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The City Journals

Food Trucks Are Here To Stay

Jun 10, 2016 09:39AM ● By Sandra Osborn

Mulligans Food Truck Roundups offers monthly specials. Photo credit: Sandra Osborn

By Sandra Osborn / [email protected]

Giving up on the boring dinner-and-a-movie idea, South Jordan residents and visitors can now enjoy an exciting alternative. After the tremendous success of the Mobile Food Vendor Pilot Program held last year, on April 5 the South Jordan City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to officially allow food vendors to operate within the city limits.

Food trucks within the city are now allowed on city-owned property such as schools, parks and open spaces as well as on rights-of-ways (public roads) as long as the neighboring community is aware and approves of the food trucks’ setup.

“The mobile food vendors operating in South Jordan will be required to be licensed and have a Salt Lake Health Department approval,” South Jordan Director of City Commerce Brian Preece said.

Some favorites include the Thursday Daybreak Roundup along Lake Avenue and Food Truck Friday at the grounds of Petersen Family Farm, but Mulligans Food Truck Roundup on Tuesday nights offers the best combo for great food and family fun.

“We have a new and improved family-oriented picnic area,” Mulligans administrator Doug Brown said. “We want to have people come out and have a great time.”

A year after city officials paid off the $4.6 million loan balance, Mulligans aims to become the asset to the city that residents expect. While the Mulligans Master Plan from its partnership with Staples Golf is still on the works, smaller-scale improvements are happening. Already, city leaders have invested in additional picnic tables and equipment on the golf course. Some of the overdue maintenance has been done as well as improvements on the mini golf courses, including carpet replacement and paint.

“It’s been a lot of little things,” Brown said. “Collectively they are noticeable, but I’m proud of all the little things that have been done at Mulligans.”

Y2 Analytics results showed that South Jordan residents wanted to keep Mulligans but wanted the city to invest in its facilities and services. Bringing food alternatives to Mulligans was at top of the list.

City officials investigated the possibility of having food trucks and realized it was against city code. The city council, however, welcomed the idea of boosting traffic to Mulligans and so approved the yearlong pilot program. Enthusiasm for the food trucks became evident; full parking lots and cars extending out to 10600 South created a bit of a nightmare for organizers, but the food trucks had the intended effect.

“We ended up making an average of $700 more every food truck night,” Brown said.

Following tremendous success, the food trucks are here to stay, albeit with some changes.

This year, the Food Truck Roundups are smaller, with only three to six trucks coming every week. The smaller roundup better accommodates limitations on parking, according to Brown. The lineup varies every week and can be found in advance on the Mulligans Golf and Games Facebook page. Some trucks already present this year have been Rita’s, Tushar Brazilian Experience and The Ramen Truck.

“The goal this year is for people to stay and play,” Brown said.

Patrons who eat on premises from a food truck vendor can expect to get a coupon to play at Mulligans. The specials change every month. June offers a Buy One, Get One Free green fee, and in July patrons can get a large bucket of balls for only $6. Other specials include $5 off Foot Golf and free tokens for mini golf or the batting cages. The coupons are valid for any night of the week.

“We want to use the Food Truck Roundup to rebuild our relationship to the community and bring people back,” Brown said.  

Food Truck Roundups at Mulligans happen every Tuesday night from 5 to 9 p.m.