Earlier this spring in April and May, a temporary food park brought a lively energy to the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Holmes Street. Neighbors and visitors alike gathered in South Dallas and communed over live jazz music and soul-satisfying eats.
Now, MLK Food Park is readying a comeback. The food park, a collaboration between Better Block and Do Right By the Streets (DRBTS), which was made possible through a $65,000 grant from The Real Estate Council (TREC), will return, but only for one day. It will once again temporarily park itself in South Dallas, this time at 2929 MLK Jr. Boulevard.
“I feel like it’s a little bit more intimate,” says DRBTS organizer Desiree Powell. Whereas the first run spread out vendors over several weekends, round two will bring 30 vendors for the whole community to experience together. After all, for Powell, the whole point is about creating a safe space for everyone to gather in South Dallas. “Someone might run into someone or run into their neighbor, or a kid may run into teacher,” she says.
On Sunday, July 11, from noon until 4 p.m., stop by for good food and a good time. Powell promises more vegan and vegetarian options this time around, the result of community feedback after the first event. There will baked goods from folks like The Butter Fairy (read our Q&A with the baker-DJ). Expect an appearance from Smith Spot BBQ, Chopping Roots vegan food truck, Cattail Foods (a gourmet sandwich outfit from Detroit), daiquiris, and many more.
Powell suggests arriving early or right on time. “A lot of fan favorites will sell out and lines get pretty long.” The long lines are a sign that people really want this for their neighborhood, one historically overlooked for food attractions like this. People in the community have been very receptive and are excited about seeing it come back, Powell says.
Her mission is to eventually make MLK Food Park a permanent fixture in a neighborhood that could use a space to incubate small, locally owned businesses. For now, Powell and fellow like-minded community leaders will continue to build in their own backyard.
A version of this story was published in the July 7 SideDish newsletter. Sign up here so you don’t miss the latest food and drink news and stories.