Food truck park The Glades rolling into former Innsbrook After Hours site

glades rendering 2 scaled Cropped

A rendering of The Glades, a food truck park that’s planning to open next month at the old Innsbrook After Hours location in Henrico County. The Glades plans to build over in multiple phases over time. (Images courtesy The Glades)

The former Innsbrook After Hours property has lined up its next act.

The Glades, a 4-acre food truck park from local entrepreneur Phu Nguyen, is planning to begin operations in mid-September at 4901 Lake Brook Drive, where the long-running concert series was previously held.

The Glades will feature about 20 food trucks, as well as covered seating, plantings and decorative lighting on its opening day.

“The idea of The Glades is to be a hub for people to hang out,” said Nguyen. “It’s a community space where friends and families and business professionals can come and hang out and enjoy great food. But also find nooks and crannies that are somewhat uniquely designed and constructed throughout the park.”

phu nguyen headshot

Phu Nguyen

The full development of The Glades is expected to play out over time. Later phases are expected to include a dog park, a kids’ play area and more seating among other features. Events like farmers’ markets, art exhibitions and live music performances are also on the drawing board.

“There’s going to be a lot of interesting features. I’m planning to build it out in phases. That way there’s always something to look forward to,” Nguyen said.

The park is expected to be a seven-figure investment at full buildout, Nguyen said.

The Glades is situated within a 34-acre site at Nuckols Road and Interstate 295 in Innsbrook that Highwoods Properties has teed up for multi-use development. Last year Highwoods sold 22 of those acres to Massachusetts-based Northland, which is planning to bring retail and residential development to the property.

The Glades site was formerly occupied by Innsbrook After Hours, which EventMakers-USA operated until the concert series was paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately never picked back up in that location. Though no longer operated by EventMakers, the Innsbrook After Hours series lives on at the Innsbrook Shoppes center on Cox Road.

Highwoods, a major landlord in Innsbrook, still owns the remaining 12 acres that include the old concert venue, where The Glades will reside. The firm is eyeing the acreage for future office development.

But with that project still a ways off, Highwoods Richmond market leader Jane DuFrane said The Glades offers a means to bring an amenity to complement the existing nearby office buildings that Highwoods owns and ahead of broader development plans.

“An overarching theme in Innsbrook is we want to make our properties more commute-worthy and we feel like people are better together. Food and beverage is a way to do that. It’s something we’ve heard our customers ask for,” DuFrane said. “Northland will develop retail with their proposed project. However, it is several years out and we have to solve for that issue today.”

glades rendering 1

In addition to being a food truck park, The Glades plans to position itself as a community gathering place that will hold various events.

The Glades signed a five-year lease on its 4-acre site last weekend. DuFrane said that when the time comes to start construction on new offices, and if The Glades has proven itself a success, Highwoods would help The Glades relocate to a new site.

Amid changing attitudes around working in offices as a result of the pandemic, Nguyen said he aims to create a destination that would appeal not only to Innsbrook office workers but also to families in the area.

“The corporate climate will do its thing. I think we just need to focus on creating an environment that’s appealing. This will potentially be a factor that will draw in more corporate clients to locate themselves in the area,” he said.

The seating areas to be established in the park’s first phase would take the form of repurposed shipping containers, and as of this week, Nguyen said he was still working on how many would be installed initially.

About a half dozen vendors have already been signed up to operate at The Glades, Nguyen said. Among them are Calypso’s Caribbean Kitchen, as well as new trucks that plan to make their debut at The Glades. The park intends to market itself through a social media campaign that hasn’t kicked off yet.

Nguyen, who also founded and later sold food takeout service FoodUp, said visitors to The Glades will be able to order from the food trucks present on a given day from the park’s website.

Food trucks will pay a fee to operate at the park, and the fee includes access to water and electricity. Nguyen said the electricity access would preclude the need for trucks to use their own power generators, and is intended to cut down on noise at the park. The site already features outdoor electrical infrastructure left over from the tenure of Innsbrook After Hours that The Glades plans to utilize.

The park’s fees for food truck operators range from a $120 pay-as-you-go daily rate to a $560 seven-day access package, per its website.

glades innsbrook after hours site

A view of the former Innsbrook After Hours concert series site that The Glades food truck park has taken over to establish itself. (Jack Jacobs photo)

The park is planned to operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Its first day of operation is planned to be Sept. 15.

The Glades is hiring for marketing, maintenance, vendor relations and other roles, per its website.

Nguyen said he was inspired to start The Glades when he made a pit stop to order from a food truck during a late-night drive around 2018.

