It looks like 2015 is turning out to be a year of change for downtown Fort Lauderdale. The nearly lifeless waterfront walkway along the New River is gaining new attractions in the coming weeks. The Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale team has collaborated with the city to bring new food kiosks to the idyllic strip of land just north of the Andrews Avenue bridge.
Wholly Crepe, Nacho Business, and Expresso are slated to be the first tenants on the pathway. The project, which has taken the better part of a year to come together, aims to breathe new life into the area. Today, the nonprofit and the city are installing the semipermanent food truck trailers (they can be removed if a storm is coming) into Huizenga Park. The area already boasts numerous benches, tables, and a seating wall.
"We first stated talking about it six to eight months ago," says Riverwalk event manager Cristina Hudson. "It's kind of like a pilot program with the city to bring people down to Riverwalk."
While the food will offer pedestrians a chance to grab a bite to eat -- the only eatery currently operating in Riverfront is Briny Irish Pub -- the nonprofit is also aiming to bring tourists and fitness-minded locals down with the creation of Riverfront Recreation. The newly launched organization is bringing together several of the businesses that operate on the river. Set right next to Riverfront Pizza, in the actual Riverfront structure, the booking office will allow individuals to book trips and tours with Cycle Party, Precision Paddle Board, and Segway Fort Lauderdale. Options include bike tours, kayak rentals, quadracycle tours, and more. Dog training courses as well as yoga and cardio classes will also be regularly hosted in the surrounding parks.
"It's a culmination to create more activity and make Riverwalk more of a destination," says Hudson.
Starting next week, food trucks will be operating from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and for brunch on weekend mornings. The official ribbon-cutting for the project is taking place Monday at 4 p.m.