Food trucks transform to brick and mortar restaurants


by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

Posted on September 12, 2013 at 7:07 AM

AUSTIN -- Austin is world famous for its mobile eateries. Now, many of the most popular spots have found success in a more traditional space.

Aaron Franklin opened Franklin Barbeque in a food trailer in 2009. Less than a year and a half later, the mouth watering smoked meats attracted a big enough following to open a restaurant in East Austin.

"We opened the trailer hoping it would be busy enough to support itself, but we never imagined this at all," said Franklin. 

Now customers line up hours before the restaurant even opens at 11 a.m. Franklin's closes when the food runs out.

"We came all the way from Boise, Idaho to come here and eat," said customer Sean Cluff. 

Torchy's Tacos, Barley Swine, Hey Cupcake and East Side King are among the on-the-go eateries turned into brick-and-mortar restaurants. Owners say there is less risk starting small.

"We started having hour long waits in the lines, and I thought it might be a good time to branch out a little bit," said Gourdoughs owner Paula Samford. 

In three years, Gourdoughs expanded from an airstream to a restaurant on South Lamar.

Her business offers specialty donuts, including the "Squealing Pig" piled high with cream cheese frosting, candied jalapenos, housemade strawberry jelly, and bacon.

"It's not called Gourdoughs small donuts, its called Gourdoughs big fat donuts," said R.J. Spade. 

Unique Austin eateries getting their start on the go, transforming their dreams into more concrete businesses.