In SwaySnacks & Sips

Curt Shelvey will be closing Cucina to focus on his new food truck

Hold on to your UNO decks, because chef Curt Shelvey has just played a reverse card. This summer, he’s planning to close his beloved Curt’s Cucina and focus on the business model that got him through the pandemic via a long-promised food truck: The Gravy Train

Catch us up.

Amid pandemic-era shutdowns and restrictions, Curt pivoted from the full-service Curt’s Cucina to Grinders and Gravy, a takeout-only operation inspired by the cult following earned by his meatball grinders. Last summer, he announced plans for a dedicated grinder food truck, and in November, returned his restaurant to the Curt’s Cucina the community knew and loved for more than a decade.

Now, the time has come — The Gravy Train will be parked at Red’s Corner by early July. But, the sauce thickens, as a buyer is already lined up for his Broad Street Building.

“It’s time to focus on the truck for a while,” he says. Doors will close Saturday, June 4.

Why now?

Not unlike other restaurant owners, it has been difficult for Curt to find consistent help.

 “The challenges you face with a brick and mortar are much more demanding and costly than having a food truck,” says Curt.  “I can still operate a food truck with less help because it will be on a smaller scale.”

A rendering of what the the wrapped truck will look like.

So what will the Gravy Train be serving up? Other than the famous meatball, Curt will feature a selection of other grinders, as well as the occasional option for an item from the Cucina menu.

“I don’t want people to worry, they will still be able to get my food,” he says, “it will just be in a different setting.”

But wait, there’s more.

What you’ll find at Red’s Corner initially will be a “small” truck, formerly the Military Moms food truck. It is getting rewrapped with a train track design, similar to what you would see in front of Curt’s Cucina.

In the works is a second truck — a 30-footer, in the process of being built, that will house a full kitchen and the ability to make all the favorites from the Curt’s Cucina’s OG menu and the works from Grinders and Gravy. When that truck is complete, it will make its permanent home at Red’s Corner.

The small truck will then be used solely as a charitable truck and will travel for charity functions in the area. “I want to be able to give back to the community that has given my family and I so much,” says Curt.

Hungry for progress updates? Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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