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Bits and Bites: Roswell restaurants and food trucks
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
August 21, 2013 12:41 PM | 1970 views | 0 0 comments | 82 82 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Running a restaurant in Roswell

It’s no secret that Roswell’s restaurant scene is exceptional, thriving and growing even through a significant economic downturn.

On Aug. 22, a panel of local restaurateurs will be talking about their experiences running eateries in this city.

On hand will be Canton Street pioneer Hicham Azhari, co-owner of Salt Factory, Little Alley Steak and Opulent; Rich Clark, managing partner of Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell and C&S Seafood in Vinings; Ryan Pernice, owner of Canton Street’s Table & Main and the soon-to-be-open Osteria Mattone; owner and chef Marc Wegman of Adele’s Cajun Cuisine; and Jack Gerblick, partner in The Food Movement, a food truck coalition that has trucks operating Saturdays and Sundays at Don White Park in Roswell.

Roswell Business Alliance Executive Director Steve Stroud will moderate. Topics are expected to include what it’s like starting a restaurant in Roswell, how Canton Street has redefined OTP dining, how food trucks are impacting bricks-and-mortar businesses and what the “best dishes” in Roswell are.

I’m told you can also expect some representative tastes from some of the local eateries to be part of the evening.

This event, Town Hall Roswell – Dining Out, is being held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Roswell Historic Cottage, 972 Alpharetta Street, Roswell.

It is sponsored by RoswellNEXT, a group formed to participate in Roswell’s civic, economic and social community.

Tickets for the event are $5 for members, $15 for non-members. Bring 10 canned goods and receive free admission. Donations will go to North Fulton Community Charities.

There is a $5 suggested donation for drinks. Valet parking at the Cottage is free.

For information, check out www.RoswellNext.org.

Give me shelter

Speaking of food trucks, Roswell resident Jennifer Liang had an interesting point when she blogged recently about the weekend food truck event at Don White Park.

In an open letter to the city at northsidefood.blogspot.com., she starts out by saying how much she likes the event and how terrific the park is with its playground, volley ball courts, restrooms and trails.

“Having the food trucks encourages me to walk over and eat lunch by the river. I've been at the park every weekend since you started having the trucks. It's great!” Liang writes.

There’s just one problem, she writes – the pavilion has the only covered picnic tables in the park.

“Today was a rainy day. You, City of Roswell, rented out the pavilion to a family reunion. Now, as I said, Don White is a great park. I'm sure it's a great place for a family party.

“What's not great is when I'm eating my empanada in the car because it's about to pour down rain and all the covered seats are reserved . . . And from what I've heard, this isn't the first time it's happened either.“

Liang thinks the pavilion should be reserved for food truck patrons and private weekend gatherings should be moved to Riverside or East Roswell park.

Now a case could be made that most customers generally won’t show up to patronize food trucks if the weather is iffy.

But if there is a sheltered area to eat, the trucks won’t lose as much business.

When I contacted him about Liang’s concern, Recreation and Parks Assistant Director Morgan Rodgers said “we agree with the idea of not renting the shelter while the food trucks are at the park.

“We have taken steps to ensure that the picnic shelter at Don White Park remains open to the public during the food truck hours.”

As recreation and parks officials said when this weekend food truck thing began, it’s an experiment for the city that will be tweaked as it goes along.

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