The debate over food trucks in Jacksonville is moving forward at City Hall.
A committee formed to come up with legislation outlining guidelines food truck operators have to follow, will meet again Monday.
They’re popping up all over the country and Jacksonville is no exception. You see food trucks on any given day in Hemming Plaza, near the courthouse and in corporate parks.
In February, Jacksonville City Councilman Reginald Brown proposed a bill that would put restrictions on how food trucks do business. There was immediate backlash from food truck owners who feared their business would be compromised or at risk of even shutting down. Working together, the councilman formed a committee to work on the bill.
“Very excited about the progress you know, we went from a very concerned industry to basically an industry that realizes that city legislation is needed and they embraced it and I believe that we are going to come away with a god product that everyone can work up under,” said Brown.
Jennifer Kline co-owns a food truck named Up in Smoke BBQ and she’s also a member of the committee.
“We went through line by line at the last meeting and we went through and got a bunch of stuff that we got thrown out and a bunch of stuff that’s going to stay,” said Kline.
Meeting for the second time Monday, Kline expects they’ll go over items the committee tabled at their first meeting.
“You know being within so many feet of a brick and mortar with like food so we’re trying to fight that it’s free enterprise… We would like to see us be able to park where we’re allowed to park with regulation but we should be able to park anywhere and be competitive,” said Kline.
A concept that once had food truck operators frantic, Kline said she believes this way of drafting the legislation, they’ll have to follow, is reasonable and fair.
“I think it’s gone really great. Reggie Brown has done a great job of making us feel included in the decision making as well. I don’t know where the brick and mortars stand because they haven’t shown up yet so we’ll see how the next meeting goes.
Councilman Brown said he gave himself 90 days to get the bill finalized, so that means he hopes to have it done within the next two months.
The meeting Monday is at 4 p.m. at City Hall and they welcome the public to come and give input.
LITTLE ROCK, AR — A food truck court will be coming soon to downtown Little Rock.
A businessman plans to operate a food truck park of sorts on West Third St. behind the Capitol.
The operator is currently working with chefs to decide who will appear there and when.
The food truck court could be up and running in the next month.
Happy Monday, food truck followers! Kick off the week by heading out for a Gruyère grilled cheese with spinach-and-artichoke spread aboard Big Cheese and newly available waffle fries at Chick-fil-A Truck.
Navy Yard (First and M sts., SE), where you’ll find Wassub.
NoMa (First and M sts., NE), where you’ll find Pho Junkies.
Northern Virginia, where you’ll find Capital Kabobs (Arlington), DC Sliders (Ballston), Fava Pot, Spitfire (Reston), Choupi Crepes, The Wagon (Rosslyn), Guapo’s Food Truck, Tapas Truck, and Tortuga (Tysons).
Jonathan Goldsbie, Matt Gurney and Chris Selley consider whether a new food truck regime might launch Toronto into the street food big leagues; what it would say about the city if it fails; and whether we should care.
Selley: Here’s the thing about food trucks: I don’t give a damn about food trucks, and I don’t understand the obsession about them. “Wow, it’s take-out food! Made in a truck! And there’s nowhere to sit down and eat it!” I do, however, care about people being allowed to open businesses to serve consumer demand. Last week the licensing committee approved new rules for food trucks that are supposed to bring us into the big leagues. And yet they raised the price of an annual permit to a whopping $5,000, which seems to be about 10 times what they charge in food truck Mecca Portland, Ore. And there’s a process by which councillors and business improvement areas can appeal to have various locations decreed off-limits — and if I know them, they will, and they’ll win. Truck owners themselves sure don’t seem very positive about this new regime. Do you fellows think these regulations might improve things for street-food fanatics? And do you care if they don’t?
Gurney: I’m glad you mentioned Portland. I was there for a family wedding a few years ago. By a quirk of flight scheduling, I ended up there much earlier than everyone else, and spent some time just wandering around. Nice city. And the assortment of food trucks is what stood out (along with a fantastic book store whose name I’m blanking on). I remember thinking that it was so weird that a small, progressive-minded city like Portland could figure out food trucks way better than Toronto … and then I remembered all that I knew about Toronto and it didn’t seem so weird anymore. Chris, to answer your questions, no, I don’t think it’ll be much of an improvement — Council has made the process of operating a profitable food truck marginally less impossible than it is. Hurrah. As for caring, I don’t often find myself walking down the road feeling a sudden need to eat something standing up in that exact moment. But you know what? Yeah, I care. This isn’t about food trucks, it’s about trying to live and work in a city where we can’t even figure out a way to let people sell fancy tacos to hungry people and yet being indignant when we can’t build multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects. It’s embarrassing.
