Columbus commons and the columbus dinin hall showcase

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Columbus Commons and the Columbus Dinin’ Hall showcase different gourmet food trucks every day for lunch, and it is primarily Columbus’s Anglo middle class who mostly enjoy these spaces. Geographers have demonstrated that spaces are often codified by race and ethnicity (Guthman 2008b, Hoelscher 2003, 2006; Saldanha 2006; Schein 2006, Slocum 2007) and this is certainly true of Columbus’s newfound gourmet food truck spaces. For instance, the Dinin’ Hall is a place for Anglo middle-class consumption practices. It is a renovated warehouse located near downtown where food trucks can park during lunch hours. The facility is designed for a person to order a plate of food outside and savor it sitting down inside a
Lemon, Robert D. 2017. “The Spatial Practices of Food Trucks.” Book Chapter in Agyeman, Julian. (Eds.) From Loncheras to Lobsta Love: Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice. MIT Press. (Forthcoming). climate-controlled environment (Figure 9.1). In addition, customers pay for their meal indoors with cash or credit, and the food truck proprietors serve the customers at their table. The owners of Dinin’ Hall, Tim Lai and Eliza Ho, initially presented their idea in an online article for Columbus Underground: “The Concept of Dinin’ Hall came from a simple desire to create a better dining experience of street food” (Ho and Lait 2012, ColumbusUnderground.com). According to Tim and Eliza, eating on the street was messy and inefficient, and they believed there must be a better way to experience cuisine served from a truck. Therefore they came up with the concept to put street food in a café. [Figure 9.1 Here] Street-food dining hall is an oxymoron; Tim and Eliza are formalizing the informal. Food trucks originated to provide a cheap and convenient way for the proletariat to eat on the go. However, middle-class Midwesterners must modify ethnic and working-class street food practices to their own comfort level. Dinin’ Hall appeared to be very successful when it first opened. Columbus’s Anglo middle class seemed to like the hybridity of the space. Tables and chairs refined street food space, as well as expanded the types of cuisine one could now order from a truck. Moreover, the customers also have plates, forks, and knives—not very traditional to street food practice, but perhaps more amenable. Thus,
Lemon, Robert D. 2017. “The Spatial Practices of Food Trucks.” Book Chapter in Agyeman, Julian. (Eds.) From Loncheras to Lobsta Love: Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice. MIT Press. (Forthcoming). through the process of tailoring proletarian street food practices to middle-class preferences, Dinin’ Hall has further refashioned and recoded food truck space. While at Dinin’ Hall, I noticed the remarkable absence of Latinos. It was mainly Anglos ordering from gourmet food trucks. In many respects, the space privileges white, non-Latino middle-class customers and gourmet food truck owners. The geographic spaces within which traditional taco trucks and the gourmet food trucks operate are socially distinct—separated by the food trucks’ spatial practices and the communities’ taste preferences. However, there is one

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