Lizzie’s Curbside celebrated its 29th anniversary on Friday with live music and free cake for the University of Connecticut community.
During the lunch rush in-between classes, many students and faculty lined up along the sidewalk to place their orders and wait for their food while others were seated at nearby tables to admire the live music and eat some cake.
“It’s been a great day, it’s been a great turnout,” Lizzie Searing, owner of Lizzie’s Catering and Lizzie’s Curbside, said. “I’m just really happy to be here still.”
Lizzie’s Curbside began on Feb. 1, 1991 with a hot dog cart that Searing’s future mother-in-law bought for her as a wedding gift. At the time, the only spot open on campus for rent was on Whitney Road, between the Arjona and Monteith buildings. The menu initially consisted of coffee, bagels, pre-packaged sandwiches and soup because Searing had to stand outside. After two years, an enclosure was added to the cart which allowed Searing to avoid harsh weather and make sandwiches to order, Searing said.
Eventually, Searing bought a food trailer that allowed her to stand in and use a grill. This led to the inclusion of egg sandwiches and burgers to the menu. From 2002 to 2019, Searing had a wagon that was smaller and similar to the one she currently uses. The new wagon gives her more space and allows her to make more food.
“[I love] the camaraderie and how people just love the food and they come back and just say how great it is,” Searing said in an interview once the lunch rush died down. “I get gratification every day and not many people do.”
Searing mentioned how she has really enjoyed watching people grow up and even saying that she has had regular customers from the 90s who now have kids that she serves.
According to Searing, all of the ingredients are sourced from local vendors like Manchester Meatpacking and the Coventry Farmers’ Market in the summer.
Searing said that she would go look for a golden retriever puppy the next day, which would be around the food truck in mid-March as the business’ new mascot.
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.