Two of Austin’s best food trucks — Thai truck Dee Dee and Mexican truck/restaurant Veracruz All Natural — are planning to open a huge garden park with restaurants, a bar, and community areas. The project will be found on 6405 Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley, pending zoning change approval.
The sprawling park will include on-site small restaurants, a bar, alfresco dining areas, an elaborate landscape with a focus on seasonal plants, trees, and sustainable elements (think rainwater collections), taking over nearly five areas of space. Ideally, the grounds will host an array of community events, including outdoor workout classes, farmers markets, and pop-up shops. Dee Dee co-owners wife-and-husband chef Lakana Sopajan-Trubiana and Justin Trubiana and Veracruz co-owners sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez are driving this to-be-named project.
The grounds will include three small standalone restaurants, one with Thai fare from Dee Dee, the other with Mexican fare and tacos from Veracruz, and the third to be determined that will also serve seasonal fare from a women-owned business. The bar will serve drinks and Mexican/Asian cocktails. There will be outdoor covered seating areas as well.
Noted green thumb Sopajan-TrubianaTrubiana wants to grow a garden on the grounds, perhaps with special appearances by the couple’s dog Mango. “My dream was always to have a little garden restaurant where I could share a part of my life, where I am able to show people what it’s like back home in Thailand where you grow your own food and cook with it,” she tells Eater. “I have to have a garden, I have to be in nature, it’s what brings me happiness.”
The Brodie Lane property belonged to Betty Grubbs, a World War II vet and Austinite who had been a major advocate for the University of Texas at Austin’s women’s sports teams through raising funds, selling tickets, and securing sponsorships. She died at the age of 100 in 2018.
Veracruz and Dee Dee approached Gary McIntosh, the executor of Grubbs’s estate and a close friend, with their potential plan, and he thought it would work well for the space. If the sale of the property goes through, a large portion will go towards a scholarship endowment for the University of Texas Women’s Athletics. Likewise, Veracruz and Dee Dee will host an annual fundraiser for Betty Grubb’s Endowed Scholarship Program.
But before anything can happen, Sunset Valley needs to approve a zoning change in order for the Brodie Lane project to come to fruition. First, there’s a meeting with the Sunset Valley Zoning Commission on Wednesday, January 26, which will either recommend or not recommend the plans. Then there’s the Sunset Valley City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 1. Trubiana hopes that they can prove to Sunset Valley that “this project is of great value to the local community.”
Sopajan-Trubiana echoes that sentiment: “With so many big national chains and restaurants moving into Austin, it’s important that the original local places that started here continue to thrive and keep Austin’s unique identity. This is also a great opportunity to support small local woman-owned businesses with our own unique cultures and identities.”
Reyna and Maritza Vazquez agree, writing: “There’s so much development happening in Austin right now. Rather than clear the property for maximum development, our goal is to build something in a minimal way that co-exists with the natural habitat. Our goal is to make something beautiful, something unique, and something delicious.”
If the plan gets approved, both Dee Dee and Veracruz will be the majority owners of the property while also operating long-term leases for their respective on-site restaurants.
The spaces will be designed by well-known restaurant architecture firm Michael Hsu, Campbell Landscape Architecture, and Stansberry Engineering Co.
The Trubianas opened Dee Dee in 2016, garnering much popularity with its short and strong Thai menu, and won the Eater Award for the best food truck of that year. The Vazquez sisters opened Veracruz in 2008 and have since grown the successful taco-focused business into several trucks and physical restaurant locations, including one in Los Angeles. The idea of this project actually started when the trucks were neighbors on East Cesar Chavez in 2016.