You: “I sure could go for a chocolate minted marshmallow doughnut right now, but I don’t know where to find one.”
Your friend: “Coincidentally, I too would be interested in an artisanal doughnut at the moment, perhaps one with a maple glaze and candied bacon, but I am also unaware of where one might be procured.
Me: “You’re both in luck, because the doughnuts from popular doughnut truck Vincent Van Doughnut will soon be available at all Straub’s Markets. And why are you talking like that?
As reported in the Riverfront Times, the hip, where-is-it-now doughnut truck has inked a deal to sell their doughnuts at all four Straub’s Markets beginning Feb. 21. Eight flavors a day will be offered — Fridays through Sundays only, at least at first — on a rotating basis. The flavors might include such favorites as chocolate salted caramel, French toast (their most popular flavor), and creme brulée.
Vincent Van Doughnut has been in business since last October, owner Vincent Marsden said. He and his business partner, brother-in-law Will Saulsbery, are now looking at a brick-and-mortar store from which to sell their confections, he said, though he said the business might not yet be ready to make the jump.
“We’ve only been open for, gosh, five months. That’s been the plan the whole time. The truck was really a traveling billboard and a way to test the market,” he said.
Don’t worry — even if they get their own store, Clyde the truck will still be hitting the streets for Food Truck Fridays and corporate events, Marsden said.
At Straub’s, the large, handmade, hand-cut and indivdually decorated doughnuts will cost around $4 to $5 apiece.
The legendary Arepa Lady of Jackson Heights is moving on up from a food cart to a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Maria Cano, a former lawyer and judge in her native Colombia, announced that her family is opening a year-round restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue, out of which she will be selling her delicious arepas.
The Arepa Lady, who has been a mainstay on warm (and some not so warm) evenings since 1990 underneath the tracks of the 7 train near the 82nd street stop, will be moving into a 300 square foot space on 77th and Roosevelt. Her son Alejandro told Serious Eats that “we want to help my mom more, and the only way to do that is with a permanent location. The cart’s permit only runs from April to October, and we can’t quit our jobs for something temporary.”
The Arepa Lady announced on her Twitter that the plan was to open the store by the spring, with inspection by the city done some time this month. But Cano will not give up her food cart; she will be serving food on the corner alongside her family’s new digs.
By Tracey Taylor
BERKELEYSIDE: After the city put a stop to a hugely popular Off The Grid in one part of Berkeley just over a year ago, the food truck market is back. This time, rather than being in the heart of Gourmet Ghetto, whose brick-and-mortar restaurants objected to the competition from the market, the trucks will take up residence in the parking lot of the North Berkeley BART station.
The market will feature 10 or more trucks every week, will be open for dinner on Sundays, from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
It will be the second weekly food truck gathering for Berkeley. Off the Grid is also on the south side of the Cal campus, at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street, on Mondays from 5-8 p.m.
Trucks at the Feb. 9 launch will include Koja Kitchen (which recently opened a brick-and-mortar spot on Telegraph Avenue); Kasa India; sliders and fry vendor WhipOut!; Liba Falafel (which is slated to open a restaurant in Uptown Oakland this summer); burrito makers Burr-Eatery; and Lexie’s Frozen Custard.
Berkeleyside is an award-winning, independently owned news website based in Berkeley, Calif., that shares content with partner organization sfgate.com. Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.
Horry County officials shifted the food truck debate from neutral to drive last week as they moved forward with a plan that could open the area to lunch wagons.
More than two dozen people showed up for a workshop last Thursday to review the results of a county survey and discuss options for crafting a new policy.
“Modern mobile food vending has changed quite a bit from the pushcarts of the past,” said Mary Catherine Cecil, a senior planner with Horry County Government. “There have been dozens of websites, blogs, TV shows, mobile apps to help you locate where to find food trucks, food truck rodeos and food truck festivals and one big new thing is food trucks at wedding receptions and parties.”
County policy prohibits food trucks from operating in unincorporated Horry. County leaders approved mobile food vending in 2010, but their ordinance limits operators to pushcarts. Nothing with a motor is allowed.
But Cecil said local officials have been looking at what other Palmetto State communities have done with the rolling restaurants.
