Posted by Veronica Stumpf
CArtHop is a weekly event in the heart of downtown. You can enjoy food from some of Fresno’s popular food trucks: Benaddiction, Dusty Buns, Mattie’s Pizza, Summertime Pies, and Tako BBQ. It launched, last summer, with the help of Creative Fresno, Downtown Fresno Partnership, Dusty Buns and Fresno Brewing Company, to name a few. Its birthplace is the north end of the Fulton Mall. It takes place every Thursday, from 11am to 2 pm, where Merced St. intersects the Fulton Mall.
CArtHop vendors are devoted to using fresh ingredients grown in the Central Valley. CArtHop has expanded in North Fresno, Eaton Plaza, the downtown Fresno ice rink and Gazebo Gardens. Here are a few reasons why I love CArtHop, specifically the Fulton Mall location:
It has ruined fast food for me. I grew up thinking cereal, chips, and frozen TV dinners made up a sufficient diet. I had no idea what real food was till I ate food from the CArtHop vendors. When I introduced my mom and sister to CArtHop, we spent several minutes talking about how a Dusty Bun bistro burger dominates a fast-food chain burger in taste and quality.
I constantly run into members of the downtown community. It wasn’t too long ago I became fascinated by downtown and started to attend events in the area. It took a short time to realize I was seeing the same people at all these events. It’s fun running into friends and catching up with them. It goes beyond the usual form of interaction through social media. I hear about downtown projects my friends are working on; it’s all very inspiring!
I meet new people. One week, I met Adaniel of Aroma Salud through Sol, a downtown ambassador. He has a booth at the Market on Kern. Michelle of Fresno Brewing Company then raved how his all-natural skin-care products took care of her acne. This was my cue to complain how sensitive my skin is to anything and everything, especially sunscreen. He told me he sells sunscreen made out of ingredients you can eat! I made sure to visit him at the next farmers market to purchase this sunscreen. So far, it’s the best sun-care I have used!
It’s a great way to spend my lunch and re-energize. I often forget that lunch-time exists away from a computer, so CArtHop is a big treat for me. Seeing the north end of the Fulton Mall full of activity, running into downtown enthusiasts and admiring the historic art and architecture, reminds me why I became interested in downtown in the first place.
It encourages me to support local vendors, brick-and-mortar and mobile. The focus of CArtHop is not solely on mobile vendors. It’s also on other downtown businesses. Everywhere you go, you interact and support local businesses. I park in front of Misc. Trading Co. (at the Warnors Theatre) and talk with the business owners and shop. Customers even interact with owners of the mobile vendors. Dustin from Dusty Buns has taken the time to talk with my mom and sister and listen to them rant about how good the Bistro Burger is.
Fresno Brewing Co. and Antojitos have found ways to attract lunch-goers. Antojitos sells $1 tacos all day Thursday. Fresno Brewing Company posts photos of which drinks would pair well with certain CArtHop dishes. They also have specials, like a honey and strawberry-infused latte!
There is plenty of shade. No matter how hot or sunny it gets, in Fresno, the Fulton Mall is covered in trees. CArtHop is a great opportunity to get outdoors and remain protected from the extreme weather. The shade makes this pasty girl happy. And if it’s still too hot for you, you can always stop in Fresno Brewing Company for a cool drink or Parsley Café for a smoothie.