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Thursday, May 2,2013

Tidbites | Prospect Eats again

Photo by Dulcie Faison Wilcox/Longmont 100
Food trucks at Prospect Eats

PROSPECT EATS AGAIN

Prospect Eats, a burgeoning weekly food-truck gathering in south Longmont, kicked off its 2013 season on Monday, April 29, with a crowd of about 800 showing up to partake in cuisine, live music and community interaction.

The event, held every Monday until the end of September from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (9 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day), has grown significantly since its inception a few years ago.

Edward Vanegas, who owns several businesses in the Prospect neighborhood, says he inadvertently kicked off the gathering in December 2010 when he invited a couple of food trucks to an open house he was hosting at his retail store, Suburban Hill. The following month, residents started asking him when the trucks would return.

Since the Prospect Eats gathering is held on private property owned by the homeowners’ association, city code doesn’t apply, Vanegas says, although the city has passed new code to give food trucks leeway.

“If you let these small businesses prosper, they will do it on their own, the good ones will,” Vanegas says.

As an example, he points to Comida, a food truck that has expanded to include a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Prospect and a plan for a restaurant in the Denver area.

Vanegas credits word of mouth and social media for the growing popularity of the event, which is open to the public.

“We think we have the buzz of the whole community, Longmont, not just Prospect,” he says.

The weekly gathering, which is held in the downtown Prospect park, used to attract only a couple of hundred people. Now, during peak season, about 1,200 show up, making it “the largest gathering of food trucks in northern Colorado,” according to Vanegas, who is set to open his own Thai restaurant nearby in late May.

Musicians perform at every gathering, offering everything from blues to jazz to folk. And the artists include big local names like the Boulder Big Band and Wendy Woo, who is booked for Memorial Day. On opening night this past week, Vanegas says, musician Paul Glover brought a former member of Jethro Tull on stage to perform.

“It’s community, it’s families, moms, dads, kids, grandparents, and it’s dog-friendly,” he says. “We just want you to take a break from your life … and enjoy the music and food, and then go back to the regiment of what you do each week.”

ITALIAN WINE TASTING AT ARUGULA

North Boulder’s Arugula Ristorante will host a seminar and wine tasting in its Amaro lounge May 7 featuring six Tuscan wines from four wineries.

The Brunello di Montalcino wines will be presented by Anna Clare Monlezun of Vinifera Imports, who will discuss each wine as it is poured. Each sample will be about 1.5 ounces, and the event will include antipasti and 10 percent off a meal that evening at Arugula. The event is $49 per person, and reservations are required. Call 303-443-5100 or see arugularistorante.com/events for more.

CINCO DE MAYO

The holiday named for itself is here again. The Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo will land on Sunday this year. In honor of the holiday, Rio Grande restaurants in Boulder and Denver are offering drink specials and distributing door prizes. Along with the restaurants’ famous margaritas, the Rio will offer $2 shots of Jose Cuervo tequila and $5 shots of Patron as well as an on-site photo booth to remind you later how much fun Cinco de Mayo was.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

Photo courtesy of Longmont 100.

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