The timing could hardly have been worse: The local food truck CJ’s Takeout and Late Night Bites had its grand opening in March 2020, just as the pandemic hit.
“Starting a business in 2020 was super challenging, but to hit the one year mark and know that we did it was an awesome feeling,” said owners Kate and Tony Hill.
Tony and Kate share a love for food and cooking. As Kate describes it, “He loves to cook, I like to eat, so it just works out!”
Tony is a big night owl and that helped them realize a food truck was the perfect idea and they could have a positive impact on the community. “Tony is up all night, and he’s always experimenting with different sauces and different types of food,” said Kate.
CJ’s is a huge attraction for local residents, and especially Gettysburg College students, being one of the few late night options in the area. Their busiest evenings are Friday and Saturday, and they offer a wide variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and deep fried treats, as well as dinner and dessert. COVID forced the couple to change their plans by offering more takeout options and delivery. They also took the truck on the road, stopping in at local wineries and schools. They are also excited to bring the truck to their first wedding event in September.
When speaking about Gettysburg Borough’s recent proposal to limit food trucks from the first block of the square, Kate said she understood the concerns but also felt food trucks should not be limited.
“I understand the frustration; it was a tough year for everyone. But I don’t think the food trucks make that big of a difference. The year has been hard for restaurants and businesses, but it has been hard on everyone, food trucks included. Food trucks often offer food that is something completely different than those restaurants have. They provide a variety of food and options and make it great for locals and visitors. It brings more business to everyone.”
Kate noted that where a typical restaurant is normally open most of the day for six or seven days a week, CJ’s is only open Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to around 2:00 a.m..
CJ’s Takeout and Late Night Bites is located across from the Gettysburg Majestic Theater at 150 Carlisle Street. To visit their website, click here. http://www.cjstakeout.com