The Dallas City Council’s Quality of Life Committee met this morning (and is probably still meeting) about potentially lowering the costs of streetscape licensing and street vending permits in downtown Dallas. Generally, I think this is good news for the city. Lowering the costs = potentially more restaurants with outdoor seating/more food trucks in Dallas = more pedestrians enjoying downtown = everyone is happy. In George Lewis’ words, “Fees can be onerous, simply because food trucks are mobile, which means multiple cities. Multiply $300 – $600 for all of the cities: Dallas, University Park, Highland Park, Arlington, Denton, FW, Carrollton, Garland, etc. and you rack up a chunk of government money.”
I snuck out of the meeting after the streetscape licensing part because I had to get back to the office, but the vending permits Powerpoint is on the committee briefings page, anyway.
The proposal is to cut vending licenses by half to $600 annually. Right now, food trucks are allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, but the proposed update would extend those hours to 10 p.m. (Mon-Thursday, Sunday) and midnight (Friday and Saturday). There’s also a suggestion to require photo ID badges for all vendors, prohibit smoking by vendors while operating in the vending locations, and to establish a dress code. All these are unregulated right now and sound pretty fair, except… what’s up with this dress code? Take a look for yourself:
Appendix B: Proposed Dress Code
- Proposed minimum dress requirements for vendors include the following
- Clothing must be neat, clean and sanitary at all times
- Walking shorts allowed, but no cut-offs ◦ No apparel with offensive or suggestive language,images, symbols
- No tank tops or halter tops
- No outer apparel made of fishnet or undergarment material
I don’t know about you, but I can imagine it gets pretty hot in a food truck when the weather reaches over 100 degrees. No tank tops?? Perhaps people are afraid of tank tops for chest hair or other sanitary reasons (deodorant should do the trick), but George makes another good observation. “Funny thing about required clothing. Pretty dumb… no tank tops or halter tops, yet Hooter’s, Twin Peaks? Where’s the consistency?”
And those ladies even get to work indoors.
Overall, the city’s stance on food trucks seems to be heading in a fair direction. “In general, despite the occasional carping by the public about how behind Dallas is, I think that the city permitting and enforcement has done a pretty good job,” says George.
HOUSTON, May 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NightCulture Inc. (the “Company”) (OTCBB:NGHT), announces a new branded festival, “Houston Food Truck Fest” which takes place Saturday, May 18, 2013 at Stereo Live. The festival will host 20 of Houston’s most popular food trucks, live entertainment, and special performers. Estimated attendance for the festival is 3,000 hungry customers.
Tickets range from $10 to $48 with kids 12 and under free. NightCulture owns 100% interest.
Learn more about the Houston Food Truck Fest at http://www.HoustonFoodTruckFest.com/
Houston Food Truck Fest as seen in Parade Digital. Here is the link to the article http://www.parade.com/12814/dannyrubin/get-ready-for-2013-summer-festivals/
Michael Long, CEO of NightCulture, stated, “Food trucks have become a national phenomenon. We are excited to work with the Houston community and give our local food trucks an avenue to showcase their talents and businesses.”
ABOUT NIGHTCULTURE INC.
NightCulture Inc., “Concerts that Change Your Life”, is a premier producer of live concerts and events. NightCulture operates in the following markets: Houston, TX, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, San Antonio, TX, Oklahoma City, OK.NightCulture is the first Electronic Music company to trade in the public markets.
Stereo Live, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NightCulture, operates Stereo Live, a 25,000 square foot venue located on 2 1/2 acres of land at 6400 Richmond Avenue in Houston, Texas. http://www.StereoLiveHouston.com
NightCulture Inc. produces three branded music festivals a year, Meltdown Music Festival in Dallas, TXhttp://www.meltdowndallas.com/, Something Wicked Halloween Festival http://www.SomethingWickedFestival.com in Houston, TX, and Houston Food Truck Fest in Houston, TXhttp://www.HoustonFoodTruckFest.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this release that relate to future plans or projected results of NightCulture Inc. are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “PSLRA”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the PSLRA, and all such statements fall under the “safe harbor” provisions of the PSLRA. Our actual results may vary materially from those described in any “forward-looking statement” due to, among other possible reasons, the realization of any one or more of the risk factors described in our annual or quarterly reports, or in any of our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this release are encouraged to study all of our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers of this release are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Michael Long 832-535-9070 NGHT@NightCulture.com
Source: NightCulture Inc.
