FLEMINGTON, NJ – Food trucks may be an attraction when Flemington Filling Station reopens next month.
The Filling Station is the name given to the former Hineline’s Garage. The noted borough eyesore was transformed last year by the newly organized Flemington Community Partnership, with help from volunteers from the community and from Lowe’s.
Its debut was an instant hit, with beer, wine and food provided by a rotating slate of local merchants.
But this year, FCP Executive Director Judy Goodwin said local restaurants have been slow to sign up for participation. Garden State Salad is the only one to have committed by last week’s deadline, she said at Monday morning’s FCP board meeting, although Cocco's Cafe has given a verbal commitment.
FCP administrative assistant Nora Mathews “has been working tirelessly to contact our restaurateurs to sign up” for the Filling Station and other FCP events, Goodwin said, but many restaurants don’t yet know what their summer staffing levels will be yet.
“I’m getting a lot of push-back,” Goodwin added.
“What they’re saying is they don’t know if they have a party booked that day ... that will divert their resources,” said Matt McPherson, who owns Matt’s Red Rooster Grille.
FCP trustees said they prefer to showcase local restaurants and will extend the deadline to give them another chance to take advantage of the marketing opportunity, but they intend to fill remaining vacancies by relying on food trucks and out-of-town restaurants.
The food is needed for the “Fridays at the Patio” events, which will be held from May 26 through Aug. 18 this year.
This could be the last season for the popular spot. The property is owned by the borough and officials are working to sell it.