“A lot of people seem to think that we’re behind the times and need to join the rest of the world,” she said.
However, Cecil did note that some restaurateurs are uneasy about additional competition.
“The main concern is taking business away from brick and mortar restaurants,” she said.
Despite that concern, Cecil shared the results of the county’s survey, which showed strong support (94 percent of 450 responses) for allowing food trucks in Horry.
Some of those who attended the workshop also voiced support for the change.
Horry County native Truett Jones said he lives in Holden Beach, N.C., but hopes to move back to the area and is interested in operating a food truck.
“I’m glad y’all are looking at this now,” he said. “The greater Myrtle Beach area is the largest population center in the state of South Carolina that has not really embraced this concept.”
Bill Barber, the manager of Suck Bang Blow in Murrells Inlet, said he doesn’t “want somebody setting up right across the street from me,” but he doesn’t mind the trucks operating in the county.
Last year, he said, he held a food truck festival, which was well received.
“It was extremely successful,” he said. “Everybody was happy. I don’t think anybody got rich, but it was a lot of fun.”
Jones said he doesn’t mind some regulations as long as they don’t hinder competition.
“Don’t make it ultra-protectionist,” he said of a new policy. “We respect the brick and mortars out there very, very much. They put their money in bricks and mortar. What we’re talking about is putting our money in mobile locations.”
County Council’s Infrastructure and Regulation Committee plans to discuss the food truck issue on Feb. 24 at 9 a.m. If the committee likes the idea of changing the county’s policy, county staff would draft an ordinance that would be reviewed by the planning commission and the IR committee. If the policy survives those hurdles, it would go to the full council for final approval.
If the county decides to allow food trucks, Barber said, he hopes the policies will be accommodating to entrepreneurs.
“Keep the fees low enough where everybody can make money and stay in business and help our economy,” he said. “If people aren’t in business, we all lose. Everybody knows how fragile the economy is right now.”
Charles D. Perry • 488-7258
Owner Jae Kim said the location will operate similar to his five food trucks in Austin and Houston, with customers ordering at a window from a 220-square-foot kitchen space. Kim cited lack of space for a downtown food truck as the reason for opening Chi’Lantro’s first permanent location. 512-800-9098. www.chilantrobbq.com. Twitter: @ChilantroBBQ
COMING SOON—Blackbird and Henry, a new concept from Chef Mark Schmidt, will open in mid-February. Located at 3016 Guadalupe St., Ste. 110, Blackbird and Henry will include some dishes from Schmidt’s previous venture, Cafe 909 in Marble Falls, as well as new European-inspired options. The neighborhood tavern will also feature a large drink menu. www.blackbirdandhenry.com. Twitter: @HenryBlackbird
COMING SOON—Roberto San Miguel has torn down his wholesale fish business at 2401 E. Cesar Chavez St. to build Mongers Market + Kitchen, a seafood retail-restaurant combination that will open in July. Shane Stark of Kinichi will serve as executive chef at the 1,200-square-foot establishment, which will include a 700-square-foot beer garden and two outdoor seating areas. There will also be a large parking lot, San Miguel said, and limited delivery. www.sanmiguelseafood.com
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Local food truck owners battled to reserve prime times and spaces to park their mobile restaurants in a food truck lottery held at Las Vegas City Hall.
Twenty-one food truck owners signed up for spaces in downtown Las Vegas from February through July.
Food truck owners were assigned numbers at random. The numbers defined what order they could reserve spots and times to do business.
“There’s no preferential treatment. Everybody has an equal chance, as long as they registered,” said Cheryl Jolly, owner of Bake My Day Cupcake Truck. She said the lottery is the perfect way for her to expand business and gain a new customer base.
“It’s a $50 fee to register and every six months you have to re-register, but the profits will far outweigh cost,” Jolly said.
The mobile restaurants have to be 150 feet away from brick and mortar restaurants.
The lottery on Tuesday had five more food truck owners compared to the first lottery last July.
Interested vendors need to apply for a license on the City of Las Vegas website.
Copyright 2014 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights results.
