There are plenty of reasons to get excited about things happening in downtown Mobile right now. New restaurants and bars like FIVE, Dauphin’s, and The Merry Widow are opening up left and right while The Haberdasher recently reopened its doors, construction of the highly anticipated Mardi Gras Park is well underway, Carnival Cruise lines will soon be returning to the Port City, Gulf Coast Ducks now offers an exciting way to see our city by land and water, and the list goes on.
This downtown renaissance brings a renewed sense of community – a community that believes in Mobile and wants to live, work, eat, drink and shop downtown. As someone who works downtown, I’m lucky enough to see it firsthand every day. It’s exciting to walk around during lunch breaks and happy hours, see all of the wheels spinning in motion, and wonder what this place might look like in 10 years.
More and more concerts, festivals and other various events are flocking to the area too. The upcoming Bay Bites Food Truck Festival is one that truly celebrates and embodies two of the things we love most about Mobile – our delicious food and our beautiful riverfront. (Spoiler alert: it happens to be right around the corner, on Wednesday, July 20 at Cooper Riverside Park.)
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Only in its third year, Bay Bites has evolved, almost simultaneously with the revival of downtown Mobile, into one of the most unique annual events in the area. Where else can you enjoy delicious cuisine from our local food trucks, sip on ice-cold craft beer, listen to live music and play lawn games with your friends while overlooking the Mobile River?
This year, try some creamy Gulf Crab bisque from Von’s, smoked BBQ from Smith’s Catering, Shrimp & Grits from Grits & Grub, Conecuh Dogs from Lala’s Cruisin’ Kitchen or Mac & Cheese Spring Rolls from JoJo’s Food Trunk. Once you’re finished, top it off with a cookies & milk popsicle from Frio’s Gourmet Pops, a watermelon snow cone from Sno Biz on Wheelz or a fresh coffee or espresso from Yellowhammer Coffee.
But wait, did I mention the beer? For only $15 (if you pay in advance) you’ll get to enjoy three craft beers from Sweetwater Brewing. These aren’t your everyday Miller or Coors Lights (not that we don’t love those too), so expect to be leaving in a slightly better mood than when you arrived. If you’re not a craft beer lover, try your hand at some lawn games, enjoy the live music by Cary Laine (a local sensation from “The Voice) or take a few jabs at your favorite (or least favorite) local celebrity in the dunking booth, a much-anticipated addition to this year’s event.
Best of all, you’ll be supporting a great cause along the way. Proceeds from the event benefit Mobile Baykeeper’s efforts for clean water, clean air and healthy communities so our Bay, Delta, rivers and creeks are safe for us to enjoy.
July 20: Bay Bites Food Truck Festival
Cooper Riverside Park • Downtown Mobile
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the event.
Text by Hanlon Walsh