Innsbrook food truck park The Glades relocates to new location ahead of opening date next month

glades new location innsbrook scaled

The Glades, a food trucks and community events concept, is now planning to open at 4991 Lake Brook Drive in Innsbrook. The business previously planned to open at the nearby former site of the Innsbrook After Hours concert series. (Jack Jacobs photo)

Undeterred by a zoning snag it encountered at the former Innsbrook After Hours property, an upstart food truck park is now planning to open in a different spot a short distance away.

The Glades, which would include a farmers market, food trucks and other amenities, is preparing to open at 4991 Lake Brook Drive in mid-October.

Previously The Glades planned to open at the former concert venue site at 4901 Lake Brook Drive, where it had hoped to be up and running this month. Founder Phu Nguyen said the relocation came in response to the discovery that the former concert venue site wasn’t zoned appropriately for The Glades concept.

“I wasn’t aware of that until the county brought it up to me. We found (a site) more suitable for what we’re trying to do and we’re working around that,” Nguyen said.

A farmers market, rather than a food truck park, is now planned to be the first phase of the project as The Glades rethinks the order it rolls out the various elements envisioned as part of the concept.

phu nguyen headshot scaled

Phu Nguyen

The food truck park originally envisioned as the venture’s first act is planned to follow later because it’s anticipated to be faster to get the necessary county approval for a farmers market, Nguyen said. The farmers market is also expected to feature food trucks, outdoor picnic tables and string lighting.

The original vision of The Glades remains broadly the same. Nguyen plans a phased approach to build out of the concept to include live music performances, a dog park, kids’ play area and other features in addition to the farmers market and food truck park. The Glades will also feature seating areas and décor, and is expected ultimately to be a seven-figure investment.

The new location of The Glades is a grassy area with a hill that sits between two large office buildings, North Shore I and North Shore II, and Lake Rooty, which Nguyen said presents opportunities and challenges.

“It’s a huge area of green pasture. We’re right in front of a lake. There’s also a hill, so that gives us the amphitheater infrastructure to begin with,” Nguyen said. “The difficulty of the new location is trying to have some cohesiveness between what we’re trying to do and what’s already existing. That’s really the most difficult aspect from a design standpoint. We want there to be harmony in the design.”

The property is owned by Highwoods Properties, and The Glades has a five-year lease on the site, Nguyen said.

The Glades now expects to operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The former Innsbrook After Hours site, meanwhile, remains part of a 34-acre assemblage that’s teed up for mixed-use development by Highwoods and Massachusetts-based firm Northland. In 2022, Highwoods sold 22 acres of the site to Northland, which is planning to bring retail and residential development to the property.

The Innsbrook After Hours property is slated for eventual office development by Highwoods.

glades new location innsbrook scaled

The Glades, a food trucks and community events concept, is now planning to open at 4991 Lake Brook Drive in Innsbrook. The business previously planned to open at the nearby former site of the Innsbrook After Hours concert series. (Jack Jacobs photo)

Undeterred by a zoning snag it encountered at the former Innsbrook After Hours property, an upstart food truck park is now planning to open in a different spot a short distance away.

The Glades, which would include a farmers market, food trucks and other amenities, is preparing to open at 4991 Lake Brook Drive in mid-October.

Previously The Glades planned to open at the former concert venue site at 4901 Lake Brook Drive, where it had hoped to be up and running this month. Founder Phu Nguyen said the relocation came in response to the discovery that the former concert venue site wasn’t zoned appropriately for The Glades concept.

“I wasn’t aware of that until the county brought it up to me. We found (a site) more suitable for what we’re trying to do and we’re working around that,” Nguyen said.

A farmers market, rather than a food truck park, is now planned to be the first phase of the project as The Glades rethinks the order it rolls out the various elements envisioned as part of the concept.

phu nguyen headshot scaled

Phu Nguyen

The food truck park originally envisioned as the venture’s first act is planned to follow later because it’s anticipated to be faster to get the necessary county approval for a farmers market, Nguyen said. The farmers market is also expected to feature food trucks, outdoor picnic tables and string lighting.

