Late-night culinary cart dishes out hot dogs, tacos
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 03:05
While walking home from a bar with friends on Friday night, senior Rebecca Despins said she ordered food from a cart that recently opened on Main Street.
Despins, a dietetics major, said she usually eats healthier foods, but ordered spicy macaroni and cheese because of its low cost.
“I think that it’s really good food for a really cheap price,” Despins said. “A lot of other places are more expensive than they need to be.”
David Buckwalter, 28, a resident of Landenberg, Pa., said he opened the food cart in front of Ali Baba on Main Street last week. He sells spicy macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, tacos and pretzels.
While the cart has regular hours during weekdays, it is open between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Wednesday through Saturday, Buckwalter said.
He said when determining the cart’s hours of business, he decided to remain open late at night in order to attract the bar crowd whose late-night food options are limited.
Buckwalter said he became interested in cooking at his dad’s restaurant in Bear, Del. when he was eight years old. He would often skip school to go to work with him and said his passion for cooking later led him to culinary school.
Before operating the food cart, Buckwalter said he worked at the Stone Balloon Winehouse on Main Street and cooked at summer music festivals, such as Bonnaroo in Tennessee.
His most recent job was as a bartender in his hometown, but he soon quit to open his own business.
Buckwalter said his father owned a cart that was unused and located in Wilmington, which he decided to use for a new business.
Senior Kristen Molfetta said she thinks the new food cart is a valuable addition because it is open late at night, unlike others she’s seen around campus.
“People who live on Chapel Street will walk past it when they leave the bar, and it’s kind of close to [Klondike] Kate’s,” Molfetta said.
Mike Blovad, 48, a resident of Bear, Del. who operates a food cart on Amstel Avenue, said he thinks the new food cart will be a positive addition to Newark.
Blovad said he does not think the new food cart will affect his business because both businesses are in different locations in Newark and serve different types of food.
He said he cooks Asian, Cuban and Pacific Rim cuisine served with home-brewed tea.
“We don’t worry about competition because what we do is really different,” Blovad said. “I don’t think that it is something that people can replicate.”
Bennie Dollard, who operates a food cart in front of the National 5 and 10 on Main Street, said he does not think the new food cart will affect his business.
“If you have a business, you don’t have time to worry about someone else,” Dollard said.
He said if Buckwalter can find a way to consistently draw in business, he will be success
“This is a business that you have to be built for,” Dollard said. “I’ve been out here for seven years. I’ve seen many come and go. I wish him well.”