If you had any doubt as to how much food trucks have become ingrained in our culture, a visit to the newly opened Celebration Park on Bayshore Drive in East Naples will set you straight.
Late by Naples standards—we’re talking 9:30 p.m., folks—a few Fridays after it opened, the attended parking lot was packed, people squeezed into every last seat at the plethora of tables lining the picturesque canals, and there were a scant few seats at the covered rectangular bar the size of a few semis parked side-by-side.
A shaved Brussels sprouts, apple and pomegranate salad from Smith Organics
We knew there was palpable interest, but this blew all expectations out of the water.
Eight trucks are parked on the grounds each day. They’re not tied down, so to speak, but if they leave, it’s fair game for others to take their spots—so don’t expect too much turnover, at least early on. And the choices cover a range of everything from a team that goes out on fishing boats, catches what’s available and brings it back to cook it (Dilly’s Seafood) to a pizza place with a brick-and-mortar location on Davis (Red’s). Indian, French, barbecue, doughnuts, organic eats and Greek round out the opening lineup.
They’re parked on either side of a narrow strip lined with pebbles that leads up to another crowning achievement: a full-service bar under a pavilion with a menu of spirits, wine and beer that rivals anything on Fifth and Third. That was no accident, as the park was the brainchild of Rebecca Maddox, the owner of Three60 Market that’s a few steps away and known locally for its wine selection. Add in four-tops shielded from the elements and modern picnic tables lining the canals (plus live music many nights and another building with bathrooms), and it’s fast become a recipe for not just cheap—and darn good—eats but also a communal gathering spot and watering hole.
To plan a visit:
2880 Becca Ave., Naples