Knoxville Central Gas Station Food Truck Fleet Has New Ownership

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Central Filling Station is under new ownership and management, which plans to build on the family, foodie and beer-loving environment established in 2018.

Local real estate group SMJT, which already owns the property at 900 N. Central St., now owns the business, according to a news release.

SMJT and other local partners announced the acquisition on Wednesday.

“The wonderful elements of Central Filling Station that have made it so popular, such as food, fun and community, will continue,” new general manager Charles Ellis said in the statement. “We also plan to provide people with creative new ways to have fun outdoors in a safe and fun environment.”

The park is ‘a community asset’

Joe Fox, co-founder of Blühen Botanicals, is a partner of SMJT.

Fox could not be reached Tuesday to discuss the changes, but said in the press release that the food truck fleet represents “the wonderful community that makes Knoxville unique.”

“Given the impact of the pandemic, outdoor spaces like the food truck park play an important role in providing safe and fun gathering places for everyone,” he said. “Central Filling Station is a community asset that people want to see live, and we hope this park will be successful for many years to come.”

Alden and Scott Larrick founded Central Filling Station in March 2018 as a “family-friendly and dog-friendly neighborhood hangout,” according to the statement.

“I mean our hands basically touched everything you see here, everything that happened,” Scott Larrick told Knox News ahead of the opening. “We either built it or worked closely with the people who built it.

“It’s kind of been a labor of love, and we’ve kind of brought everyone along…there’s a lot of people who have helped us along the way.”

Ellis told Knox News that Scott and Alden are “passing the torch” and will not be involved in the business.

“We want to support their legacy going forward,” Larrick said.

Expect a similar vibe

The food truck park has grown in popularity over the past two years, hosting major events including the Sunset on Central music festival.

The central service station is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays. On Friday and Saturday, hours are extended until 10 p.m.

Those hours will remain under new ownership, according to the statement.

The company will maintain its “firm partnership” with the food trucks that pass through the central gas station, Ellis said. Customers should also expect to see some familiar faces working there.

Ellis lives half a mile from the company and is enthusiastic about developing the neighborhood’s “working class” vibe at Central Filling Station.

“The tight-knit community involved there is unlike any other place I’ve lived, especially with the support it provides for local businesses,” he said.

Beer, games, music and more

The Central Gas Station was Knoxville’s “first full-service food truck fleet,” the statement said.

About a year after Central Filling Station opened, David Yousif and James Tourville launched the Southside Garage food truck fleet on Sevier Avenue.

The central gas station also serves canned beer in a shipping container and has many picnic tables scattered around the property.

A covered seating area can also host concerts in the grounds.

The company offers games for all ages and a popular “Before I Die” wall, where customers write their wishes in chalk.

Thursday will be the first night under new ownership, Ellis said.

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