DCDP looks to boost summer activity, commerce in its focus area

Jess Bengtson
Monday at the corner of Second Street and North Broadway downtown, customers wait in line to order at Greek to Me, out of Warren.

    The corner of Second Street and North Broadway has been hopping this summer thanks to the Downtown Crookston Development Partnership and the weekly food trucks it has been bringing to town. Geared toward business employees and their lunch breaks, a wide variety of mobile eateries have catered to passersby of all ages with all types of cravings.

    Just this week, “Greek to Me” served traditional Greek cuisine like gyros and baklava both Monday and Tuesday. Comments from customers about their visit included “Best gyro I’ve ever had!” and “Fantastic late lunch today from our own downtown Crookston with today’s food truck. YUMMY. Thanks for coming to Crookston!”

    Food trucks/vendors who have posted in downtown Crookston so far have included Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, Little Bangkok, Spud Wagon, Groovy Grub, Greek to Me, and Erickson’s Smokehouse, with Driftwood Grill and Scobey’s Pub & Grub coming up, plus trucks who have already visited returning in late July and August.

    Note: The Irishman’s Shanty’s June 9 scheduled downtown visit turned into specials at their South Main Street restaurant because of inclement weather.

    What started off as a way for the DCDP to draw people downtown quickly turned into Crookston’s “weekly event of the summer” with the COVID-19 pandemic claiming many other get-togethers such as weddings, conventions, banquets and the town festival, Ox Cart Days.

    The DCDP has been “back in action” with weekly to bi-weekly meetings and other projects in the works though the food trucks have been their focus as of late.

    “After the food trucks we had in May, there was so much enthusiasm to make this a regular thing that we started booking for the rest of the summer,” DCDP chair Shirley Iverson explained. “We’ve received so many compliments and positive feedback about the variety of food from the trucks from people both working downtown and visiting downtown that we wanted to keep it going.”

    Iverson noted that she did reach out to downtown Crookston food establishments to see if the food trucks affected their businesses and offered an outdoor opportunity before continuing with the scheduling.

    July’s food truck schedule includes:

    July 8 - Driftwood Grill

    July 14 - Scobey’s Pub & Grub

    July 22 - Erickson’s Smokehouse

    July 28 - Spud Wagon

    July 30 - Drafts Sports Bar & Grill

    For August, they plan on having multiple food trucks in various locations the third week of August.

    To learn more about the DCDP, visit their Facebook page or email downtowncrookston@gmail.com.