LYNN — While some may have been biting into a Lemmy Burger with bacon and fried onion crisps courtesy of Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers, or digging into coconut lamb curry at Indulge India, everyone seemed to be enjoying the congregation of food trucks on Mount Vernon Street on Saturday.
Ironbound’s Food Truck Emporium grand opening was more than a place to grab a bite to eat or a craft beer from Bent Water or Down the Road breweries. The street became the site of what became a block party in the middle of downtown Lynn throughout the day. Several local performers hit the stage and hundreds of people made their way through the area.
But the road to creating the festivities wasn’t so easy.
When Sisco Meneses purchased property of Mount Vernon Street more than 10 years ago he saw the potential for something special.
“I always saw it had all the right ingredients,” he said. “There’s trains and buses bringing people into this area, a nearby parking garage, and you have North Shore Community College and the beach close by as well.”
Meneses wanted to create an area for art and social gatherings in the heart of the city, but he knew he couldn’t do it alone.
“I have always seen art as a way to get people together,” he said. “It is the glue that holds us together.”
To get things going he hired Justice Born, to help organize the event and get things going in an administrative role.
“It has been a bit of a learning curve but it’s been a good business marriage,” Born said. “What we’re really doing is building an economic engine.”
An artist close to Born who goes by Mr. PSA, and served as a sort of master of ceremonies by getting the crowd of people out on the dance floor, credits Born with partly saving his life by helping him turn himself around.
“He’s my ginger Jesus,” he said.
“I never tell Justice that anything he wants to do is crazy, sometimes you people with that look in their eye. What him and Sisco have put together here today, this is special.”
Going forward, Ironbound’s mission is to have a block party every month for the rest of the year and even host a New Year’s party.
“It’s been really a Cinderella story. This place is like Lynn’s glass slipper,” Meneses said. “And today is Prince Charming finally paying a visit.”