BY WIL CREWS
The Chill Spot, a local food truck offering hot dogs, tacos, frozen treats and more, has found a home at Chewacla State Park in Auburn.
“We are the food vendor of Chewacla,” said The Chill Spot owner and founder James Little. “I honestly have the dream job.”
Originally opening in 2019, the Chill Spot began by serving one product: frozen lemonade.
“I love lemonade … like the ones you would get at an Auburn football game,” Little said.
But then, powering through the business’s growing pains in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Little secured a state contract — signed by Gov. Kay Ivey herself — that made The Chill Spot a mainstay at Chewacla.
“We can be there anytime, but typically there on the weekends,” Little said.
Since opening for the first time four years ago, before Little traded in his full-time general manager gig at Krispy Kreme for the food truck life, The Chill Spot has expanded its offerings to its customers. Now, The Chill Spot is known for its street tacos, hot dogs, cotton candy and, of course, frozen lemonade.
“We kind of got a little something for everybody,” Little said.
Aside from establishing its roots at Chewacla and providing tasty treats to through-hikers, Little said The Chill Spot has a strong relationship with the city of Auburn’s Parks and Recreation Department. Through this, the Chill Spot has become a mainstay at city of Auburn events in recent years.
“I sponsor some of [Auburn’s] stuff,” Little said. “I try and work with the cities [Auburn and Opelika] as much as possible. We also do a lot of private events.”
Anything from The Chill Spot’s menu can be ordered through Uber Eats and DoorDash on weekdays 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The food truck is present at Chewacla on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to close.
“We are the only ones who do that,” Little said of the late-night offerings. “So, if you have a craving ….”
In addition to providing food to the community, Little said he is excited by The Chill Spot’s newest adventure: boat rentals. The food truck recently secured the permit necessary to offer canoe, kayak and eventually paddle boat rentals at Chewacla Lake.
“One thing I was fighting for for a long time was the boats,” Little said. “They had boats, but they [Chewacla] don’t want to do boats. I ended up having to speak with the director of the Alabama Parks Department. We finally got it worked out.”
According to Little, the plan is to have the boat rentals available daily (10:30 a.m. to the park’s close) from now through October. Boats can be rented on weekends for $20 per hour, $50 for three hours or $100 for an all-day pass. As of now, The Chill Spot offers five canoes, one kayak and is working on securing paddle boats — but only after a boat dock is built. Boat rentals are still available on weekdays, however, Little said a rental appointment must be made for a minimum of three hours in order for him to deliver the boat to the park. Appointments and inquiries can be made by calling Little at 334-703-6286.
“One of the reasons I was fighting for boats is because we are there anyways,” Little said. “[The boats] are something new to do in town. It’s an activity where we provide everything for you.”
A portion of all The Chill Spot’s proceeds is donated back to Chewacla State Park. Keep an eye out for it at the next Auburn or Opelika city event, or the next time you visit Chewacla. For more information, visit The Chill Spot on Facebook or www.alapark.com/parks/chewacla-state-park.