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It’s an age-old question that families have been debating for years: ‘Where should we eat?’

For local business owner Dan Clanton, his goal is to make that question easier to answer by building a food truck pod in Lincoln City.

Clanton, owner of The Grill 1646 in Lincoln City, has 20 years of experience in the finance and collections industry and another 20 years in customer service. And after helping push the City of Lincoln City to pass a new ordinance allowing Mobile Food Units in town, he began working on his new concept of building a food truck pod.

“To add to our community and promote our love of food and entrepreneurship we want to expand into food cart life,” Clanton said. “Here, we believe we can give new business owners a chance to start their dreams while providing a great environment to our community.”

With a desire to help others in need, Clanton and his family have made an annual trip to homeless shelters across the state to serve up free food over the holidays and has kept involved with local schools. That is why Clanton has decided to dedicate one spot in the cart pod to local nonprofits, with a cart already provided.

“It can be used by the Taft Boosters, senior parents, culinary program or whatever non-profit needs it and it’ll be pretty turnkey for them,” Clanton said. “They can come run it at anytime they need to raise money.”

Clanton is currently looking at a couple of spaces within Lincoln City that will house 5-8 food trucks. The plan is take some land within Lincoln City, make an observation deck (preferably with ocean views), have an area to play small outdoor games, spaces for artisans to show off their art and comfortable seating for people to stay and relax.

The goal is to be funded and under construction by May 2020.

To generate funds, Clanton has started a Kickstarter page with a goal of reaching $750,000, which will include the purchase of land, building of observation deck, eight concrete pads, electric, sewer including grease trap, water, small park area, brick pathways, small tap house, community garden and incidentals.

With each donation, donors will receive a gift dependent on the amount given. Gifts range from a personal thank you note to draw string bags, logo mason jars, to plaques and bricks with your name or message on it.

“They donate, they get a brick, and the brick is going to go in the pathway throughout the complex,” Clanton explained. “The Phoenix Zoo is where I got that idea, they had to raise some money to build a bridge and they put engraved bricks all the way over it. I think it’s a cool idea and it makes it very special for the community.”

Through Kickstarter, Clanton’s page is labeled ‘All or Nothing’ with an end date on April 26. If the goal is not reached, everything that was donated will go back to the donors.

“Like any restaurant and new adventure there is risk, we feel that our risk is low,” Clanton said. “We currently have a proven business model with our current restaurant that has been open and improving year-to-year. With our support of the homeless, local schools and other charity organizations our state following supports our mission and brand.”

To learn more or to donate visit The Grill 1646 Facebook page where you’ll find a link to the Kickstarter.

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