Food Truck Talks Continue

Food Truck Talks Continue

July, 26, 2011, by David

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Tuesday the city council postponed the decision on food truck access downtown. August 30th they will address the issue again in light of a new report from city staff.  This report will include an assessment that considers things like permit fees and minimum distance from restaurants and residential buildings.

The distance issue is of primary concern for both sides- trucks seeing it as a disadvantage and restaurants seeing it as protection.  Some food trucks want no required distance,  the council is seeking a minimum of 100-150 feet. When council does decide on the rules, Police will be responsible for enforcing them, a responsibility they don't seem happy about. Councilor Crowder said "I see this as a nightmare for the police department," and Councilor Odom echoed "Enforcement is going to be a nightmare, no matter what."   That means the only solutions for the pending 'nightmare' are a. no regulations or b. no food trucks.  We doubt either extreme is likely, but the slow boil of this particular decision only elevates its perceived importance.   

We can't blame city council for not wanting to rush into this- food truck support is coming from a public that sees no problem with them.  Dreams of cascading trucks, wrapping city streets, serving exotic fare blind the populace to how they could hurt others.  Council's main focus should be to limit damage to the fragile economics that hold downtown retail together.  Pioneering restaurants have spent the last 10 years filling in the downtown grid and helping to generate a healthy nightlife culture.  Some downtown restaurants have come out in support of food trucks, but others feel the competition is unfair: "The only reason they want to come downtown now is we have made it 'safe' for them," said one business owner who asked to remain anonymous. Retail and entertainment venues are generally supportive, as the trucks  give them a loophole to offer food service for patrons without risk or the permits and required kitchen. 

Food trucks will come downtown, the council can only study this for so long.  And as the September festivals and events pass by the traditional restaurants will be thankful not to have their competition.  With talk of a training manual, the rules will be extensive for sure, but enforcement is the least of the council's problems for getting this decision made. Getting the rules right for 'equality' with existing businesses is the impossible task at hand. 


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Politics, Other posts by David.


Thomas CrowderCity CouncilFood TrucksJohn Odom


  • 150
    07/27 08:52 AM

    I choose option “b”.

  • ashley
    07/27 09:02 AM

    I do hope they have the sense to account for closed restaurants and residential buildings where the residences don’t start until the upper floors in whatever rules they make.  It would be a bit ridiculous to tell a truck it cant park in front of Sitti after it’s closed when bars are still open just because it’s a restaurant or having to be so far from the RBC tower because it’s residential even though they’re too high up to be effected by street level noise for the most part.  Just saying.

  • Todd Morman
    07/27 09:04 AM

    I choose option “a”. Anyway, back at the adults’ table, I can’t help wondering if enforcement has been “a nightmare” in any of the other cities where food trucks are operating. Crowder’s continued objections to the approval of a lively new business model in his town just keep looking more ridiculous as time goes on. Is there *any* evidence of “nightmare” enforcement scenarios in cities with food trucks? Any at all? Someone needs to ask him. (Oh, and Odom: wake up. This is a small business issue and you’re on the wrong freaking side.)

  • Todd Morman
    07/27 09:40 AM

    Via a tweet from Goodnight Raleigh, The Raleigh Connoisseur has posted a list of restaurants opposing food trucks for you to boycott/contact/support, as you prefer:

    * Niall Hanley, owner of Solas, The Diner, and Hibernian on Glenwood Avenue
    * Marlene Crummier, Bada Bing on Glenwood Avenue
    * Allen Amra, Tobacco Roads Sports Cafe on Glenwood Avenue
    * Sam Hobgood, Big Ed’s Downtown Raleigh in City Market
    * Brad Early, 42nd Street Oyster Bar on West Street
    * Sarig Agasi, Zeli & Ritz, Glenwood Avenue

    Really disappointed in Zeli & Ritz, but they’ve all lost my business.

