The Milk Truck Finally Has a Set of Wheels, and Hopes to Hit the Road This Summer

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A relative abundance of food truck news this week -- the eminent arrival of the Red Hook Lobster Pound's new crustacean mobile, the Kimchi Taco Truck's long-awaited debut in Long Island City -- got us thinking about another truck of note. When, we wondered, would the Milk Truck take to the road?

So we called up the truck's owner, Keith Klein, and got some answers.

Although he's more than happy to be at the Brooklyn Flea, Klein has alfresco sandwich consumption on his mind. Recently, he submitted RFP bids to the Parks Department for a couple of locations in Manhattan. But while he waits for the department's decision, he's been staying busy with the the actual milk truck, which he hopes to have on the road in three to four months.

The reason for the truck's delay (initially, the plan was to be road-ready last year), Klein explains, was "finding the truck itself." He'd originally planned to use an old Divco milk truck, the compact and endlessly winsome vehicle that is now considered a multi-stop-delivery-era icon. Unfortunately, Divcos also come with space limitations for anyone over five feet tall. "We would have had to alter the rooftop, which would have defeated the purpose of our visual identity," Klein says. So instead he'll be using an 11-foot van that he's in the process of building out.

Once it's finished, Klein plans to have a regular schedule that will allow the truck to move neighborhoods on a daily basis. On weekdays, he wants to cater to "a few underserved neighborhoods" in Manhattan. Manhattan is "where the foot traffic is," he says. "It's kind of the business reality."

On the weekends, he's talked with a couple of businesses about doing promotional events, and may appear at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6. A restaurant is scheduled to open there sometime in the fall, but in the interim, the park may have food trucks make use of the space, à la Tavern on the Green.

Regardless of what happens, he'll still be slinging sandwiches at the Flea. "It's such an amazing thing," he says, still sounding a bit dazed by how successful he's been there. "We got off to such a good start that we weren't able to do anything else for a year. The Flea really took up a lot of our time, which isn't a bad thing."


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