Goldsbie: Like the A La Carte project before it, Toronto’s food truck rules are taken to be a metonym for everything that does and doesn’t work about our civic government: the idea that prudence, good intentions and a desire to please various stakeholders will inevitably manifest as a mess of impractical regulations. While I think it’s unfair to use the city’s street food vending misadventures as a lens through which to view the role and efficiency of government at large, it seems to be a significant part of why the issue consistently receives disproportionate play. That, and the general trendiness of the subject. Will the new rules make things better? It certainly seems that they will. I mean, I’d be surprised if there aren’t a couple hyper-local conflicts between food trucks, residents and/or established restaurant owners that’ll blow up and snowball into larger questions about the bylaw, but that’s how these things work.
Selley: I think we’re more than a few creative food trucks away from a solution, Matt. This is a city that banned new restaurants on Ossington, and then in Parkdale, because they were “changing the character of the neighbourhood.”
Gurney: Maybe we’re thinking about this the wrong way. Maybe the solution is to throw open the city to food trucks, but only on the condition that the trucks be convertible into boring machines to tunnel out the Downtown Relief Line. And that they serve ethnically diverse fare, when not drilling through rock.
Goldsbie: That’s what I mean: I’m not sure it’s fair to tie various city issues together in this way. There may be some elements in common between, say, food truck regulations, neighbourhood-level zoning studies and multi-billion-dollar public infrastructure projects, but surely looking at them all as facets of the same problem does a disservice to the specifics of each.
Gurney: I get that they are not exactly the same. You will have different committees, different oversight bodies, different regulations, etc. Everyone gets that. But it’s ultimately the same group of people at the top exercising leadership. If that’s what we call it. Someone who is totally incapable of getting something simple right over several years should not be asked to go take on something vastly more complicated over several decades. It’s cruel to them and us.
Over 34 chefs and their food trucks converged at Houston’s HCC Southwest campus from noon to 5 p.m. March 22-23 for the Haute Wheels Houston Food Truck Festival. This food truck venue is guaranteed to satisfy your craving with all of the available options at hand ranging from detox juices/drinks to deep-fried Oreos. Live music, fine wine, cold beers, gourmet food and local artisan vendor shops are just some of the many reasons why many Houstonians came out for this great family-friendly event.
HOUSTON, TX -
Haute Wheels!Houston’s original and largest gathering of food trucks returns to Houston Community College this weekend. 38 Gourmet food trucks and live local music.
It’s not just food trucks either, there`s plenty of non food related fun going on, too.
Haute wheels is going on until Sunday the 23rd, so roll on down to H.C.C and get your grub on! Because you can’t worry about counting-calories, when you’re eating for a cause!
The Schmear It food truck will soon be spreading lox of love over campus, permanently. (Don’t worry, we’re hyperventilating too.) The move has been hinted on their Facebook page and it’s now official: the bagel bliss factory is making 38th and Locust its new and permanent residence. (We assume under the bridge.)
Schmear It was founded by Penn grad David Fine, and we are more then happy to welcome him and his carbs back. Goodbye spring break bod 2014 and hello to our new and improved hangover cures.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The “Food Truck Safari,” returns to the Palm Beach Zoo Conservation Society on Friday, March 21, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event will feature some of South Florida’s best food trucks. The public will also get to enjoy up-close animal encounters, live music and two beer and wine bars for guests ages 21 and over.
This is the sixth “Food Truck Safari” offered at the Zoo.
“We are thrilled to offer this event and capitalize on the popularity of food trucks. It helps us entice people to the Zoo at a non-traditional hour, and maybe attract some first-time visitors,” Ron Brooks, event manager for the zoo, said in a statement.
Guests can enjoy live music in the Interactive Fountain Plaza and in the Mayan Plaza.
Admission for the Food Truck Safari is $9 for adult members, $10 for adult non-members, $6 for child members, $7 for child non-members, and under 3 are free. Gate proceeds support regular zoo operations. Food and beverage purchases are not included in admission.
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