Jamie Gueta was sitting on the bed of his truck in a Bragg Boulevard parking lot recently, finishing off the second of two quesadillas.
Gueta bought his meal at a nearby Taco Loco food truck, which was doing brisk business on a Thursday afternoon.
“This is real Mexican food,” said Gueta, a plumber who was taking a midday break. “I ate here yesterday, and I’m out here again today.”
For Gueta and other food truck aficionados, the vehicles are a quick, convenient alternative to brick-and-mortar restaurants. No need to wait to be seated and served – just grab your food and go.
Although various food trucks have done business in Fayetteville over the years, the city has never been known as a hot spot for the rolling restaurants.
There are 28 mobile food trucks or units in the county, according to Daniel Ortiz, an environmental health supervisor with the Cumberland County Department of Public Health. The department inspects them for sanitation, waste disposal and other requirements.
Fayetteville spokesman Nathan Walls said the city doesn’t have a separate category for food trucks. He said truck operators must have a peddler’s license and must operate in a commercial location with the property owners’ permission. Also, the trucks must pack up and leave at the end of the business day.
Other North Carolina cities have been quicker than Fayetteville to jump aboard the food truck bandwagon. In Durham, for instance, a “food truck rodeo” in March attracted more than 50 vehicles, selling everything from barbecue to shaved ice. Another is planned for Father’s Day. And on Mother’s Day, 35 food trucks were expected to gather in downtown Raleigh near the state Capitol for a rodeo of its own.
Brian Bottger, who operates the OnlyBurger food truck in Durham, organized the rodeo in Durham Central Park. Bottger said all the trucks were from the Triangle area, and most were from Durham. About 5,000 people attended, he said.
“It was awesome,” Bottger said. “There were crazy long lines in front of the trucks.”
Bottger said he thinks food trucks have become big in Durham because the city has cooperated with the owners of the operations.
“The city of Durham didn’t make it a crazy difficult process,” Bottger said. “I never got hassled by the cops or anything.”
While Fayetteville has never been a food truck mecca, the trucks it does have seem to be popular.
Bennie Bryant operates the Saucy Wings food truck that is usually parked off North Bragg Boulevard in Spring Lake. The truck sells chicken wings with a variety of sauces, as well as side items.
The truck is an offshoot of a brick-and-mortar Saucy Wings that Bryant also owns in Spring Lake. Bryant said he has operated the truck for about eight months.
“It’s doing great,” Bryant said. “It’s a restaurant on wheels.”
Bryant, who worked as a cook in the Army, said his customers are mostly military personnel. They stop by for a quick lunch at the truck, which offers most of the items the regular restaurant does.
The Saucy Wings food truck has been so successful that Bryant said he would have thought twice about opening a regular restaurant had he started the mobile business first. Bryant said he is in the process of buying another truck and plans to park it in the Raeford Road-Hope Mills Road area.
Vanesa Aguilera owns Taco Loco, which operates from the parking lot outside the Bragg Boulevard flea market.
Aguilera said she and her family have owned a restaurant in Smithfield for about 10 years. They opened the Fayetteville food truck a little over a year ago.
“We like Fayetteville because no one there sells (authentic) Mexican food,” Aguilera said.
Taco Loco’s menu includes corn tortilla tacos for $1.50 and $2, quesadillas for $3 and an enchiladas plate for $7. A popular item is the torta, a Mexican sandwich stuffed with a choice of sausage, steak or other ingredients.
Brian Watson was visiting the Taco Loco food truck for the first time recently.
“It’s good,” Watson said. “It’s more authentic than what you’ll find in most restaurants around town.”
Corey Brinson is a food truck entrepreneur who knows how successful the ventures can be. For about eight years, Brinson operated a Fatback’s BBQ Rib Shack truck at Owen Drive and Cumberland Road. The mobile restaurant was so popular that it led to an appearance by Brinson last year on television’s “BBQ Pitmasters.”
Brinson got out of the food truck business when he opened a brick-and-mortar Fatback’s in Elmwood Crossing at Hope Mills and George Owen roads. He now uses his truck for catering and to help with the cooking at the restaurant.
For Brinson, one of the keys to food truck success was staying in one location. He said his customers always knew where to find him.
“Find a location and stay there. Stay there on your good days and bad days,” Brinson said. “Don’t have a bad day and move. That’s the worst thing you can do. People won’t know where you are.”
