Food Truck Employees Robbed At Gunpoint In The Heights—Updated
If you’re in the mood for an Akaushi burger or the Filipino-style ground pork eggrolls known as lumpia, a Houston food truck could use some help. On Friday, December 1, around 2:30 a.m., employees of Flip ‘n Patties were robbed at gunpoint by three people.
The truck was parked at a commissary near Yale and 11th. (Food trucks are required by the City of Houston health department to go to approved commissaries for cleaning after each service—and that’s often very late at night.) The manager and employee on duty quietly handed over the cash and no one was hurt.
Unfortunately, Flip ‘n Patties owner Michael Jante said the criminals got away with “a lot of money.” Jante also says police told him there had been three other robberies in the same area just before Flip ‘n Patties was hit.
The incident comes at a bad time for the truck. Not only is it the holidays, but the business is in the process of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. (Jante isn’t ready to give out the specific location address just yet.) In fact, Flip ‘n Patties just discontinued running the kitchen at Lincoln Bar to focus on finishing the buildout at the new permanent location. Lincoln Bar now has a new chef, so returning there doesn’t seem to be an option.
Update, 12/4/2017, 4:28 p.m.: Jante has started a GoFundMe fundraiser “to pay for things such as equipment, contractors, cookware, plating, etc.” In return, for every $20 donated, the restaurant promises to place a family-friendly inscription of up to 20 characters on the “Love Wall” of its forthcoming restaurant.
Flip ‘n Patties was one of many Houston food businesses that fed first responders for free in the days following Hurricane Harvey. In addition, the truck donated part of their sales to relief funds and joined forces with Axelrad bar and the Filipino Young Professionals of Houston group to coordinate donations of cleaning supplies, paper towels, first aid and school supplies for storm victims.
“Our [food truck] schedule is a little scarce because the crew was going to focus on getting the brick and mortar ready for opening,” wrote Jante in an email. “[The robbery] possibly put a stall on that since we are needing to spend a nice penny to fix a few pieces of equipment before we can open. But our priorities are with our awesome team and staff to make sure they get paid, especially during the holidays.”
The schedule for when and where Flip ‘n Patties is serving this month is below. Jante is hoping to add more dates and we’ll add those when available.
Those who wish to schedule the truck can reach Jante via email.
Schedule updated 12/4/17, 4:34 p.m.
- Monday, December 4: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Houston Library
- Tuesday, December 5: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Houston CEMO Hall
- Tuesday, December 5: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Marquis II, 2631 Bissonnet
- Wednesday, December 6: 5 to 8 p.m. at The Westmore at Bellaire Apartments, 5454 Newcastle
- Wednesday, December 6: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Houston Library
- Thursday, December 7: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Houston CEMO Hall
- Thursday, December 7: 4 to 7 p.m at The Deerwood, 5800 Woodway
- Friday, December 8: 11a.m. to 3 p.m. at University of Houston CEMO Hall
- Friday, December 8: 5 p.m. to midnight at Axelrad Beer Garden, 1517 Alabama
- Saturday: December 9: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Levy Park, 3801 Eastside
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.