[image-1] It's only a 12 minute drive from the peninsula, but Hanahan has a small-town feel all its own.
The downtown is getting a facelift, and Mayor Christie Rainwater says she loves that Hanahan has that "American feel everyone longs for."
"What we don't have, is what I affectionately refer to as 'quality of life businesses,'" says Rainwater. "We have less than a dozen restaurants — there is a desperate need for food options."
Enter: Yeamans Hall Canteen, the area's newest food truck park featuring ample seating, requisite bistro lights strung amidst fresh planters, and a revamped old barn boasting a new chandelier. "It's more of a created space than food trucks just pulling up to the side of the road," says Rainwater.
The park is located right across from City Hall at 1240 Yeamans Hall Road on land where small homes used to sit. Rainwater says they weren't sure what to do with the vacant lot after the cottages were razed, but figured in the interim they could introduce some much-needed culinary diversity to the town.
Yeamans Hall Canteen will host a grand opening celebration on Sat. Feb. 29, and the schedule is already lined up for all of March with April already filling up. The park will be open Mon.-Thurs. with a breakfast session from 6-9:30 a.m. with lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays there will be lunch and dinner only from 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Three to four trucks will be onsite at any given time, and trucks will park on the same days every week: so, for instance, you'll be able to find your favorite fried chicken every Monday in March, lobster rolls every Tuesday in March, etc.
Interested food trucks must have an updated DHEC inspection, Hanahan business license, and certificate of insurance. Trucks will pay a $25 daily fee to park on Yeamans Hall Road — those interested in participating can fill out a form online.
"For a lot of cities to put up a food truck park, it’s a fun, cute thing," says Rainwater. "For us, it was a need … once the [interested] trucks understood that, they were more on board." The mayor hopes, of course, that both food truck owners and patrons will be charmed by the small town. She's pulling out all the stops, too: every fourth Friday, the park will have live music and an interactive art event with neighboring multicultural hub Art Pot. Art Pot's artist in residence will sketch an outline of a culinary scene on one of the picnic tables, and people will complete the project with color-by-number painting.
"Another purpose is not just for the sake of the food truck park," says Rainwater, noting that the nearest restaurant competition to the park is the Checkers down the street. "I want to show the need, for those interested, that 'Hey, we have a blank canvas here, we're looking for restaurants.' If your food truck is succeeding maybe you would consider opening a brick and mortar."