The original vision of The Glades remains broadly the same. Nguyen plans a phased approach to build out of the concept to include live music performances, a dog park, kids’ play area and other features in addition to the farmers market and food truck park. The Glades will also feature seating areas and décor, and is expected ultimately to be a seven-figure investment.

The new location of The Glades is a grassy area with a hill that sits between two large office buildings, North Shore I and North Shore II, and Lake Rooty, which Nguyen said presents opportunities and challenges.

“It’s a huge area of green pasture. We’re right in front of a lake. There’s also a hill, so that gives us the amphitheater infrastructure to begin with,” Nguyen said. “The difficulty of the new location is trying to have some cohesiveness between what we’re trying to do and what’s already existing. That’s really the most difficult aspect from a design standpoint. We want there to be harmony in the design.”

The property is owned by Highwoods Properties, and The Glades has a five-year lease on the site, Nguyen said.

The Glades now expects to operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The former Innsbrook After Hours site, meanwhile, remains part of a 34-acre assemblage that’s teed up for mixed-use development by Highwoods and Massachusetts-based firm Northland. In 2022, Highwoods sold 22 acres of the site to Northland, which is planning to bring retail and residential development to the property.

The Innsbrook After Hours property is slated for eventual office development by Highwoods.

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John Gerencser
John Gerencser
10 months ago

I just love how a street concept is hijacked, sanitised, and presented as a wonderful concept. Food trucks belong on the street next to the curb, or at big gatherings. They do not belong in a planned food truck neighbourhood. Kind of ruins the ambience.

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
10 months ago
Reply to  John Gerencser

Totally agree, there are acres of un-used parking lots or vacant land near newly constructed apartment megaplexes that would be more suitable for this kind of proposal. It’s still in the armpit Nuckols and 295, and now it’s buried in the same armpit, but in a shroud of 90’s spec office park hell.

Ken Spero
Ken Spero
10 months ago
Reply to  John Gerencser

Large gatherings of food trucks, called a food truck rodeo, are highly successful. Richmond hosted one for a few years at Chesterfield Town Center. I do question the concept of a weekly 3 day regular event. A successful farmers market with good food trucks is the norm. Again, I question the success of a 3 day farmer’s market or a 3 day food truck gathering.

Freddie Edwards
Freddie Edwards
10 months ago

Well at least now it’s not buried way back off the road and…oh wait!!…Wow, now you can’t even see it from the interstate? Please find a location where people are.Even Siri is going to ask, “why do you want to go to a grass field”. Wonder if the “Street” taco guy would do as much business if he was on a building 30 floors up?

Stefan Brooks
Stefan Brooks
10 months ago

As an employee who is walkable to this concept, I am excited that someone is going to give this concept a try in a vacant field. According to past articles on this site, this corner of Innsbrook is slated for redevelopment with a multi-family residential component which I feel will introduce more foot traffic opportunity for hybrid employees. If Mr. Nguyen wants to give this a go, I applaud him for the concept!

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
10 months ago
Reply to  Stefan Brooks

You did read it is Friday through Sunday and will start off as a Farmer’s Market. But they have no confirmed vendors but it will open mid-October. Which in Virginia is when most produce markets slow down for the season. Apples, pumpkins and gords, meats and eggs; the selection of local items fall off in October. I am not sure why one opens a Farm’s Market at the end of the growing season. Will it sell Christmas trees and wreaths???

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
10 months ago

Christmas trees and wreaths, maybe. But more likely, pickled products and other prepared foods, jams, small crafts, Root Vegetables, hand crafted cheeses, eggs, meats, overwintered crops, crop share signups, etc. there are plenty of things that can happen at a winter farmer’s market. Just because there isn’t one in this area now doesn’t mean one can’t be successful.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
10 months ago

Maybe but our winter markets have limited vendors and tend to be very small. And this will be competing with West End Farmers Market year round and seasonally with Manakin and Goochland Farmers Markets. Along with the dozen plus around the metro area for vendors. There is a unusual “hole” in the western Henrico in terms of farmers markets and will be interesting to see if this is successful.

Ken Spero
Ken Spero
10 months ago

No mention of RVA Big Market, by far the largest in the area, Saturdays in Bryan Park? Formally, South of the James Farmer’s Market, it was uprooted, due to politics during Covid, to its new home in Bryan Park. Hardly small, currently 120-130 vendors and in the slowest winter months of January and February, still larger than other area markets during their prime summer months.

