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Beef Shack Parks in Perry Hall, Battles 'Tough' Economy

The food truck owner plans to serve pit beef at 8809 Belair Road, Thursdays through Sundays.

Thursday was the Beef Shack's first day in Perry Hall. By the early afternoon, the food truck had served only about four customers.

But from the parking lot of the at 8809 Belair Road, owner Chris Davis said he envisions crowds of customers—all in due time.

"I'll have to get some more signs," he said. "Once everybody tries it, they're going to love it."

Open Thursdays through Sundays, the Beef Shack's menu includes just four items: pit beef, pit turkey, pit ham and boardwalk french fries.

Wearing a black bandana and a T-shirt with cut-off sleeves, the 33-year-old Davis admits he is not the Orioles first baseman who shares his name. A small American flag flies from his food truck.

Davis recently decided to move his truck from Baldwin to Perry Hall with the hope that higher traffic will bring higher sales. His family formerly owned Valley Wine Shop on Long Green Pike, that included a deli, groceries and liquor store.

"We were having tough times with the economy, so before we decided to sell the store, and I just went out and bought the food truck," he said.

Mobile food vendors are on the rise in cities nationwide, the Wall Street Journal reports, and are even threatening some established brick and mortar restaurants.

Davis said his intent with the food truck is simply to help support his family.

For about nine months, near the store in Badwin, Davis had sold cheesesteak subs, burgers and sandwiches. "But it was too complicated. Everybody wants pit beef. That's all I sold over there," he said.

Davis said he only uses premium ingredients: "We use top round—it's a little more expensive." 

Otherwise, he's trying to keep costs down. The BP gas station owner, a regular customer back in Baldwin, has offered him a low daily ground rent, he said. 

"She's been telling me to come up here for months," he said. "I finally gave in."

Murph August 10, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I used to go to Fast Eddies and the last time I went there the beef was not as good as it used to be. Then the guy with Naked Bull opened his spot where the Firestone Car Care place now sits, then he went out of business. I hope Chris' business is successful and he'll be around a long time.
Carol August 10, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Good luck with your business. We will swing by & try it out.
Rose August 10, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Hey, hey, hey! No name calling. Just shows a lack of vocabulary. Maybe a yummy pit beef sammy from Chris would put us all in a better mood :)
Cindy Collins August 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Just had lunch there. Wonderful...Support the same business guy!
Vicki Rummel August 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Where's the truck already?

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