“The inspiration for this was an 11 p.m. drive. I saw this food truck and I pulled in. While I was waiting, I noticed this huge parking lot and there was only one food truck. That was the light bulb moment. Over the years I kept dwelling on it and one day decided to go for it,” he said.

glades rendering 2 scaled Cropped

A rendering of The Glades, a food truck park that’s planning to open next month at the old Innsbrook After Hours location in Henrico County. The Glades plans to build over in multiple phases over time. (Images courtesy The Glades)

The former Innsbrook After Hours property has lined up its next act.

The Glades, a 4-acre food truck park from local entrepreneur Phu Nguyen, is planning to begin operations in mid-September at 4901 Lake Brook Drive, where the long-running concert series was previously held.

The Glades will feature about 20 food trucks, as well as covered seating, plantings and decorative lighting on its opening day.

“The idea of The Glades is to be a hub for people to hang out,” said Nguyen. “It’s a community space where friends and families and business professionals can come and hang out and enjoy great food. But also find nooks and crannies that are somewhat uniquely designed and constructed throughout the park.”

phu nguyen headshot

Phu Nguyen

The full development of The Glades is expected to play out over time. Later phases are expected to include a dog park, a kids’ play area and more seating among other features. Events like farmers’ markets, art exhibitions and live music performances are also on the drawing board.

“There’s going to be a lot of interesting features. I’m planning to build it out in phases. That way there’s always something to look forward to,” Nguyen said.

The park is expected to be a seven-figure investment at full buildout, Nguyen said.

The Glades is situated within a 34-acre site at Nuckols Road and Interstate 295 in Innsbrook that Highwoods Properties has teed up for multi-use development. Last year Highwoods sold 22 of those acres to Massachusetts-based Northland, which is planning to bring retail and residential development to the property.

The Glades site was formerly occupied by Innsbrook After Hours, which EventMakers-USA operated until the concert series was paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately never picked back up in that location. Though no longer operated by EventMakers, the Innsbrook After Hours series lives on at the Innsbrook Shoppes center on Cox Road.

Highwoods, a major landlord in Innsbrook, still owns the remaining 12 acres that include the old concert venue, where The Glades will reside. The firm is eyeing the acreage for future office development.

But with that project still a ways off, Highwoods Richmond market leader Jane DuFrane said The Glades offers a means to bring an amenity to complement the existing nearby office buildings that Highwoods owns and ahead of broader development plans.

“An overarching theme in Innsbrook is we want to make our properties more commute-worthy and we feel like people are better together. Food and beverage is a way to do that. It’s something we’ve heard our customers ask for,” DuFrane said. “Northland will develop retail with their proposed project. However, it is several years out and we have to solve for that issue today.”

glades rendering 1

In addition to being a food truck park, The Glades plans to position itself as a community gathering place that will hold various events.

The Glades signed a five-year lease on its 4-acre site last weekend. DuFrane said that when the time comes to start construction on new offices, and if The Glades has proven itself a success, Highwoods would help The Glades relocate to a new site.

Amid changing attitudes around working in offices as a result of the pandemic, Nguyen said he aims to create a destination that would appeal not only to Innsbrook office workers but also to families in the area.

“The corporate climate will do its thing. I think we just need to focus on creating an environment that’s appealing. This will potentially be a factor that will draw in more corporate clients to locate themselves in the area,” he said.

The seating areas to be established in the park’s first phase would take the form of repurposed shipping containers, and as of this week, Nguyen said he was still working on how many would be installed initially.

About a half dozen vendors have already been signed up to operate at The Glades, Nguyen said. Among them are Calypso’s Caribbean Kitchen, as well as new trucks that plan to make their debut at The Glades. The park intends to market itself through a social media campaign that hasn’t kicked off yet.

Nguyen, who also founded and later sold food takeout service FoodUp, said visitors to The Glades will be able to order from the food trucks present on a given day from the park’s website.

Food trucks will pay a fee to operate at the park, and the fee includes access to water and electricity. Nguyen said the electricity access would preclude the need for trucks to use their own power generators, and is intended to cut down on noise at the park. The site already features outdoor electrical infrastructure left over from the tenure of Innsbrook After Hours that The Glades plans to utilize.

The park’s fees for food truck operators range from a $120 pay-as-you-go daily rate to a $560 seven-day access package, per its website.

glades innsbrook after hours site

A view of the former Innsbrook After Hours concert series site that The Glades food truck park has taken over to establish itself. (Jack Jacobs photo)

The park is planned to operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Its first day of operation is planned to be Sept. 15.

The Glades is hiring for marketing, maintenance, vendor relations and other roles, per its website.

Nguyen said he was inspired to start The Glades when he made a pit stop to order from a food truck during a late-night drive around 2018.

