Greenway’s managers hope food will make the park more appetizing

By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / June 11, 2010

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Food vendors will open for business Monday on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, offering everything from Argentine sandwiches to fruit smoothies as part of an effort to draw larger summer crowds to the downtown Boston park system.

The vendors will help fill an obvious void on the Greenway, which provides plenty of open space but little in the way of food or drink to give people a reason to linger there. By the end of the month, six new food stands will be operating, most of them between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“The goal is to create a great public amenity and have food that is interesting to a broad range of people,’’ said Nancy Brennan, executive director of the conservancy that manages the park system. “It will be healthy, affordable food that meets people’s needs.’’

The vendors, to be located at strategic points between South Station and the North End, were selected as part of a one-year pilot program to begin introducing food service to the 1.3-mile string of parks. Each vendor will pay monthly rent, producing about $50,000 to help finance park operations.

The vendors, selected from 21 bidders, include:

■ Clover Food Lab Truck, in Dewey Square park near South Station. The truck, powered partly by recycled cooking oil, will sell mostly vegetarian food, including sandwiches, salads, and french fries. The truck opened this week.

■ Silk Road BBQ, in the Rowes Wharf Plaza. The unique circular kiosk will offer charcoal-grilled meat skewers, taking its inspiration from the world’s original grilled takeout, served along the passage between Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The kiosk will also serve free hot tea, observing the Central Asian tradition of always offering tea to visitors, as well as encouraging them to stop and chat.

■ Beantown Franks ’n Spuds, near the Rings Fountain at Atlantic Avenue and Milk Street. The solar-powered pushcart will sell hot dogs, roasted rosemary potatoes, and corn on the cob.

■ Andale Express, also near the Rings Fountain. The cart, adapted from the downtown Boston restaurant, will sell Latin favorites, including burritos, tacos, and Argentine sandwiches called choripan.

■ Going Bananas, near the carousel across from Faneuil Hall. An offshoot of the North End store will sell fruit smoothies, Italian ice, fresh fruit, and bottled drinks.

■ Boston Pushcart, in the North End Park, at Cross and Hanover streets. North End restaurateur Joe Bono, owner of Al Dente and Benevento’s, will sell hot dogs, Italian sausages, and lemonade, among other offerings.

Casey Ross can be reached at