Midpoint park adds new offering, continues growth

A new restaurant will join the lineup at Midpoint Park and Eatery in the Innovation District of downtown Gainesville, filling the third of four spots.

Zen Asian Street Eats will join Plantology and Mexi Cocina at Midpoint once it advances through the permit process.

While the name and location are new, the owners of Zen Asian Street Eats have been working in the Gainesville food industry for several years as the creators behind Taste Sushi Bar and Asian Cuisine on NW 39th Avenue, Taste Pho and Noodle House on SW 34th Street, along with a food truck.

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Trimark Properties opened Midpoint Park and Eatery in March with room for four permanent food trucks.

Matthew Luedecke, director of commercial assets at Trimark, said the park continues to see new visitors as people learn about the option.

The park, which features turf and a variety of outdoor seating, is also available for private or public events. Currently, Luedecke said the park hosts about two events a month with the goal of increasing to one a week.

Trimark is still looking to fill the fourth option, and Luedecke said around 30 groups have already reached out to learn about the opportunity. He said the collaboration between the different food vendors and Trimark creates a strong business plan.

Midpoint Park & Eatery area

Unlike stand-alone food trucks, vendors rent the spot with Trimark providing marketing power, and the different options make the park an attractive stop for a group that can’t agree on what to eat.

“Most people don’t have a quarter million in cash that they can use to build out a restaurant,” Luedecke said.

Buying a lower end food trailer would cost around $100,000 for the same equipment that Landmark provides.

Most restaurants fail to turn a profit in its first year, Luedecke said, causing many restaurants to fail before long. But he said vendors at Midpoint Park and Eatery are seeing faster growth because of the set up.

Another perk, Trimark’s trailers allow for a liquor license that food trucks are ineligible for. Both current vendors are in the application process for their licenses.

Luedecke hopes the park can continue hosting events and said the company wants to add a small stage to the area for live music.

The next event at Midpoint, the Florida Vintage Market, will be from 1 to 6 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 12.

Midpoint Park & Eatery in the Innovation District

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