Brinson kept a Facebook page for his food truck, but Twitter hadn’t yet exploded in use when he was operating the mobile business.
But for other food truck entrepreneurs, such as Durham’s Bottger, messaging vehicles such as Twitter have become invaluable.
Bottger said he tweets his location so that his loyal customers can find him.
“It’s what’s made my business possible, at least in the form that it’s in,” Bottger said. “We’re able to use that social media to say, ‘Hey, today we’re going to be here.’ “
Bottger said he can’t imagine staying in just one location. That, he said, would defeat the purpose of having a mobile restaurant.
Bottger and other food truck owners said one key to a successful operation is offering a unique product, be it burgers, barbecue or Mexican food. Quality is also a must, they say.
Another factor is one no one has control over – the weather.
Luckily, Bottger said, the Southeast is mostly hospitable territory for mobile restaurants. It’s rarely so cold here that people can’t imagine getting out of their cars to place their orders.
“I don’t know how food trucks in Wisconsin do it,” he said.
Three brothers, Dan, Jim and Jack, have launched a Kickstarter to raise $30,000 that will fund a food truck that will serve dishes based on 2013′s favorite fad diet: Paleo eating. The truck, named Caveman Chow will serve dishes such as pancakes and bacon-wrapped meatloaf that follow the Paleo philosophy of a meat and vegetable based diet that skips grains, sugars and dairy. Cause cavemen didn’t have, like, wheat and cows and stuff. In a blog post, Dan explains how switching from a regular diet to Paleo helped him lose 30 pounds and increased his energy levels.
Watch the video below to meet the three partners and get a sense of their plans for the future. They still need to raise $29,000 before the end of the month to reach their goal.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesRobert Downey Jr.’s future in the Marvel Universe may be in doubt, but that’s not stopping him from starting work on a new project. And for his next movie, he’ll be teaming up with Jon Favreau, his colleague on the three “Iron Man” pictures.
Downey has signed on for the lead role in “Chef,” an independent comedy to be directed by Favreau, who has also written the screenplay and will co-star. In the movie, Downey will play a chef at an upscale restaurant who loses his job and has a falling out with his family. The chef starts over by starting a food truck, and tries to heal his relationship with his family as he puts his career back on track.
For Favreau, “Chef” represents something of a return to his roots – he enjoyed a major career breakthrough with the 1996 with the indie comedy “Swingers,” which he co-wrote as well as playing the lead, and he directed the comedies “Made” and “Elf” before hitting pay dirt as a filmmaker with “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.” Favreau also played Happy Hogan, Tony Stark’s bodyguard, in all three “Iron Man” movies, so he and Downey have plenty of experience bantering on screen.
Downey, meanwhile, has expressed an interest in doing smaller, independent projects in between superhero vehicles, and “Chef” will give him a chance to do just that. It should also give him a fun way to occupy himself while he continues negotiations with Marvel Studios; Downey’s contact with Marvel was concluded with “Iron Man 3,” and gossip has it that Downey is willing to return to play Tony Stark in future projects, but only if the money is right. Given Marvel’s well-documented reluctance to part with a dollar, it’s an open question if he’ll be in “The Avengers 2″ or “Iron Man 4.” (Though since “Iron Man 3″ is currently on track to a worldwide gross of over a billion dollars within the next few weeks, giving Downey another few million would seem like a safe investment.)
“Chef” will also star Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Bobby Cannavale, and is being financed by Aldamisa Entertainment in partnership with Kilburn Media. No studio is currently attached to release the picture, but given the talent on board, getting someone to pick up the picture should be no problem at all.
Battle Between Food Trucks and Restaurants Heats Up
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The fight over food trucks translated into a lengthy public meeting at the D.C. Council Friday, where red T-shirts bearing the message “Save D.C. food trucks” identified those who say their livelihoods are at stake if the Council decides to pass proposed regulations.
Restaurant owners also got in their arguments during the seven-hour meeting, saying it’s not fair for food trucks to operate with little or no regulations.
If passed, the regulations would require food truck owners to particpate in a monthly lottery to receive designated parking spots.
A map by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs shows the 20 proposed truck zones, with a total of roughly 180 spots.
About 120 food trucks currently operate each weekday. Many of them move around frequently during the day, broadcasting their locations via Twitter.
