Steuben's owner Josh Wolkon corralled a handful of Denver street food vendors and suggested that they all get together and throw a food-truck party, similar to those in Portland. Delores Tronco, who will open Work & Class later this summer, along with her husband, Tony Maciag, became the primary organizer behind the jubilees, and that first event, which went down in an abandoned parking lot downtown, included the Cupcake Truck, Biker Jim's, Steuben's, the Biscuit Bus, Pinche Tacos, Steamin' Demon and the Gastro Cart.
And while some of those original Justice League members have continued to take part in the bashes including Biker Jim, Pinche Tacos, Steuben's and the Biscuit Bus, each event -- and there have been many -- has revealed new trucks, many of which would have never started their engines without the Justice League's presence. "A lot of people who wanted to start food trucks saw how successful the Justice League was, and now food trucks have a huge presence," says Pettinger. "Before all of the food trucks launched, it was a lot of carnival- and circus-like food, and now you can get just about anything you want from a food truck," he notes.
Nonetheless, the Justice League parties, which always commanded long lines (and, mutter some, not enough trucks), had run their course, says Pettinger. "By the end of our third year doing these parties, there were lots of street-food parties all over the city, and now they're just way more common these days, plus we're all just mondo-busy right now," he explains.
Still, there's one last opportunity to get your grub on: From 3 to 10 p.m. on August 3, the Justice League will host its finale at 3459 Ringsby Court, in the parking lot of the TAXI development. Biker Jim's, the Cupcake Truck, Pinche Tacos, Steuben's, the Biscuit Bus, and Quiero Arepas will all be there, along with several more trucks that have yet to be announced.