Dan Gustafson is back in business.
This month the two-term council member unveiled Wicked Palate — a mobile food truck that will serve American delicacies on the go. On Wednesday, Gustafson said the truck will hit up local parks, baseball games and make stops at businesses over the lunch hour.
The menu is still in flux, though decadent burgers will be prominently featured for certain. Gustafson said he and his wife Suzanne plan to expand the menu after they've gotten solid footing in their new trade. Eventually, Wicked Palate could be dishing up shrimp po' boys and ribs.
Gustafson is no stranger to the entrepreneurial life. In the 1980s, he owned a nightclub in northeast Minneapolis, the Roxy Music Cafe, which was known for jam sessions that drew many a musical luminary (in one case Harry Connick, Jr.'s entire band showed up to improv). More recently, Gustafson owned an Eagan freight-forwarding franchise called Concert Group Logistics. The recession cut the legs out from under the business, Gustafson said, a devastating blow that landed him in bankruptcy court in 2010.
Gustafson is hoping to make a new splash with Wicked Palate, which will hit the road as soon as the state health department concludes its permitting and inspections process.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm really excited about it," Gustafson said.
Wicked Palate is one of several food truck businesses that have sprung up in the Twin Cities area, according to a recent report from the Star Tribune, though few have penetrated the suburban market as yet.
Gustafson said Wicked Palate's route is still in the works, but that the truck will definitely be in business at the city's Art and All That Jazz Festival. To see Wicked Palate's Facebook page, click here.