Call up City Council: Don’t let them legislate away food trucks!

Got this press release and thought you might be interested. Food trucks– like Senor Roy’s and Cafe de Wheels– could be regulated away from city streets. Considering that they are respectful of other small businesses and are filling a need for late night dining downtown. I love seeing food trucks in other cities– in New York, the dessert trucks; in San Francisco, the porqueta truck– and I love that Cincinnati is finally joining other major cities, and that there are more late-night choices.
To deal with this, the food truck folks have formed a group in order to petition the city– what do you think?

CINCINNATI – March 24, 2010 – Café de Wheels and other food truck vendors are overjoyed with the article from food critic Polly Campbell of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday March 17, 2010. In the article, Cincinnati City Solicitor John Curp addressed the debacle of parking on public property – most notably metered and non-metered parking spots around Over-the-Rhine and downtown Cincinnati.

“There’s nothing on the books that specifically regulates truck vendors,…but it’s safe to say that the city is looking into need for additional regulations,” Curp said in the Enquirer article.

“There was a lot of confusion about what was considered an ‘acceptable’ and, more seriously, ‘legal’ spot to park in the downtown areas,” said Tom Acito, owner of Café de Wheels, “but now that we are cleared for foodie duty, you’ll be seeing more of us.”

Acito and other food truck vendors like Senor Roy’s and Taco Azul, which is not yet open for business, will be forming the Cincy Food Truck Alliance to take a united front on issues that will undoubtedly present themselves in months to come.

“Our goal of being a mobile restaurant isn’t to steal business from local restaurants in the Over-the-Rhine and downtown areas. Rather, we hope to situate ourselves in areas where we will not directly compete with independent restaurant owners,” Acito said.

  • http://www.katesrandommusings.com Kate

    Oh noes. Time for an all out assault.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Gag Me With A Spoon =-.

  • Sam

    Here is where you can find the contact info for your City Councilmembers: http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/council/pages/-4126-/

  • AnnaGoBlue

    Yessss – the Food Truck Alliance! Sounds like an awesome chain restaurant fighting super team! Where do I join?

  • marsalis

    Don’t worry – these food trucks, which work out quite nicely in many other cities, are something new. And as is the case with anything new in this town, it must be a bad thing. I am sure some well-meaning but clueless city official will make it their prime objective to make life difficult for these trucks. I really, really, really hope I am wrong, but history is on my side. I truly wish the Food Truck Alliance the best and hope that by being proactive, they can head off any attacks on these businesses.

  • vudutu

    Duhhh, City Council, the “Sales Prevention Committee”

  • DigitalBob

    I’m not sure why Cincinnati would choose to fight this battle but there is a long history of anything not adhering to Cincinnati’s strictly enforced ‘no fun’ rule being put out of business. Just a few…the $350 license that was required of street musicians and the ban on sidewalk seating for downtown restaurants. Without eternal vigilance, ambiance might be rearing it’s ugly head in a neighborhood near you…

  • http://quimbob.blogspot.com/ Quimbob

    Bortz will probably demand late Model Mercedes Benz trucks. Winburn will want minority owned trucks painted to look like restaurants. Cole will want a 99% tax for city street usage & will not understand how the tax would hurt a business. Berding will, as usual, just freak out. Thomas will come up with a list of about a million rules. Quinlivan will say, “Neat!”. Qualls will want to set up a committee. Monzel will demand only American food be served. Ghiz won’t even notice.
    Go Quinlivan!
    .-= Quimbob´s last blog .. =-.

    • vudutu

      ROFLOL

  • Art

    I’m sure this is about money. City Council is desperate for revenue so they can continue their ways.

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  • http://clarkstreetblog.blogspot.com/ WestEnder

    Calm down everyone, council is not going to get rid of food trucks. They just need to figure out a set of rules where food trucks can set up shop since parking areas and downtown streets are not set up for mobile food services.

    The only people that want food trucks gone are the restaurants near the food trucks.

  • Bobbb

    “Our goal of being a mobile restaurant isn’t to steal business from local restaurants in the Over-the-Rhine and downtown areas. Rather, we hope to situate ourselves in areas where we will not directly compete with independent restaurant owners,” Acito said.

