Moscow food truck still serving late-night snackers

Grub Truck in downtown serves mac-n-cheese, tacos; open late hours

Grub+Truck+owner+John+Fletcher+opened+his+food+truck+in+2013+with+the+intent+of+catering+to+late-night+snackers.

COURTESY OF KYNDALL ELLIOT

Grub Truck owner John Fletcher opened his food truck in 2013 with the intent of catering to late-night snackers.

ANNIE HAGER, Evergreen reporter

Although downtown Moscow is not filled with college students bar-hopping during the weekend this year, the Grub Truck continues to serve late-night snacks.

The food truck on Main Street in Moscow between 1st and 6th streets, offers a variety of mac-n-cheese options, tacos and burritos, said John Fletcher, Grub Truck owner.

Prior to this venture, Fletcher opened a couple of restaurants in Spokane with his sister. Picabu Bistro was successful, while the other failed quickly, he said.

Fletcher started thinking about moving to Pullman in 2013. He worked as a bar manager with his friend Jim Harbour, South Fork Public House owner, while he started building his food truck business.

In the early days, Fletcher said he took the truck to different events in Pullman and hosted some lunches and dinners in Moscow.

“But it did feel like the vast majority of the demand was going to be late night downtown, so I just focused on that,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher’s food truck was in business since 2013, and during the first years, it was people from the bars who visited the truck the most. Now, the busiest hours are right when they open, he said.

The truck is open from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. instead of the original hours, 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., because of COVID-19?

“We’re backing away from the bar crowd who seem to be less compliant when wearing a mask,” Fletcher said.

When state-wide restrictions were announced in April, Fletcher decided to close the truck for a few weeks.

“We ended up being closed for four months,” he said. “I think my view on all of it changed along with everybody else’s.”

In August, Fletcher had to retrain and rehire a whole new crew, who learned the procedures and cooking that the Grub Truck follows.

“There were not a lot of applicants,” he said. “I got lucky.”

Overall, the business has been slower this fall. The truck is down about 20 percent, so they are doing about 80 percent of what the truck would be doing normally, he said.

“[The changes with COVID] have affected things but it’s to be expected, and I am happy we are doing as much as we are doing,” Fletcher said.

One of the Grub Truck employees, Joseph Woodall, was hired in August 2020.

“The main difference is that we wear a mask all the time so it’s cooking food with a mask on, working in the kitchen with a mask on and eight-hour prep with a mask on,” Woodall said.

Since COVID-19, there seem to be more middle-aged adults going by to pick up meals for their families. There is more community involvement, Woodall said.

Fletcher said he enjoys being his own boss and working for himself at the Grub Truck.

“The extra hours and the extra stress is the worst part, but you have the freedom to do what you want,” Fletcher said.