Daily Journal file photo
Patrons enjoy the fare from food trucks at last summer
Off the Grid, the mobile-food extravaganza that lit up downtown San Mateo last summer, will not be coming back this summer, company owner Matt Cohen informed the Daily Journal yesterday.
The city welcomed the event back informally in April but also decided to put out a request for proposals to see who else and what kind of extra benefits the city could get out of the Monday night events held at the downtown Caltrain station last year.
Cohen decided not to submit a proposal and is looking instead at opportunities in the South Bay. Off the Grid holds several events every week in San Francisco where a number of gourmet food trucks park, including at the Civic Center and Fort Mason.
"We want to be sure to send our thanks to everyone that came out to support Off the Grid: San Mateo and hope we’ll see some of those familiar faces down the road as we pop up around the Peninsula,” Cohen wrote in a statement.
Off the Grid will likely not operate in San Mateo this summer, said Marla McLaughlins, a publicist for the company.
"They decided the location wasn’t working and to find another spot,” she said.
The city has two proposals now, one from Moveable Feast, which is similar to Off the Grid and operated at the San Mateo County Event Center on Fridays last year and the other from Urban Table, which conducts farmers’ markets in the area.
The city had sought at least 10 proposals but only got two.
Kris Cesena, president of the Downtown San Mateo Association board, said her group is disappointed Off the Grid will not return this summer.
The DSMA supported Off the Grid’s return, Cesena said.
The DSMA Events Committee is currently reviewing the two latest proposals with the city’s Special Events Committee, Cesena said.
Many of the same vendors have participated in both Off the Grid and Moveable Feast events in the past, including Chairman Mao, Naked Chorizo, Cheese Gone Wild, Curry Up Now, Mama’s Empanadas and Whisk on Wheels.
San Mateo Deputy Mayor David Lim called the Monday night food trucks at the Transit Center a "good event” and that "it should stay.”
The city should make a decision on who will operate at the Transit Center by the middle of June, Lim said.
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.