ELKINS, W.Va. – What was an empty parking lot in Elkins last month has now become a food truck destination with the creation of Jimmy’z Food Truck Mall, a place for vendors from around the area to set up shop and share some great food with the public, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s safe. You can practice social distancing. All the vendors clean their trucks every night, and it’s a lot easier to clean a small food truck than it is to clean an entire restaurant,” said Owner Jimmy Phillips.
Phillips had originally hoped to build a new restaurant on the lot when he first bought it years ago, but over time changed his plans. Now with the COVID pandemic around, it’s not only good business for the mall, but it’s helpful to local vendors like Zul’s, who have far fewer events to visit than usual.
“With all of our events being cancelled this year that we’re normally at, it’s been really nice to have these little places that we could just pop up and start selling. We’ve got a couple different places that we have our trucks at, so it’s just been really nice to be able to still be out here,” said Zul’s employee Hannah Phillips.
It’s an especially disappointing time in Randolph County since the cancellation of the Mountain State Forest Festival means a lot less going on in town during its busiest season. But the new mall is still attracting vendors who traveled from out of state, like Shirley’s Steak Hoagies, who emphasized that the community support has been great.
“It’s been an amazing thing for us, especially being here. We just have such a good community here, the people that actually enjoy our food and familiar faces. So it’s really awesome that he’s opened this and opened it up so that we can come,” said Madison Mullen, who traveled to Elkins with the crew from Shirley’s
Jimmy’s Food Truck Mall is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, and it’s located on the corner of North Randolph Avenue and Hanley Street in Elkins.