    CLEARLY, A CON IS JUST A CON. WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO GO DOWNTOWN UNLESS THEY WERE GOING TO TAKE BUSINESS FROM THE BUSINESSES THERE. “FOODIE” TRUCKS, AKA ROACH COACHES TRADITIONALLY ARE TRUCKS BECAUSE THEY GO WHERE THER ARE NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES, LIKE LIGHT INDUSTRIAL PARKS THAT DO NOT HAVE FOOD SERVICE CLOSE ENOUGH FOR THE LOCAL EMPLOYEES TO BE ABLE TO BUY SOMETHING AND EAT IT IN 30 MINUTES. HOW COME THESE TRUCKS DON’T GO TO THOSE LOCATIONS LIKE ALL THE OTHER FOOD TRUCKS? BECAUSE THEY CAN GO DOWNTOWN AND TAKE CUSTOMERS FROM THE RESTAURANTS THAT ARE ALREADY THERE AND PAY PROPERTY TAXES FOR STREET CLEANING, TRASH PICK UP; AND EMPLOYEES. ROACH COACHES ARE RUN BY OWNERS OR CONTRACT LABOR AND THEY DON’T PAY WORKERS COMP OR UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES OR EMPLOYER PORTIONS OF SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES. ALL THAT MONEY GOES RIGHT INTO THE OWNERS POCKET AND BEING AN ALL CASH BUSINESS YOU GOT TO WONDER IF IT ALL GETS REPORTED AS INCOME. DOWNTOWN RESTAURANTS HAVE CREDIT CARD ACCESS, YOU EVER USE A CREDIT CARD AT A ROACH COACH?

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

      “Roach Coaches” are not food trucks. Food trucks serve freshly-made food, not premade stuff. You won’t see them on construction sites. I think you’re a bit confused.

    • Max Monks

      My “roach coach” is stocked with food made in my restaurant I’ve owned for 10 years, that gets inspected by the Cincinnati Board of Health 2-4 times a year. There is no contract labor at all, and I pay workmans comp; social security, medicare and unemployment taxes on all my employees who work the Habanero Burrito Wagon as well who work in my restuarants. Always have, always will. Actually, I’ve employed 2 more people since I’ve started running the truck, so I am in fact creating jobs in this crappy economy. Can’t do credit cards without a phone land line; otherwise, I guarantee we would all take them. I’m being what some would call a small business entrepeneur– trying to generate more sales and expose my burritos and food to more people, while maintaining 2 brick-and-mortar restaurants, which also pay more than their fair share of taxes. Sounds like a great idea to me….

    • Foodie

      I think you are very confused. The workers on food trucks are paid by the hour as per law. They are paid through payroll, which means taxes, wc, etc are paid. Why the problem with the food trucks? No restaurant in Cincinnati has came out against the food trucks at all. Have you tried to eat out late night downtown? There is almost no where to go. These are not roach coaches at all. Do not spread rumors about something you obviously know so little about.

    • Tina

      Would you mind not typing your misinformation in all-caps? I know you’re probably new to the Internet, given that it’s only a few decades old, so I’d like to educate you in the fact that TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS TANTAMOUNT TO YELLING.

      Stop yelling, Bobbb.

      PS- though you seem new to this world wide web thingy, you definitely have the troll thing down like a pro.

  • Bobbb

    OH, AND NOW THAT THEY KNOW THAT YOU KNOW WHAT THEY KNOW THEY WILL FIGURE ANOTHER CON FOR THAT.

  • Bobbb

    LET ME ASK THI ONE LAST THING-WHY DON’T THEY JUST OPEN A RESTAURANT DOWNTOWN? (DO YOU THINK THEY COULD FIND A BUILDING?) CLUE-$

  • Dankspeed

    Sounds like Bobbb is a restaurant owner with a inferior product. What’s wrong with choice? If these guys in the truck can make a better meal out of a truck than someone with a restaurant then more power to them.

    • http://cincinnatireadventure.com Dan

      sounds like Bobbb also has a broken caps lock

      seriously though, if the city tries to regulate the food trucks away they’re insane. these trucks are GREAT for events. I love when Cafe De Wheels shows up in clifton, it’s a nice change of pace and in places like OTR where choices are fairly limited it’s nice to see these guys rotating in and out with some variety.

      now where’s my pad thai truck? :)
      .-= Dan´s last blog ..Laszlo’s Iron Skillet =-.

  • dc

    Competion is healthy and raises the bar.

    Bobbb turn your caps off. We’re more likely to listen if you’re not shouting.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

      Agreed on both counts.

  • dc

    Er, that’s “competition”.

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  • http://www.daisymaesmarket.com Barb Cooper

    Sign me up as a supporter of Cincy food trucks!

  • fred

    Actually, the City Solicitor was wrong. Talk to Specialist Scott Krauser of the CIncinnati Police Department, who will tell you the current regulations and city ordinances in the City of Cincinnati strictly prohibit selling or vending from any vehicle (including food) while on any public property (street; lot; etc.)

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  • Foodie

    Sounds like maybe Bobbb lost his wife to the driver of a food truck or something. HA. Or more than likely just another nay-sayer Cincinnati who hates change.

  • http://www.cincinnatibites.com/ Cincinnati Bites

    City council could learn a thing or two from the taco truck ordeal in Los Angeles a couple years ago. The judge ruled in favor of the truck vendors.

    Judge ruling posted at SaveOurTacoTrucks.org

    As the site reads: “Carne Asada is not a crime.” :)k
    .-= Cincinnati Bites´s last blog ..Restaurant Review: Europa =-.

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  • Solis

    It was just a matter of time before City Council started something.

    Columbus has dozens of taco trucks (much tastier I might add) so I wonder what the reaction was there. Those trucks however are usually in the same spot each day.

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