The Eats van: Mandurah’s original food truck

The Eats van: Mandurah’s original food truck

THE street food phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down.

Whether it be portable food booths, food carts, pop-up restaurants or food trucks, food-on-the-go has become increasingly popular.

In Mandurah, residents can follow the food on the Mandurah Food Trucks Facebook page. The Mandurah Food Truck Frenzy in Halls Head also enjoys a keen following.

Despite the gourmet cuisine and ethnic menus on offer, resident Lisa Kelly claims nothing compares to the burgers from Mandurah’s original food truck, the popular Eats van.

Mrs Kelly’s mother Barbara Bowen started the Coastal Kitchen (known as the Eats van) with Margaret Lague in 1978. After a few years the pioneering business women sold the Eats van to Liz and Leo White.

Margaret Lague (now 79) used to make the burger patties and clean the Eats van.

The converted caravan was parked at the original entrance to Mandurah, Silver Sands. It was open seven nights a week, from 8pm to the early mornings, until 1993.

The iconic eatery was one of the only places to get a ‘late night feed’ between Bunbury and Fremantle. It was popular with truckies, pub and nightclub patrons, the speedway crowd and people heading home from prawning.

People came from as far as Pemberton and Fremantle to visit the Eats van.

Barbara Bowen used to make the popular jam and cream donuts sold at the Eats van.

Mrs Kelly remembers her mother, now 87 years old, cooking the popular jam and cream donuts to sell at the van. Her father would cut up the onions for the burgers.

Mrs Kelly said the Eats van was once under threat from Council, but the truckies threatened to blockade Mandurah.

She said the last she heard, the Eats van was still going in Wyndham.