Whether you're craving tacos from La Flama, ribs from Flavor Train or a grilled cheese from Static Melt, they'll all be in one spot during lunch time on Tuesdays in September. 

And that's a first for downtown Davenport. 

The city of Davenport is launching a pilot program inviting area food trucks to set up and serve customers in specified zones on public property every Tuesday in September.

Food trucks aren’t allowed to sell curbside in the public right-of-way, according to current city ordinances.

"A food truck ordinance doesn't exist," Kyle Carter, executive director of Downtown Davenport Partnership with the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce, said. “We want to test some of these zones out and see what works and what doesn’t work.”

After the four-week test, Carter and city officials will work on drafting a permanent ordinance to present at a City Council meeting over the winter. 

Food truck vendors can register for free for the pilot, and several have shown interest in "Food Truck Tuesdays," Carter said. To participate, vendors must show proof of insurance and have a health permit from the Scott County Health Department, which costs $27.50 per year.

Here's the schedule:

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 6 at Kaiserslautern Square on East 3rd Street between Brady Street and Pershing Avenue.

• 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 13 at East 2nd Street near the Government Bridge.

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 at the riverfront parking lot near the skybridge.

• 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 27 at East 2nd Street near the Government Bridge.

The trial run comes after Carter and Mallory Merritt, the city’s budget management analyst, held a public input meeting last month to discuss a “movable food program.”

"We learned from that meeting that vendors are divided in what they want,” Merritt said. “Some want to move around at different spots daily and others want to be in the same spot every day so their customers know where to find them.

"With that, there was no way we could build an ordinance in a quick way.”

As of now, when you see a food truck in Davenport, it's usually alone. And unless you checked its Facebook page a few hours before, you probably didn’t know it would be there.

“There’s not much of a schedule to it," said Keagen Tumey, who co-owns Flavor Train, which serves Cuban-infused food on wheels. "We hear from people that they would've stopped by, but they didn't know where we would be."

In turn, the pilot program offers routine to a food truck scene fueled by day-of announcements on social media and word-of-mouth. 

“A couple thousand people know where to to find us each day because we have a couple thousand people following us on Facebook,” Tumey said. 

To set up in downtown Davenport, many vendors have struck deals with businesses such as Great River Brewery. Others have simply stayed away.

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Price Buster Mattress, 3514 N. Brady St., Davenport, is a popular spot for Flavor Train. 

“We haven’t been downtown at all yet, because of the rules,” Tumey said. “We’ve missed a whole market because of that.”

Chad Cushman, aka "The Crepe Guy," sells crepes under a tent at the Freight House Farmers Market. He hopes to join the pilot program next week.

"In terms of street food, I still feel like we're all doing our own thing and broken up around the city," Cushman said. "We're kind of waiting."

After a month of food truck Tuesdays, maybe the wait will be over.

"The food truck scene is brewing here," he said. "So, we're going to see what are the places and the times for this to be successful.”

Merritt doesn’t expect the pilot to go perfectly.

"We know we still have work to do," Merritt said. “We hope to get a good feel for next year.”

Whatever happens, Cushman said, the pilot is a good start.

"In other places, like Portland and Austin, food trucks are centrally located like that and you know where to find them," he said. "Wouldn't that be cool to have here?"


Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).