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Food trucks

Customers in June 2016 wait for their orders at La Flama on Wheels outside K&K True Value Hardware on Grant Street in Bettendorf.

From his two decades’ worth of work at WaterPark Car Wash in the Quad-Cities, Lee Calabria knows that many regular customers skip lunch to get their vehicles cleaned over the noon hour.

He also knows the average full-service car wash at WaterPark takes between 18 and 30 minutes. During their wait, customers can snack on complimentary coffee and popcorn, but Calabria said those offerings do not quite satisfy a hungry customer's appetite. 

So, the manager began contacting mobile food vendors in the area to set up shop this spring in the parking lots at WaterPark's locations in Davenport and Moline.

Traveling cook Dennis Kraklio became the first vendor to test the waters on Tuesday at WaterPark in Moline.

Weather permitting, Kraklio and his hot dog cart planned to be on site from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday this week. Beginning Sunday, he plans to sell food at WaterPark in Davenport through the rest of next week.

Calabria, who noted the car wash services 400-plus vehicles on a "good day," called it a win for everyone involved.

"It's all new to us," he said. "We’re going to give it a whirl and see what it does."

Visiting food trucks, carts and trailers will not be charged to operate on WaterPark's properties. However, vendors will be asked to offer discounts to car wash employees. 

“We’re a well-established business here in the Quad-Cities, so we’re not really looking to make more money,” he said. “We’re trying to supplement what we already offer and satisfy our customers.”


Jack Cullen covers health, wellness and outdoor recreation for the Quad-City Times.