Skinny’s Lounge: Food Truckin’ Through Happy HourOctober 27, 2010 By: Emily Hanna Mayock
The food truck craze is gaining popularity nationwide, most recently hitting Skinny’s Lounge on Monday, Oct. 25, when the North Hollywood nightclub launched The Great Food Truck Happy Hour. Customers new and old came out to celebrate the grand opening event, which featured five food trucks with cuisine ranging from barbecue to Filipino fusion as well as a ribbon cutting and a live jazz swing band.
The grand opening also launched new hours for the lounge, which previously didn’t open until 8 p.m. but now opens at 5 p.m. just in time for the happy hour crowd. However, Skinny’s isn’t licensed to cook food, leading the venue to lose hungry patrons. The food truck happy hour provides Skinny’s with an alternative because the cuisine isn’t prepared on-premise. During happy hour, one food truck — for now — per night sits outside Skinny’s, touting its wares. Ideally, once guests purchase the food, they’ll venture inside the 3,000-square-foot lounge and take a seat in one of the booths or a lounge chair and sip on the club’s discounted drinks ($2 off beer, wine and cocktails) while noshing on the food truck fare.
Promotions Director Matthew Nash says the club is feeding on the “zeitgeist” of food truck culture that is happening in the artsy district Skinny’s calls home. “The concept is really from the European bistro style where you bring your own bottle of wine for them to open and decanter for you while you eat,” Nash says. “Instead, we’re turning that on its side and saying, ‘Let’s bring the food to where the wine is.’”
To build on that foodie culture Nash says Skinny’s will feature food and drink pairings; management reaches out to the food trucks in advance to find out what they’ll be serving and then matches beers, wines and cocktails to the food trucks’ menus. Skinny’s then posts fliers featuring the food truck’s logo along with the food and drink pairings so guests can choose wisely.
Additionally, Skinny’s promotes the happy hour via local media outlets and with food truck bloggers. The promotion will continue indefinitely; in fact, owner Simon Jones intends to bring in more trucks per night as the happy hour grows and have the trucks come back as the evening progresses for late-night eats.