Some truck owners say getting locked into a single spot for an entire day would hurt business.
“It requires business to rely on a game of chance,” said one critic Friday. “If you don’t win, you’re out of the most popular areas.”
“We have about four or five spots a day,” said D.C. resident Sam Whitfield, who co-owns Curbside Cupcakes with his wife, Kristi. “We come to one spot for half an hour, an hour max; [we] serve our customers [and] we’re onto the next.”
Owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants also weighed in at Friday’s hearing. They say food trucks park in their customers’ parking spots, and long lines can obstruct their front doors.
“What we seek, and what we believe the current proposed regulations provide is a reasonable framework for managing the locations for [food] trucks so that their operations are not unfairly disruptive to other users of public space,” said one.
The D.C. Council now has until June 22 to pass or reject the regulations, or take no action at all.
Amendments would not come easily, or quickly. The Washington Post reports: “Emergency action to amend the rules would require the approval of nine of the 13 council members, who will then have ‘their own ideas on the regs,’ [D.C. Councilmember Vincent] Orange said.
Hungry people by the thousands packed five city blocks on Fayetteville Street for the first of four Food Truck Rodeos, as Raleigh hitched onto a trend started in Durham in 2010.
Attendees sampled culinary offerings including barbecue, crepes, gyros and pizza. Ice cream, pie and flavored ice provided dessert, and drink vendors including regional breweries offered various methods of washing it all down.
Is this the line for the dumplings? one attendee asked.
After receiving a nod in response, the young customer looked at the food truck a good 50 feet away and back at the line that extended even farther behind the person he asked. In the background, a city street swarmed with a river of customers at dozens of food trucks in downtown Raleigh.
In all, more than 40 food trucks lined the streets, and patrons literally ate up the offerings.
The waits have been crazy long all day, North Raleigh resident Roxanne Hoover said as she waited in line for Parle-vous Crepes, one of the more popular trucks. She said shed been in line for nearly 45 minutes.
At least its nice out, Hoover said.
But the longest line belonged to Chirba Chirba, the dumpling truck. For much of the day, at least 100 people waited in the line, which stretched across Fayetteville and then along the street.
Attendees tried a variety of ways to deal with the lines. Richard Mihm, a Raleigh resident who learned the virtues of Chirba Chirba and Parlez-vous Crepes at a food rodeo in Durham, said having one person in a group hit the longer lines helped max out the experience. Having a friend bring a beer to the person doing the waiting would help too, he said.
You have to divide and conquer, concurred his friend in line, Dean McCord of Raleigh.
Even at 5 p.m., when the 5-hour rodeo ended, more than 40 people waited in the line at Chirba Chirba and there were plenty of people remaining on Fayetteville Street, which was blocked off from Davie Street to the state Capitol. The event extended to parts of Martin and Hargett streets as well.
The Mothers Day edition of the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo will not be the last of the season; encores are scheduled for June 9, Aug. 11, and Oct. 13, all Sundays. The one in August will run from 4-9 p.m. while the other two will last from noon-5 p.m., like the Mothers Day event.
Raleighs City Council initially resisted the idea of allowing food trucks to freely operate in the city two years ago. Members cited food safety, impact on existing restaurants, litter, crowds, noise and parking as concerns. Food trucks have since been seen as increasingly legitimate and have operated without problems.
Most of Denver’s food trucks serve cupcakes, tacos or sandwiches, and most of them are actually trucks.
Hunger Free Colorado took a different road.
The Denver nonprofit launched its own “food truck” — a 40-foot-long neon green RV converted to a mobile office — last week in an effort to connect struggling Coloradans with information and services.
“We’re using this to get out into the community to reach people who don’t know there are services to help them,” said Hunger Free Colorado spokeswoman Michelle Ray
The truck was on hand at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Friday in conjunction with Food Bank of the Rockies.
The food bank’s mobile food pantry makes biweekly stops in the lot, serving 200 to 300 people each time.
“They only get a small box,” mobile outreach coordinator Douglas Vega
said. “The food banks meet the immediate need, but that food will run out.”
Vega plans to bring the truck into the community at least four times a week to encourage those who qualify to sign up for the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.
The process can take months, Vega said, but the new mobile office cuts that time down to a single day.
“Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re just trying to fill the gap,” Vega said.
In 2011, about 165,000 Coloradans received food-stamp benefits, up from about 95,000 in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. But only 51 percent of eligible Coloradans participate in the program, said food-resource navigator Sharon Duran.
