North Little Rock’s food scene along JFK Boulevard got another shot in the arm with the recent addition of The Filling Station. It is the brainchild of partners Joy Evans and Kristi Scott, who decided to revamp an old gas station into a food truck court and small farmers’ market.
“In my travels, I always enjoyed food courts in other cities, so it had been on my mind for the past few years. I wanted a building with overhead doors and I always saw the potential charm in this location. Once I learned that it was available, I couldn’t get the vision of it out of my mind. It haunted me daily, so I figured I must be meant to do this,” says Joy Evans.
As expected, transforming a neglected building into a thriving business proved to have its challenges.
“The building was built in 1960 and had been vacant for a few years. It had last been used as a tire shop, so you can imagine all the grease, oil, and odors we had to rid the place of. Not only that, but it also flooded every time it rained. The first few times that I looked at the building, I kept thinking that there was no way I could convert it into something that people would want to eat in. But with lots of hard work, elbow grease, and a strong and dedicated partner, we managed to completely remodel the place ourselves. It was our baby. We literally worked on it for eight months, every chance that we could in between both of our full-time jobs.”
Their hard work paid off.
The Filling Station is as cute as a button. I checked things out this past weekend and enjoyed everything about the experience. Yes, there are a few service kinks to work out, but what business doesn’t have a few hiccups when starting out? Be patient because I imagine they will get any minor issues corrected. In the meantime, enjoy the food trucks stationed in the parking lot and the local fruits and veggies located just inside the opened bay doors. The seating, both inside and out, is plentiful, and while there is limited parking next to the station, several additional spots reside just a short walk across G Street.
There is even an inside area, albeit a small one, filled with local artisan wares like spices, candles, jewelry, and t-shirts. Keep an eye out for baked goods from The Croissanterie. Those go fast. The Filling Station’s court can hold up to four trucks, so expect a rotating list of your favorite mobile eateries.
“I anticipate many bookings in the near future as more of the trucks get permitted for North Little Rock. Keith & Co was the first truck booked with us and they have delivered great quality food, as has Filipino Munchies. I’ve done a lot of talking with Low Ivy and she will be in the line-up in the very near future. Other trucks that have booked or inquired are Nothing Fancy, Southern Standard, Tren Al Sur, and as soon as their truck is ready, The Croissanterie, just to name a few.”
Joy and Kristi are in the process of trying to obtain a craft beer permit. I can’t imagine many patrons would be upset with the idea of enjoying a cold local brew while scarfing down a Keith & Co sandwich.
The future looks bright for The Filling Station.
The future also looks bright for North Little Rock’s food scene.
The Filling Station NLR
Hours: Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Monday & Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Closed Tuesday & Wednesday