Estacada food cart pod with dining hall proposed for Highway 224
An Eagle Creek resident is proposing a new six-cart food truck pod with an indoor dining hall on a vacant lot at 245 Highway 224, near the Red Fox Motel.
"Estacada continues to grow in population and diversify in age," said Henry Fancher of Eagle Creek in a land use application he submitted to the city of Estacada for the potential new food cart pod.
"Our plan is for Estacada Commons to become a unifying anchor for the community," Fancher's application said.
The Estacada Planning Commission approved Fancher's plan at its meeting Thursday, April 7.
It now moves to the Downtown Estacada Commission for a design review, once Fancher submits detailed plans. The project will have to adhere to downtown design requirements such as building height and color palette and code requirements such as adding sidewalks.
Fancher acknowledges "there is not a lack of food cart options in Estacada." But, he notes that his proposed complex will bring "a centralized location with permanent indoor dining where families can enjoy the diverse cuisine offered."
In an interview with the Estacada News, Fancher, 40, said his family enjoys a food cart setup in Happy Valley similar to what he's proposing for Estacada.
He emphasized that Estacada Commons would be a family-friendly dining spot.
"Everyone in the family can get the food they want. The adults can relax and have a beer and there are kids running around," he said. The dining hall protected from the weather makes it a pleasant experience, he added.
The proposed indoor dining hall is 1,800 square feet and will include long, communal dining tables, pinball machines, restrooms and bar service serving wine and draft beer, the application said.
Estacada Commons would be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week, according to the proposal.
Fancher's family owns the property where the potential Estacada Commons would sit.
If Estacada Commons becomes a reality, it will join Estacada's other food cart pot, Lumber Yard Food Cart Pod, which opened Saturday, Sept. 18, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Zobrist Street. The Lumber Yard pod includes Kellan's Dogs, Sabor Yucateco, Bobablastic and M and D's Downhome BBQ.
Fancher said he would talk with carts already open in Estacada to see if they'd like to set up in Estacada Commons before he recruits new food trucks to the proposed pod.
Although the Estacada Commons carts will be in charge of their own staffing needs, Fancher's application said the Commons would hire employees to serve the alcohol, bus and clean tables, empty trash and other duties. He's specifically looking at job opportunities for Estacada High School students.
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