top of page
  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

WV Food Truck Festival returns to Putnam County

Plus another helping of food news on local restaurant openings and closings.

Crafts of the Coal food truck
Crafts of the Coal food truck

If you love a good food truck – or better yet, lots of them – you better make tracks to the WV Food Truck Festival from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Eleanor Park & Fairgrounds in Putnam County.

Billed as the largest event of its kind in the state, more than 20 food trucks and counting have already signed up for the festival, which will also feature live entertainment, a cornhole tournament and other local vendors selling their wares.

WV Food Truck Festival in Eleanor
WV Food Truck Festival in Eleanor

The truck lineup so far includes Family Affair, Bite Mi, Country Fair Lemonade, Country Roads Tap Truck, Crafts of the Coal, Dave’s Famous T&L Hot Dogs, Emma’s Cool Treats and Snacks and FarmHouse Fixins.

Also on tap are Gritt’s Farm, Holy O’s, Wicked Cool Shaved Ice & Lemonade, Jimmy Crack Corn, Kevin & Cathleen’s Snack Shack, Kona Ice, Lobster TrappN SouthEast, Local Eats Truck, Muncheez, Phat Llama, Putnam Provisions, Shape Shop and Wild & Wonderful BBQ.

For more information, visit

Putnam Restaurant Openings & Closings

Speaking of Putnam County, Connolly’s Irish Pub in Hurricane gave the ol’ Irish goodbye when it closed its doors suddenly last week.

In a short-and-sweet post announcing the move, the restaurant said: “Due to forces beyond our control, we are closing effective immediately. We want to thank our amazing staff and customers who made this dream real. God bless!”

Burrito from Fuel Counter
Burrito from Fuel Counter

On a positive Putnam note, a new location of Huntington’s Fuel Counter is coming to nearby Mid Valley Square shopping center in Hurricane later this month.

For those who haven’t been to Fuel Counter’s original location at The Market in downtown Huntington, or its additional location along Route 60 in Barboursville, Fuel Counter’s menu follows a simple concept, but gives customers tons of options.

You start by choosing your base – either a salad, sandwich or personal pizza – and then load it up with your choice of more than 60 toppings prepped fresh daily, including meats, proteins, veggies, cheese, sauces and more.

For more information, visit

Are Local Restaurants Poaching Themselves?

After the news of Books and Brews closing a few weeks ago – and a very credible lead that another big-name Elk City establishment will close this week – a reader reached out with an interesting local business “theory” I hadn’t thought about before.

He didn’t say if he wanted credit for said hypothesis, so I’ll keep him unnamed for now but will totally give him the glory if I hear back from him.

Salads from Fuel Counter
Salads from Fuel Counter

“Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I'm seeing a trend here,” he began. “First, over a decade ago, you had a small restaurant scene taking shape near the Capitol on the East End. Then Elk City came about, and restaurants started opening there and restaurants started closing on the East End.”

Now, he continued, the Summers Street area is trending but closings are happening around Elk City.

“Maybe it's just a coincidence or maybe it's a fickle town, but there sometimes seems to be a pattern here.”

So I hadn’t really thought of that before – and I don’t believe we’re really in a situation where the addition of one new local restaurant means the demise of another – but it’s definitely something to chew on.

I’d be curious to know your thoughts?

• • •

Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

1,461 views1 comment

1 Comment

Christa Hamra
Christa Hamra
Apr 12, 2023

OMG! I love Fuel Counter. Obsessed with their salads. I am so glad there will be one closer to Charleston. Maybe one will go into the new Park Place in SC eventually. That would be awesome!

bottom of page