Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita State breaking ground on food truck plaza on campus

Wichita State’s new food truck plaza, set to be finished this summer, will be reminiscent of the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park that recently opened downtown.
Wichita State’s new food truck plaza, set to be finished this summer, will be reminiscent of the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park that recently opened downtown. File photo

Wichita State University will soon have its own food truck plaza.

The university will break ground next month on the project, which will be on the edge of the new Innovation Campus development, at Wheatshocker Drive and Perimeter Road. It will sit across the street from the National Institute for Aviation Research. It should be completed by June.

The plaza will be reminiscent of the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park downtown, according to a release sent out Wednesday by WSU’s office of research and technology transfer, and it will have four vendor stalls where food trucks can easily set up. It’ll also have new lighting, sidewalks and seating areas, and it will be adjacent to a pond that’s planned for the Innovation Campus.

Jodi Buchanan, who owns B.S. Sandwich Press with her brother, Doug, helped with the planning of the park and said the food truck community is buzzing about the development. College students are ideal food truck customers, she said, but the many efforts she’s made in the past to set up near WSU have been thwarted. A contract with WSU’s vending company prohibits other food businesses from setting up on campus.

But the ground that the Innovation Campus is being built on, which covers part of the old Braeburn golf course, isn’t covered by the contract, according to the release.

“It’s unbelievable,” Buchanan said. “They said that Mondays through Fridays, there could be 18,000 people within a two to three block radius. We’ve tried to get close to campus for years.”

Most of Wichita’s food trucks have agreed to take turns setting up at the park, the release said.

Stay tuned for updates.

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