“The inspiration for this was an 11 p.m. drive. I saw this food truck and I pulled in. While I was waiting, I noticed this huge parking lot and there was only one food truck. That was the light bulb moment. Over the years I kept dwelling on it and one day decided to go for it,” he said.

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Brett Themore
Brett Themore
10 months ago

I thought the whole point of a food truck is they come to wherever you are, at an event, generally in an area with alot of people. It’s a convenience. Not sure I’d drive to the armpit of Nuckols and 295 to get dirty water hot dog.

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
10 months ago
Reply to  Brett Themore

A recent phenomenom – but food truck food is usually expensive. I’ll bet nary a hot dog be found there. Many of the ‘best” restaurants started as a food truck. This will be a great way for entepreneurers to start their dream of a restaurant! I like it!

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
10 months ago
Reply to  Brett Themore

Some of the best food I’ve ever had has come from food trucks. They’re not just hot dog carts.

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
10 months ago
Reply to  Justin Ranson

Totally agree. But the whole point is to have them where crowds are and brick/mortar locations are not present or are undersized for the quantity of patrons, a temporary solution. There are no crowds here. Otherwise, they they simply take business and tax revenue from those invested in a community away to their community.

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
10 months ago
Reply to  Brett Themore

That is ONE usage of food trucks – The other is building a smaller events destination that draws folks in – which is what this does. It’s like a modern food court. We used to go to Regency just for the food court. That’s what this is doing. Plus, if you read the entire article, you’d see that the food truck court is phase 1, and other open space opportunities will eventually roll out as well. And the general future plan for Innsbrook is to have residential and commercial, so this will be great for the folks who live and… Read more »

Jen Morris
Jen Morris
10 months ago

This is a great idea! Can’t wait to visit it!

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
10 months ago

If I was the owner of the Innsbrook Shops I would be furious! This is direct competition, within the office park, to all of the rent paying restaurants.

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

They’re owned by different people so there is should not be anything in their lease that would allow them to complain. Why should there not be competition? Plus, depending on the weather I would rather go to an inside restaurant.

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

I’ve heard food trucks described as seagulls. They swoop in from nowhere, take all the food (patrons, money and taxes), scream loudly, Sh$# all over the place, and than leave. They simply take from a hyper local perspective, and give nothing.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

The Glades is 2 miles north of the Innsbrook Shoppes and aren’t you all about “freedom” and free markets? The Glades only has outdoor seating from what I can tell so the two customer bases seem quite different.

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Overall, competition is good for the area, and it staves off stagnation.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
10 months ago

This idea should do well given the area doesn’t have that many non-chain restaurants and how much they are investing into the ambiance of the space. A lot of office tenants will be glad to have something like this, too. It’s interesting to read that they wish to keep this space available should a new tenant want a new build after the 5 year lease for The Glades is up. they seem to think office demand will return, and it’s probably a good idea to hedge their bets.

Latoria Henderson
Latoria Henderson
10 months ago

Hello,

How do we get in contact with the owner, if interested in getting more details on this site for food trucks?

Nichole Elkins
Nichole Elkins
10 months ago

Easy to find via Google. Looks like they already have the website up and runnign with a portal for truck vendors: https://www.the-glades.com/vendor

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
10 months ago

I don’t understand what the shipping containers are for in the project???? So you can have a place to sit to eat or are the food trucks going to set up in them??? Shipping containers are NOT conformable to use unless a LOT of money it put into them. In places were they are used a basic picnic shelters and up to full bars you can see failures in similar sized markets. Baton Rouge opened in 2020 and closed in 2021. Austin opened them in 2011/12 and they closed 2022.

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
10 months ago

Shipping containers are so 2010.

Freddie Edwards
Freddie Edwards
10 months ago

So the rendering shows 22 food trucks. Didn’t even realize we had 22 food trucks in the metro area? (quick search reveals 14 food trucks in and around Richmond, 7 of those have a high ranking) So if the temperature is decent and the humidity is decent and it’s not raining and the wind is not coming from the North (County dump smell from across 295) we have 200 people show up for dinner. That’s 9 meals per truck? How many meals does a food truck have to sell to make money? If 400 people show up that’s 18 meals… Read more »

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
10 months ago

oh just stop with the financial pragmatism – look over there at the beauty and the zen….(sarc)

Linda Clark
Linda Clark
10 months ago

Excited for this as I live very close to this venue. I sure hope they have some local bands play there as well. 🙂

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
10 months ago
Reply to  Linda Clark

Would love more opportunities for live music in Henrico!!

Ricky Benson
Ricky Benson
10 months ago

No entertainment? I don’t see this working without a reason other than just food trucks to bring in customers. Maybe one or two days a week… but definitely not seven days a week. You need a hook to bring in customers!!!