Baratelli Closes Monthly Food Truck Gathering, the Original, at Fashion Square Mall

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Food Truck Bazaar

Mark Baratelli, the original impresario of Orlando's food truck scene, has announced that he is discontinuing the monthly Food Truck Bazaar at Fashion Square Mall. The second-Sunday event was the first regularly scheduled food truck cavalcade in Central Florida. According to a statement from Baratelli, the gathering has been at Fashion Square nearly every month since its inception in May of 2011. Those early days often saw 15 to 25 trucks and served thousands of truck food fans. (At top, the line for the Korean BBQ Taco Box at the first Fashion Square Food Truck Bazaar.)

"To say the attendance dropped in the past 12 months is an understatement," Baratelli said in the statement.

He notes that it is only the Fashion Square event that is shutting down. "We will continue to run our other seven monthly locations across Central Florida."

Although Baratelli was the first to organize food truck gatherings, others have stepped up to offer regular events. The food truck scene in general is doing fine, though most trucks seem to be concentrating on catering, special events and setting up outside of businesses and bars where they are the only food truck option.

However, some former fans have complained that the original food trucks that focused on offering restaurant quality food have been overshadowed by trucks that serve mundane or lower quality options.

What do you think? Are you still a food truck fan? Do you attend any regular food truck caravans? Let us know in the comments below.