Phase 1 of Salisbury Town Square celebrated

Salisbury’s emerging food truck scene now has a permanent spot Downtown where vendors can serve up everything from fish tacos and fried oysters to soft serve ice cream on a regular basis. 

The spot alongside the city’s parking garage on South Division Street is a good opportunity for food truck owners, said Anthony Sessa who was manning a Mister Softee ice cream truck on Friday. 

“I think it’s also a good idea for Salisbury,” he said.

Friday was the launch of the new site, which is Phase 1 of a Town Square project that has been under construction in recent months.

In addition to Mister Softee, the Vittles and Malibu Beach Eats trucks rolled in to feed a hungry lunchtime crowd that had gathered for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Eventually, the Town Square will extend another 150 feet across Division Street and into the large parking lot that the city sold to Gillis Gilkerson for a mixed-use development with retail, apartments and parking.

Phase 1 of construction involved the placement of pavers to create a food truck pad, installation of seating areas and stone architectural features, and placement of light poles which match the ones being installed as part of the Main Street overhaul.

Mayor Jake Day said the area will be used during the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, as well as festivals in the Downtown area.

“This is going to be the center of our community – the center of our city,” he said.

The new food truck area also will be in use during the National Folk Festival, which kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday.

After that, it will provide a new spot for the trucks which used to be limited to one space in front of the historic Wicomico County Courthouse.

Vittles owner Jeremy Dashiell said he used to park downtown only once a month, but now he plans to be there more frequently.

“We will try to be down here every Friday,” he said.

Day said the city will seek bids for construction of Phase 2 of the Town Square sometime in the next five months. It’s uncertain if it will be completed before next year’s folk festival, he said.

The City Council also will soon be reviewing lease agreements with several community organizations that will be located nearby in the Lot 1 development.

“This will be an important part of our community,” Day said.

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