A short visit is all that's needed to see what sets Lola's Trailer Park apart from its older neighbor, Lola's Saloon. On a recent afternoon, I met up with the owner of both establishments, Brian Forella. The Trailer Park's vast outdoor seating area contrasts sharply with the Saloon's darker, smokier environs.
"I wanted to add something that was non-smoking and friendlier to families and dogs," Forella said. "The Trailer Park has brought us totally new crowds."
After a soft opening last fall, the Trailer Park is seeing even more foot traffic as residents north of the West 7th neighborhood happen across or hear about the outdoor music and community space. Around 550 folks attended an April 20 concert at the Trailer Park, a number that wouldn't have been possible in the smaller indoor space.
Forella and his staff aren't pushing one particular vision for the outdoor park, but are instead seeing how the public responds to different events. For now, the space is home to a rotating army of food trucks, live music acts on the weekends (usually without charging cover), and monthly events like the Rock ‘n' Roll Rummage Sale, a yard sale of sorts for used vinyls and band memorabilia. In the coming weeks, Forella plans to install an outdoor projector for live sports broadcasts and movie nights.
"The area is really growing," said Forella.
He's particularly excited about Blue Mesa's pending move to an adjacent lot. With so many restaurants and condos opening nearby, the live music venue complements the area's other offerings.
"We couldn't survive without the local bands," states Forella. "That's the backbone of this place. The rest is gravy."