OTG Telegraph 5
Off The Grid on Haste and Telegraph Avenue will soon be joined by a new food truck market at North Berkeley BART. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Food truck organization Off The Grid has confirmed it will start a new Berkeley market on Sunday Feb. 9. As expected, the new location is the North Berkeley BART parking lot, and the market, which will feature 10 or more trucks every week, will be open for dinner on Sundays, from 5:00-8:00p.m.

It will be the second weekly food truck gathering for Berkeley. Off the Grid is also on the south side of the Cal campus, at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street, on Mondays from 5-8 p.m.

Trucks at the Feb. 9 launch will include Koja Kitchen (which recently opened a brick-and-mortar spot on Telegraph Avenue); Kasa India; sliders and fry vendor WhipOut!Liba Falafel (which is slated to open a restaurant in Uptown Oakland this summer); burrito makers Burr-Eatery; and Lexie’s Frozen Custard.

The new Off The Grid market will be in the parking lot of North Berkeley BART. Photo: Matthew Kuhmann.
The new Off The Grid market will be in the parking lot of North Berkeley BART. Photo: Matthew Kuhmann

Off The Grid collaborated with the city of Berkeley and BART to figure out the details of the new location. As with all the company’s 25 weekly markets around the Bay Area, food trucks will rotate week to week to ensure variety. Off The Grid works with more than 180 vendors. There will not be alcohol at the North Berkeley BART market, which is located at Sacramento Street and Delaware.

Off the Grid’s first Berkeley location, in the Gourmet Ghetto, launched in June 2011 and drew an average 1,500 people every week. However it was closed down in December 2012 after the city decided it was having a detrimental effect on local brick-and-mortar food businesses and property owners. Michael Caplan, economic development director for the city of Berkeley, said at the time that he had spoken to local restaurants who were losing $1,000 worth of business every Wednesday night.

Competition should not be much of an issue in the new location, particularly on Sunday evenings, as there are not a significant number of restaurants or coffee shops near North Berkeley BART (see map).

Map showing proximity of restaurants to North Berkeley BART station. Image: Google Maps
Map showing proximity of restaurants to North Berkeley BART station. Image: Google Maps

According to Off the Grid, their markets have at least two staff members, a market manager and an event staffer on site at all times “to maintain the space, problem-solve if issues occur, (and) handle set-up, breakdown and clean-up at the event conclusion.” They say their goal is “to create spaces that encourage neighborhood interaction, activation of outdoor eating spaces and provide value-priced, high-quality food items in a family-friendly environment.”

Off the Grid develops markets that are located in the urban cores of cities, but that use spaces that are not easily activated effectively throughout the day.

Off The Grid aims for new North Berkeley digs (11.05.13)
Off The Grid says goodbye to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto (12.20.12)
Off The Grid’s Telegraph Ave. debut attracts young crowds (07.13.12)
Off The Grid food truck fest to launch on Telegraph Avenue (06.22.12)
Local food names sign up for Berkeley Off The Grid truck (10.19.11)
Crowds turn out for Berkeley’s inaugural Off The Grid (06.02.11)
More local food trucks join Berkeley’s first Off The Grid (05.31.11)
Off The Grid to launch street food event in Berkeley (05.17.11)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...