Happy hump day, food truck followers! Most vendors are keeping out of the cold today, but a few are braving the streets. Don’t forget about the brick-and-mortar locations of your favorite trucks, including DC Empanadas, TaKorean, Seoul Food, and Curbside Cupcakes, among others.
JACKSONVILLE BEACH — Food trucks appear headed for this coastal community seven months after the City Council began discussing the issue that drew supporters from the industry and opponents among some local restaurant owners.
Mayor Charlie Latham and four of the six other city council members expressed their support of an ordinance at a public hearing Tuesday that would allow the food truck businesses to open at the Beaches, but a second reading and vote isn’t expected until the Feb. 3 council meeting.
The council expressed unanimous approval for two related ordinances regarding the zoning for such businesses and appointing a special magistrate to oversee the enforcement of regulations for the trucks.
The trucks are banned from all three Beaches communities, but a push by truck owners eventually led to a series of workshops held by the Jacksonville Beach City Council followed by three draft ordinances regulating the trucks.
While food truck owners and their fans spoke at the workshops in favor of locating at the beach, some restaurant owners expressed their concerns over the competition and the trucks not facing the same regulations as their businesses.
Latham said he believes the design of the ordinances will do everything possible to keep established restaurants from being harmed by the new business. He said he is also pleased the program will be done on a year-long test basis, with the council to revisit the impact in April 2015 with the possibility of changing or eliminating the ordinances.
“We especially need to continue to support our brick and mortar businesses and I think staff has done a really admirable job of finding the best possible compromise,” Latham said in voicing his support for the trucks.
Councilman Tom Taylor said after long thought that he’s decided to support the ordinances.
“I think it would be unfair to our citizens if we don’t try this pilot program,” Taylor said. “Competition is what it’s all about.”
Council members Keith Doherty, Christine Hoffman and Phil Vogelsang expressed their support of the ordinances.
But Steve Hartkemeyer and Jeanell Wilson expressed concerns about regulations brick and mortar restaurants have to adhere to compared to food trucks. Wilson also expressed worries about potential parking problems created by the trucks.
“I’ve never been satisfied with the answers I’ve received about what they’re doing with their grease and what they’re doing with their trash,” Hartkemeyer said. “Is that trash going to show up at my wife’s gym?”
The dozen speakers on the issue at Tuesday’s regular council meeting split on supporting the ordinances.
John Stanford, who owns Blind Rabbit restaurant in Jacksonville Beach, a second restaurant in Jacksonville and a food truck in Jacksonville, said food trucks help bring jobs to a community and give entrepreneurs a chance to make a living.
“I think it’s a great thing for someone to get started as a business owner and to bring more tax revenue to the city,” Stanford said. “It would provide a great service to the Beaches area.”
Ed Malin, owner of Angie’s Subs on Beach Boulevard and a second eatery said he has no problem with food trucks, but doesn’t think the ordinances as written hold them as responsible as regulations for established restaurants. Malin said there should be one set of rules for everyone.
“I’m 100 percent for food trucks and government getting out of the way of the American businessman,” Malin said. “But I think the council is going to create a special interest ordinance for special group of people and whenever we do that, we create problems.”
The Beaches would be the latest spot for business conducted by food trucks in Duval County. About 60 are licensed to operate outside the Beaches.
The ordinances as currently written would only allow the trucks — not food carts — on private property with the owner’s permission, one per minimum lot size, with no limits on outdoor seating. Properties under the ordinances must be at least 6,000 to 43,559 square feet for one truck and more than 43,560 square feet for two.
City officials have estimated about two dozen properties would fit the ordinance restrictions in the city’s central business district.
Other provisions include:
◘ Routine inspections can be conducted by code enforcement, building code and fire inspectors and police officers.
◘ The vehicles must be located at least 100 feet from the main entrance to any eating establishment or similar food services business or outdoor dining area.
◘ One free-standing sandwich board or A-frame type sign, not to exceed 42 inches in height and 36 inches in width, is permitted for each vendor.
◘ Hours of operation are limited to 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. unless the location of the lot is within 150 feet of the property line of a home, when the hours would end at 10 p.m.
◘ The vendor is responsible for proper daily disposal of waste and trash and can’t use city trash receptacles.
