The Republic’s new food truck isn’t going by the pub’s name, and that’s intentional. Instead of craft beer, Red River Kitchen focuses on locally-sourced food, and could someday become a brick-and-mortar restaurant of its own.
It’s named after the Red River Trail, the 1850s-era oxcart trail between Winnipeg and St. Paul. Republic co-owner Matty O’Reilly said he wants to remind people of a time when local food ingredients were the only option.
“It’s better, it’s fresh, and it drove less miles to get to you,” he said.
A rotating menu will feature seasonal ingredients including Wild Acres turkey, brats by Chef Kevin Kvalsten and Fisher Farms pork and bacon.
Red River is one of three food trucks slated for the Linden Hills Farmers Market, and it will appear at the Excelsior Farmers’ Market all summer on Thursday afternoons. The food truck may also make lunchtime stops at corporate campuses.
“We could roll the truck up to the door,” O’Reilly said. “If there was a food truck 20 years ago when I had a day job, I would have eaten there every day.”
The truck will also appear at area tap rooms.
“We know every single brewer and owner of every brewery in town,” O’Reilly said. “The tap room scene is vibrant, and all they need is a food truck.”
O’Reilly said they decided to launch the truck as a way to retain their staff year-round. In Uptown, summer business slows down without a patio, he said.
“The only time we can use the food truck is the only time we’re slow in Uptown,” he said.
More details will be posted on Twitter: @RepublicMN.