PUNXSUTAWNEY — A popular Punxsutawney restaurant has made its way to the food truck scene with a spin-off, shortened menu and mobile venue.
The Chuck Wagon is a food truck created by the family of Frank’s Star Lunch, specifically Chuck Hetrick. Frank’s Star Lunch was started by brothers Frank and Chuck Hetrick, and named after their grandfather’s restaurant, Star Lunch.
According to Chuck’s daughter, Mandi Perry, family members were often questioned about offering mobile food service, or catering to events. Finally, a food trailer was bought, and the Chuck Wagon was created.
“We get a lot of requests for private events and things like that. We had always done that through Frank’s Star Lunch, and then we just decided to build the wagon so we had a mobile unit,” Perry said.
The food truck uses the same homemade recipe patrons find at Frank’s Star Lunch, the family tradition hotdog sauce. The family recipe for the sauce was created by their grandfather, and used when Frank and Chuck would sell hotdogs during the SSCD School lawnfest.
When Frank retired as a teacher, the two decided they would open the restaurant with this sauce recipe.
New to the Chuck Wagon is loose burgers fries, or locally known as Carlino burgers. The chopped, loose meat burger now comes on fries with cheese and several choices of toppings.
“The topping that we do on everything is the hot dog sauce, which is the family tradition,” Perry said.
Perry said her husband was the one who finally suggested looking for a food truck, and travelled to Pittsburgh to buy one. Hetrick worked on building it through winter, and was ready to start in summer.
The Punxsutawney Festival in the Park was set to be the truck’s first event, starting out as locally as they could.
“We have some events booked already in local and surrounding areas. We have a few weddings coming up that we’re going to be doing. We’re trying everything out. We’re really not saying ‘no’ too much. We want to experience it all,” Perry said.
Hetrick said his daughter is the mastermind behind all the marketing for the food truck. She said people can see where the truck will be by following the Facebook page, the Chuck Wagon.
“It’s nice to be able to keep the restaurant going, and when we’re available then we’ll start this up and take it places,” Perry said.
Frank’s Star Lunch had it’s final day at the current location on Saturday, and will be closed until about mid-August to move to its new location on North Findley Street. The new location will be where the Ramblin’ Rose Cafe previously was.