HAYWARD -- Gourmet food trucks are headed to downtown Hayward.
Popular vendor Off the Grid will be holding a weekly mobile food market Monday evenings. The tentative opening day is Aug. 6.
"This puts us on the map as being a cool, hip place," Sean Brooks, Hayward's economic development manager, said in a presentation to the City Council on Tuesday.
The market will be located in the new Five Corners Park at the southeast corner of Mission Boulevard and D Street.
Off the Grid founder and owner Matt Cohen said his company chose the location because it's easily seen by motorists traveling through Hayward on Foothill and Mission boulevards.
"The site is unparalleled in terms of traffic exposure," Brooks said. Roughly 120,000 to 134,000 cars travel through that area daily, he said.
"We want to create a magnet for people driving through Hayward and give them a reason to stop," Cohen said.
Off the Grid plans to have eight trucks from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays in the summer and 5 to 8 p.m. in the winter. There will be live music from 6 to 8 p.m.
The alcohol-free venue will rotate the trucks at the market. "We work with only chef-driven small vendors," Cohen said. Most items are $6 to $8, with some appetizers in the $3-to-$5 range, he said.
Brooks said entrees served at Off the Grid trucks have included chicken meatball Reuben sandwiches, Niman Ranch burgers, lobster macaroni and cheese and other gourmet-type pairings.
Brooks said the market would not open until it is safe to do so.
Off the Grid has been operating mobile food markets since 2010. The Hayward site will be its first foray into Southern Alameda County. Most of its markets are in San Francisco, but it also operates trucks in Berkeley and Alameda.
Other area cities, including Fremont, Pleasanton and Oakland, have food truck markets run by other vendors.
Off the Grid markets its products primarily through social media and typically attracts technology-savvy, working professionals between 25 and 50 years old, Brooks said.
"I love the idea" of the food trucks, said Councilman Olden Henson.
Those attending the market would be encouraged to use the city's parking garage on Mission Boulevard between B and C streets and walk the block and a half to the trucks. A city report estimates the food trucks could attract 800 to 1,000 people on Monday evenings.
"Pedestrians are a good problem to have. Retailers and restaurants love foot traffic," Brooks said.
In response to questions about people possibly taking their food to the park surrounding the library, City Manager Fran David responded, "People and young families spilling into the library area is not a bad thing." She said the staff would monitor the market to ensure that there is not a litter problem at the library.
After Councilman Mark Salinas made references to the Off the Grid food trucks having a "good vibe," and "being a good scene," Mayor Michael Sweeney jokingly told the staff, "The vibe scene up here is positive."
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.rdparr1.