“Street food,” more and more, is featured at fixed-place restaurant ventures that take on the description for honed, simplified — and usually still delicious — offerings. But Seattle still has new generations of true street food entrepreneurs looking to start building their food + drink empires with a truck-drawn eatery. A much-coveted — and also extremely challenging — parking space for these ventures in Pike at Broadway in the Shell service station parking lot. Friday, you’ll find the latest street food entrepreneur to try to make the space pay off. This time, the plan is a little different.
“Capitol hIll doesn’t have a whole lot of room for this,” Felafel Salam owner Shimi Kahn tells CHS.
This month, Kahn’s trailer full of Middle Eastern delights — “My main focus is on authentic Middle Eastern,” Kahn says. “The way you get the food on the street in the Middle East.” — can be found at Broadway and Pike on Tuesdays and Fridays. It’s been a bit of a rough start as Kahn sorts out Capitol Hill’s sometimes peculiar lunching habits. But the food truck operator is certain the space should eventually work.
The space is currently being offered by the station landlords on a monthly basis for certain days of the week. Kahn says he plans to claim it throughout the full week in coming months and work to bring in other trucks and trailers on days when Salam is scheduled elsewhere. His hope is to do more than past efforts to make the food truck presence at the spot stable — and a draw.
CHS has written about the quest to establish more street food opportunities around Capitol Hill — not all of which have been successful in the restaurant-rich and crowded business environment. Still, the concept remains popular. This summer’s street food festival at Cal Anderson park drew large crowds. Meanwhile, the Shell station has been home to Mexican taco trucks, Hawaiian-styled plate lunches, and even a coffee pop-up. It’s the nature of the business — but none of the players stuck around for long.
Kahn hopes his turn in the space works out differently.
“We have super fresh felafel and we’re really, really, really quick,” he said. “We should fit in.”
You can learn more at facebook.com/FalafelSalam.