◘ Liquid waste or grease shall be disposed of at an approved location and not placed in such places as storm drains or onto any sidewalk, street or other public space.
The city’s planning and development department began a study in the summer of 2011 on how other cities handled food trucks, collecting regulations from 25 jurisdictions as part of the research. Steve Lindorff, director of the department, said he thinks food trucks can easily co-exist with established restaurants at the beach.
“I think it adds to the quality of life in our community by providing an alternative way of enjoying a meal,” Lindorff said. “They’re obviously very popular in other locations.”
Jim Schoettler: (904) 359-4385
Updated: Tuesday, January 14 2014, 08:21 PM CST
The Pensacola Planning Board today will discuss new regulations for food trucks in the downtown area.
City Councilman Andy Terhaar has proposed an ordinance that would keep the rolling restaurants out of the core business area, and away from existing restaurants.
That idea received unanimous support from the city council last month.
Terhaar’s ordinance would keep food trucks 500 feet away from brick and mortar restaurants on Palafox street and within one block on either side… unless they get written permission from nearby restaurant owners.
Under current city law, food trucks are forbidden from operating on private property, except in areas zoned c-3 or industrial.
There’s nothing in the city code now about a vendors’ right to operate in public rights of way, as long as they are legally parked in a public space.
The ordinance on the table would also regulate how long a food truck could stay in one location.
Supporters of the law say it will preserve the beauty of the district, prevent sidewalk and traffic congestion, and protect the investments of established business owners.
Opponents say such a law is unconstitutional, and say there’s no evidence food trucks hurt anyone’s business.
Should food trucks be allowed in downtown Pensacola’s core area?
YOUR THREE CENTS: Food trucks downtown
Frost Travis at the Board of Public Works
Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 5:09 pm
Second public meeting finds Ithaca restaurants and food truck owners still at odds over policy
On Monday, Jan. 13, the Board of Public Works held the second of two public hearings on the proposed street vending policy. Members of the public expressed differing opinions as to the particulars of the proposed policy, with many restaurant owners voicing concerns over the minimum distance of 100 feet between brick and mortar food service businesses and food trucks.
Landlord and business owner Frost Travis spoke about the unfair advantage food trucks in Collegetown would have relative to their brick and mortar counterparts. Citing an average rent of $40 per square foot, Travis suggested the low overhead of food trucks would make it difficult for brick and mortars to compete if food trucks are allowed in restaurant dense areas such as Collegetown.
Viva Taqueria Manager Tomas Harrington spoke in favor of the policy. “The fear that this is going to put brick and mortars out of business is overblown,” said Harrington. “My main concern is how much time and effort the city is devoting to mediating between restaurants and food trucks, and I hope this can be resolved and handed off to someone else.”
Food truck owner Kenny Broadwell suggested that food trucks located near downtown would increase downtown business traffic. “I think busy street corners are good,” said Broadwell. “The more things there are to do, the more people will come downtown.”
Simeon’s co-owner Rich Avery spoke against both the minimum distance of 100 feet and the proposed permitting fees. “A good day for these food trucks could pay their full year of fees,” said Avery. “There isn’t a single brick and mortar restaurant that could do that.”
Each permit application requires a $100 fee, with permit fees ranging from $43.20 quarterly for one dinner service per week in several neighborhood spots, to $604.80 quarterly for daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. spots at Cass or Stewart Park. Neighborhood locations will generally be allowed limited hours in the lunch and dinner range, with commercial and university permits allowing late night operation.
Mayor Svante Myrick said he would support changing the minimum distance from 100 feet to 200, though he added that he believes the food truck policy would boost brick-and-mortar businesses by attracting more consumers. He also stated that as with other policy changes during his administration, he believes it’s important to get the policy started and go back and amend it as necessary in future years to adjust to the reality of implementation.
Board member Robert Morache expressed the need for flexibility and foresight with the policy. “I wonder what would happen if someone wanted to open a restaurant in an empty store front within 100 feet of food trucks,” asked Morache. “Would we move those trucks? We certainly wouldn’t want to discourage a brick-and-mortar from establishing there.”
The policy will now go back to subcommittee where it is likely to see changes in the minimum distance requirement before returning to the Board of Public Works. •
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 5:09 pm.
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