Mission native son does good in SoMa

Despite all the hardships and hurdles of starting his own business, Carlos Muela can finally see the fruits of his labor become a reality.

This time, Muela intends to make a dent.

Muela was on hand Tuesday afternoon, greeting customers at the entrance of SoMa StrEat Food Park. The grand opening is Wednesday at 11 a.m., with the first night feeding frenzy in full swing until 10 p.m.

Up to 10 different food trucks will serve fanatics and welcoming neighbors, on rotation. In a sneak peek preview Tuesday hosted by Scoutmob SF, a smattering of trucks offered up array of cuisines and desserts from the Middle East (Sunrise Deli), Asia (Phat Thai, Little Green Cylo), America (La Pastrami, Cookie Time, Mr. Nice, Brass Knuckle) and Belgium (Golden Waffle).

Muela shared a story with SFBay about becoming a part of the neighborhood:

“When we first started with the construction, I remember the jackhammer was making a lot of noise and this neighbor comes down and asked ‘Who’s the developer here?!!'”

Muela thought:

Oh, oh! This is the first complaint. But this lady comes over and she gives me a hug and says, ‘I really want to thank you for cleaning this place up. For giving my 9-year-old daughter a place where she can come and hang out in a nice and safe environment. I really appreciate what you’re doing for the neighborhood.'”

Born and raised in the Mission, Muela understands the importance of giving back to the community. His goal is to create a family-friendly environment where people from all ages with children and yes, pets, can enjoy the outdoor space and feed on quality and affordable food:

“A lot of these vendors have a lot of great ideas, have great cuisines. They’re very passionate, but it’s really hard for anyone to open up a restaurant in San Francisco. It’s very competitive and very expensive. I saw the growing trend. I saw the problems the vendors were having with trying to get permits and the difficulty in parking on the streets. I just put two-and-two together and this way, it’s easier for the food vendors to come into this business and succeed.”

SoMa StrEat Food Park is über bicyle-friendly and easily accessible by car with lots of free street parking and bicycle racks. The park pavilion offers open and covered seating that can easily accommodate up to 100 people. SoMa foodies, hipsters and anyone of the geeky nature can even enjoy free WiFi while they dine al fresco.

“We have this awesome seating in a covered area with some music. We’re planning on putting up a projection screen for movie nights and have the Giants game on game days. It is a nice outdoor space in the neighborhood and in San Francisco, in general.”

When asked about what security measures might be in place, Muela said:

“I have people at nighttime that will be watching the place. We want to make this into a family-friendly place. We don’t want to make it into an outdoor nightclub. Definitely kid-friendly, dog-friendly and bike-friendly.”

Muela and his family also owns Picaro Tapas Restaurant on 16th Street and Esperpento on 22nd and Valencia Streets.

Gone are the days when multiple cuisines in the same place meant the food court of a shopping mall. Finally, a place that offers quality food other than hotdogs and pizza after shopping at the nightmare we all love called Costco.