Food Truck Alley Event Not Returning To Downtown Alpharetta

Released March 01, 2021 12:10 PM

The City of Alpharetta has decided that the time has come to park its popular Food Truck Alley and not bring the weekly event back to Downtown Alpharetta.  The decision comes following the City’s review of its special events and the determination that Food Truck Alley no longer meets the needs of a downtown area that has evolved considerably since the event was launched.

“We began Food Truck Alley in 2012 when the Downtown Alpharetta we know today was little more than an idea,” said Alpharetta’s Assistant City Administrator, James Drinkard.  “We really had only three restaurants and a handful of retailers operating at the time, so we lacked a critical mass that would draw people to the downtown core.  Without more restaurants and businesses, we could not attract diners and shoppers, but without the diners and shoppers we could not attract new businesses.”

Searching for a solution to this chicken or egg dilemma, the City decided to try creating a weekly event focused on live music and one of the hottest trends happening in Metro Atlanta at that time, gourmet food trucks.  The idea was to create a free event that would attract residents hungry for family entertainment that would also allow restauranteurs to “dip their toes” into Downtown Alpharetta without the high overhead of opening a permanent location.

“Food Truck Alley quickly became a huge success that helped to create the vibrant environment we envisioned,” Drinkard stated.  “It really was the seed from which the idea of Downtown Alpharetta sprouted and ultimately grew into the destination it is today.”

Downtown Alpharetta is a far cry today from what it was nine years ago, however, and now its restaurants, shops, and sidewalks are filled on most evenings and weekends.  The handful of restaurants has exploded into more than two dozen, shopping is abundant, and with a new hotel getting closer to its opening date Alpharetta’s downtown core is a destination in its own right.

“We always planned Food Truck Alley to be temporary; kind of like training wheels to help give Downtown a little extra support until it could ride on its own,” Drinkard explained.  “Now those training wheels are not needed, and they may even be hindering the businesses that have made investments and put down roots here.  It is time to take them off.”

City officials say that there will still be regular events happening in Downtown Alpharetta, they will just not involve food trucks or other elements that compete with local storefronts.  Instead, the City wants to create activities that help to maintain the vibrant atmosphere and buzz that has grown here, and they want to partner with Downtown merchants to do it.

“The training wheels have come off, but we will still be here for the Downtown business community,” Drinkard said.  “We will just be riding with them now.”