The food truck’s staff said most people they help are employed full time, but that rent and other expenses leave little room for food expenses.
While the truck’s route is currently limited to Denver, Vega plans to help struggling individuals across Colorado. “If there’s a need, we want to be there,” he said.
The truck’s full schedule can be found at Hunger Free Colorado’s website.
Nic Turiciano: 303-954-1223, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @Nic_Turishawno
Unhygienic street food landing people in hospitals
ISLAMABAD: With the summer season setting in, the sale of unhygienic and adulterated food items and juices at bus stops and public places has started playing havoc with the health and lives of citizens.
Makeshift juice and fruit centres are fast mushrooming day by day near bus stops, schools, colleges, weekly bazaars and commercial centres in the city, making customers vulnerable to fatal diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis, shigellosis, mumps and hepatitis.
These diseases are commonly transmitted through unhygienic drinks and germ-prone glasses used by the customers. Flies engulf almost all the uncovered foodstuff and juices while utensils used for serving customers are often cleaned with dirty water.
“People should avoid using unhygienic food especially juices and fruits being sold in the markets because when the temperature goes high in the summer season there is a chance of outbreak of several seasonal diseases.
Almost 40 to 50 per cent patients in hospitals are admitted due to intake of these contaminated juices and milkshakes,” said Dr Aftab A Malik from Polyclinic.
He said vendors carrying water coolers do not lag behind the stallholders, as they keep walking at the public places where they sell a glass of water for 5 to 15 rupees. They usually have two to three crystal glasses, which are used by dozens of people throughout the day.
Their customers mainly comprise wagon drivers and conductors because these sellers provide them water while sitting in their vehicles. There is a law under which people involved in the food business must be vaccinated against typhoid and cholera but very few people do so, and majority of them do not bother to give any importance to it, said doctors.
Most of the patients who visited hospitals complained of sore throat and gastro complications and generally people with a weak immune system become sick after consuming substandard food items, they said.
A group of customers at a juice stall near Abpara Market said they travel by public transport, so whenever they feel thirsty they rely on cheap milkshakes and juices sold at bus stops.
“Overcrowded transport vehicles and scorching heat are always a source of annoyance and we drink juices from makeshift stalls just to beat the heat,” said one of the customers. app
“Food trucks are cool things,” said Marc Propper at the May 6 Village Board public hearing on a law designed to regulate them.
Propper brings a unique perspective to the food truck issue, owning two village restaurants, Miss Lucy’s Kitchen and ‘Cue, both on Partition Street, and as the owner of a food truck that sells BBQ food. The village is considering a law limiting their number in the village center to two in order to protect existing restaurants.
Propper agreed with previous statements by the mayor saying the trucks shouldn’t be allowed to park in front of restaurants. But the trucks can serve a valuable purpose, he said, by offering specialty foods and items not found in any stores or restaurants.
“Food trucks are also hip,” Propper said, “and can bring international foods and attention to the village,” noting that just up river in Hudson there is a special area set aside for food trucks and the tourists and local merchants love it.
“We want to welcome food trucks to the village,” Murphy said, “we just don’t want them to run amuck. Because the brick and mortar restaurants are the backbone of the village.”
“And we’re not anti-business,” said trustee Vincent Buono, “we just want to do this right.”
Propper said food trucks are becoming more popular lately, and cited the food truck festival held at the DIY crafts center Fiber Flame on Route 212. (The publishing industry has caught on, too — the book “Running a Food Truck for Dummies” has been displayed prominently at Barnes Noble in Ulster.)
“They are also a good way for the village to make some money through fees,” Propper added.
Permits are $250 for the year, although the board is considering a one-day fee for special events. Anyone operating without a permit is subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
The law would limit trucks in the village business district to the two locations they were set up last year: one at the Speedy Mart on Main St. and another on Ulster Ave. Others would have to be set up on village outskirts.
The law also establishes the hours of operation for the vehicles. Because many local restaurants close at 10 p.m., while the bars stay open far longer, the board decided to allow the trucks to stay open until midnight on weekends to serve the bar crowd.
At the end of the May 6 public hearing, trustees voted to leave the hearing open while they “tweak” the law to include longer hours of operation for weekends, and determine a one-day use fee. The hearing will continue at the board’s May 20 meeting at 6:45 p.m.
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