Popular Jersey City Food Trucks Lucinda Creperie and The Krave Partnering to Open Storefront Restaurant
By Laryssa Wirstiuk • Sep 22nd, 2011
For food trucks and pop-up restaurants, 2011 has been a banner year. Bon Appetit just named San Francisco’s Mission Chinese Food – a food truck turned pop-up restaurant turned fusion brick-and-mortar eatery – one of the best new restaurants of the year.
The story is much the same locally, with food trucks having become some of the most popular dining options in Downtown Jersey City — not only for the lunchtime work crowd, but now for the after-work dinner crowd as well.
Two seemingly different Jersey City food trucks are riding this wave of success and popularity by partnering to open Kraverie at 24 Mercer Street, the former location of Cuban restaurant Ria’s Café.
Even the most unobservant residents of Downtown Jersey City have probably seen the bright yellow Lucinda Creperie truck parked in locations like Van Vorst Park, the Grove Street PATH Plaza and Harborside.
For many food truck owners, a restaurant is the ultimate goal. Natasha Usher – co-owner of Lucinda Creperie and Lucinda Burrito and Taco Truck with her husband Chris – always wanted to open a creperie.
“I wanted to do crepes, but we bought the taco and burrito truck first so that we could start right away,” she says. “The lady who sold us the truck showed us how to operate the truck and taught us the laws of operations. This gave us the experience we needed to do the crepe truck.”
Within five months, Lucinda Creperie was serving crepes to hungry residents and workers.
Around the same time, a neon green truck known as The Krave began serving Korean BBQ while parked in many of the same locations.
The Krave co-owner Charles Heo and his business partners — all graduates of New York University’s class of 2007 — saw potential in Jersey City.
“The city is still in its beginning stages of development, and we wanted to grow with it,” Heo says. “We could’ve worked in New York, but we chose Jersey City to bring new opportunities here.”
For Heo and his business partner Taejin In, partnering with the Ushers seemed like a natural progression. Both trucks park in the same commercial garage and share utilities.
“We had been looking for a location for a few months,” Heo says. “We were doing a street fair, and the parking lot owner on Montgomery Street stopped by our truck and told us about someone who was looking to sell a restaurant at Grove and Mercer Streets.” (more