Freddie Edwards
Freddie Edwards
10 months ago
Reply to  Stefan Brooks

God Bless America……..

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
10 months ago

To continue with the theme of snarky comments from others – this concept is removing a lot of valuable “green space” many on this comment forum tout. But generally, I like the idea of an entrepreneur offering other entrepreneurs their start in the food business. As I said before, many great restaurants started as a food truck. Wishing you success Phu Nguyen

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
10 months ago

Given how many employers and people live nearby having more local food options should be celebrated. This concept seems good and I don’t understand those complaining. Ultimately this is an undeveloped grassy field in an office park that’ll be put to use. Good luck to Phu!

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
10 months ago

It seems very fluid and evolving. I too, applaud Phu for rolling with the zoning changes and challenges involved that come with the design. It will be close to the very successful West End Farmer’s Market. But “no farms, no food” right? More growth and support for locally grown produce and handmade goods is a positive thing!

BT Westfall
BT Westfall
10 months ago

I feel like being in an office complex and only being open Friday-Sunday is going to be a hard sell to vendors…wouldn’t you want to catch the lunch crowds, and maybe early dinner crowds during weekdays?

Ken Spero
Ken Spero
10 months ago
Reply to  BT Westfall

No, the business lunch crowd doesn’t have time to go to an “event.” Many of the food trucks have regular schedules and set up at different businesses different days, some weekly, most monthly. The variety is attractive and the trucks gain more customers knowing if they’re missed, it’ll be a month before they can catch them again.

Bernie McAskey
Bernie McAskey
10 months ago

I’ve always wondered – where do the chefs wash their hands in a food truck?

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernie McAskey

They are required to have sinks and meet Department of Health standards. Trucks have a holding tank, not unlike any RV.

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernie McAskey

In the sink, where else?

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
10 months ago

I think I’ll stick with Tom Leonards.Food truck food always reminds me of being at the fair.

Ken Spero
Ken Spero
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Boyer

You’re way behind the times. Gone are the days of utilitarian type sandwich trucks serving blue collar worksites. Today’s food trucks are mostly the best of the best. And Tom Leonard’s is NOT a farmer’s market, regardless of its name.

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
10 months ago

Reminds me of what I saw in Hoboken,N.J. this summer. There was a small pier on the Hudson River lined with about 10 food trucks with an area for seating, all with a view of the Manhattan Skyline. Mostly all young adults, some families with small children. The seating section was mostly for alcohol with music blaring from speakers. The wife and I got some ice cream, walked the length of the pier then turned around and left to find a bench along the walkway far from the loud music and crowds. The pier had a fair/carnival atmosphere.

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
10 months ago

If you go out west food truck parks are a big deal. It provides a variety of choices. What could happen here, however, is that the restaurant operators at the Innsbrook Shoppes could take a hit.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Brian, this goes against your usual posts in support of freedom and capitalism. The restaurants you cite as being hurt are 2 miles away and they have limited outdoor seating. By that logic Short Pump Town Center hurt the Shoppes at Innsbrook, too.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
10 months ago

Can anyone suggest a reason other than racism for all the hate this concept is getting? Brian Glass, the places you are so worried about getting hit by this “invasive” concept are not even the closest places to the location, which makes me think all you know about Innsbrook might be driving past the places on Cox Road and Broad. I don’t think the places there will be hurt too much, for example Boychicks closes at 2PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So it’s not like they are even trying to serve people at these times. And i don’t think… Read more »

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

Oh, Ed, your life must be so simple. I have not seen any racism displayed — point some out for me please. MAYBE there is some classism up there somewhere, IDK… Not sure there is a lot of anti-asian racism out there other than the sorts who refer to asians as “White-aligned” when they don’t sign up for communist measures. I am a fan of foodtrucks when I like the food of course, and asian and south asian are my favorites, with latin american ones probably in the second category along with german sausage type ones. But, even on the… Read more »

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

Reading through your counters to others’ concerns, it seems like you make some valid points Ed. Too bad your leading with a tired accusation of evil/ignorance, applied with a very broad brush no less, make it hard to tease out the good in your argument.