Featured photo: Big Gay Food Truck owner Drew Wofford poses inside the truck. (photo by Stan Sussina)
Parked next to Chemistry Nightclub in Greensboro is a really big, gay food truck.
Cleverly named as such, the Big Gay Food Truck could easily be missed during the day driving down Spring Garden Street because of its sparse decoration and lack of signage. But the owner hopes to use the business to elevate the LGBTQ+ community in the area.
“We want to challenge the status quo,” owner Drew Wofford says. “We want to put our community more in the spotlight.”
Wofford is the owner of Chemistry Nightclub, a LGBTQ+ club where the food truck is parked seven days a week. He’s been running the business for more than a decade, starting Greensboro Drag Brunch with his best friend Anjelica Dust four years ago. The event was first hosted at Sushi Sappa, now closed, next to Bites and Pints, and then finally PorterHouse Burger Company. Eventually, Wofford and Dust brought the drag brunch back to Chemistry Nightclub with the PorterHouse Burger Company providing food via one of its food trucks.
Wofford quickly saw the benefit of making food in-house. Not long afterwards, he bought a simple red truck and added his own embellishments.
The truck’s ordering window displays a flashy green menu with the words “Big Gay Food Truck” in pink, glittery letters. A drawing of the business above the letters depicts a blonde, curly-haired woman perched inside a stiletto heel with hands open, welcoming newcomers. A sparkling rainbow illuminates the woman from behind.
In September, the Big Gay Food Truck received its health permit to sell to the public. A month later, they had their first order via DoorDash. The business functions both as a delivery kitchen and as a food truck. Customers are able to order via food delivery apps like DoorDash and can also order order online for pick up or just walk up to the window.
Menu items include bites like Alyssa’s Veggie Egg Rolls, Ivy’s Fry Basket, Tiki’s Tacos, Justin’s Dogs and more substantial eats like Angie’s Famous Cheeseburger.
Many of the food items are named after people Wofford wants to memorialize.
“They are all named after different drag queens and different employees,” Wofford explains. “They have been a staple in the community, a staple at this bar.”
After nearly 11 years running Chemistry, Wofford says he wanted to acknowledge the positive impact these people have had on his life and how crucial they are to the success of both Big Gay Food Truck and Chemistry Nightclub.
“We have named the food after them to give homage to them,” Wofford says.
A particular standout is the Chicago Dog, a difficult item to satisfy the taste buds of any Chicago hot dog aficionado, myself included. The order comes with two all-beef hot dogs each housed in poppy seed bun topped with mustard, relish, white onion, sport pepper, tomato wedges and a dill pickle. Celery salt is cleverly sprinkled, bringing the dish together, while a side of fries gently hugs the two dogs. Two items make a Chicago hot dog for me — no ketchup and the addition of spicy, tangy sport peppers. Big Gay Food Truck knows the deal.
The reach of the food truck is far and wide, according to data collected by Wofford through the delivery apps. He knows food is delivered to rural locations beyond the city limits of Greensboro. This is powerful as it provides a sense of the scope of the LGBTQ+ community beyond the cultural center.
According to a 2019 report from the Williams Institute, one in three LGBTQ+ adults in the United States lives in the South. The report estimates there are 3.6 million LGBTQ+ adults, including 525,000 transgender adults, who call the South home .
And as someone who has spent much of his life creating a safe, welcoming environment for others in his community, Wofford says that using the food truck to continue his mission is the next step.
“Moving forward now that we have this concept, I want to work with other gay bars that are struggling to bring in some extra revenue, help them open earlier,” Wofford says.
He currently rents the little, yellow house next to the Big Gay Food Truck. Though primarily used for storage currently, Wofford says he’d like to make it into a restaurant or another bar in the coming years. Prior to the pandemic, Wofford hoped it would be a speakeasy. Short-term, he plans to get the truck wrapped so people driving by know that it’s there and to provide additional seating and patio furniture.
And despite its name, Wofford wants people to know that the truck exists for everyone.
“You’re helping the LGBT community,” he says. “You’re challenging the status quo and going against the stigma we fight every day.” Plus, who doesn’t love a good burger?
“We’ve got some pretty bomb-ass food,” he says.
Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.
We believe that reporting can save the world.
The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.
All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.