Tight sidewalks, high demand for on-street parking and limitations on where vendors can operate are among the many reasons Georgetown has not been able to benefit from the food truck movement in the District—until now. The upstairs area in the former home of Furin's at 2805 M St. is the first home of many for Uncurbed DC, which is working with the BBQ Bus to create a hybrid dining option.
Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 13 and running through Saturday, Dec. 17 Georgetowners can enjoy food from the BBQ Bus in the environs of a sit-down quick food space from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
How does it work?
Customers wander into the upstairs space, place an order at the counter, buy a drink from the bar and grab a seat. A server sends the order from an iPad inside to an iPad in the truck parked outside. Servers run in and out of the space to pick up orders, as they are ready. Customers cannot, however, wait in line outside the truck or try to place an order directly at the truck.
Is this legal?
"Everything that we’ve done with this has been by the book," said Morgan Greenhouse from the verdeHOUSE, part of the team that made the new pop-up concept possible.
The verdeHOUSE, founded in 2010, connects short-term users with vacant property—be it retail, office or industrial—throughout D.C.
Jeff Kelley from Wonky Ventures, the company behind the Eat Wonky food trucks, approached the verdeHOUSE about starting temporary restaurants based on food trucks. The resulting partnership, Uncurbed DC, will now work to create rotating pop up restaurants in available retail spaces throughout D.C., not just in Georgetown.
"We were the space people and he [Kelley] was the food truck people," explained Greenhouse.
The goal was to activate unrented spaces and to create more vending opportunities for food trucks.
The team worked with government agencies like the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the District Department of Transportation to cross all their t's and dot their i's. The BBQ bus applied for a temporary alcohol license from ABRA.
"We wanted to make sure everybody is happy," said Greenhouse.
The Georgetown pop up is the first of what they plan to be many pop up restaurants in the District. Greenhouse said they invited several brokers to their VIP opening night of Uncurbed D.C. Monday and already have standing offers for new spaces for the next temporary restaurant.
"We literally have not found anywhere else in the country or the world," that is operating quite like this, said Greenhouse.