  • 150
    07/27 09:46 AM

    Here at the kids table, we’re flummoxed as to why this topic just continues to be the cool topic with the sophisticated adults.  It’s just tiresome, hearing it over and over and over on this blog, regurgitated in the N+O, whined about on the River, etc. 

    Still don’t understand choosing the side of the food trucks over that of the established businesses that created the rejuvenated downtown.  The restaurant owners think it’s a bad idea.  Now the police think it’ll be a problem.  Lots of good points in that third paragraph.

    But whatever, right?  Lets just choose “a” and let these food trucks run rampant downtown.  Supporting the “lively new business model” so that we can enjoy “exotic” food served from a truck (a truck!) sounds like a win to me.

    Now, can someone please go fill up my sippy cup with non-alcoholic PBR?  I’m cranky and it’s time for my nap.

  • 150
    07/27 09:55 AM

    Wow, Todd.  Just wow.

    Let me get this straight.  You want to boycott Amra, Hibernian, Zely & Ritz, and 42nd Street, all places that took the financial risk to help establish the downtown environment, all for… trucks?? 

    What happend to supporting those small businesses, huh? 

  • Gordon Gartrelle
    07/27 10:14 AM

    I don’t really care one way or the other about food trucks, but the opposition arguments seems to just be an understandable position against competition and then just a bunch of strawmen. Seriously, Crowder brought out the “think of the children” line when debating FOOD TRUCKS.

  • jonn
    07/27 11:00 AM

    There are tons of cities where restaurants and food trucks co-exist. You don’t have to choose between them.

  • Rob E.
    07/27 11:36 AM

    It seems a shame that some restaurants want to paint this as “us vs. them.” I love some of the local food trucks, but it doesn’t stop me from going to restaurants. But the current dining options downtown do keep me from going downtown as much as I’d like. Downtown has some of my favorite restaurants, but not every meal has to be a time-consuming, sit-down, silverware affair. Ultimately it seems like downtown would benefit from more people, and more dining options would bring more people. It would also bring more competition, but “unfair” competition?
    Restaurants have:
    A roof/walls (protection from the elements)
    Full kitchen for a variety of food options
    Alcohol (some of them)

    Food trucks have:

    If restaurants can’t compete with those advantages, they must not be providing what the people want. I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe that there’s room for both, but I’m perfectly happy to let the dollars of the people of Raleigh decide. What bothers me is that the loudest voices of opposition seem to be coming from a minority of business owners who don’t seem to believe that their own product is compelling enough to draw customers unless the law steps in to push the citizens away from other options. I support small, local businesses because I appreciate the unique products they provide, not because of their ability to limit my other options. Patronizing a business that wants to prevent me from having other options by force of law seems counter-productive. It’s not anti-small business (especially considering that food trucks are also small businesses). It’s pro-freedom to choose.

  • champagne_dumpling
    07/27 12:11 PM

    150 - If the downtown environment that those restaurants “helped establish” involves putting up a fight against something like food trucks then I’m okay not being a part of that environment. The environment I do, however, want to be a part of is one that allows both already established restaurants and food trucks to coexist downtown like so many other cities in the country and even in the triangle have done. Successfully, I might add. If that means not giving my money to close-minded, little-picture Raleigh business owners then so be it. I assure you that the Hibernian had zero effect on the “downtown environment” that I have ever had anything to do with, anyway.

    To put it simply, and to quote a tweet from yesterday - “If your restaurant is put out of business by food trucks then your restaurant’s food probably isn’t very good.”

  • voice of reason
    07/27 12:34 PM

    Good to see some people “get” it. A food truck will destroy your restaurant’s business model? Really? Maybe you need to offer a better product. Specific businesses should not get preference from government, period. Work it out in the marketplace with your customers.

  • 666
    07/27 12:50 PM

    Concerning public officers enforcing said regulations on food trucks, good! It’ll give these otherwise bored cops a task to actually accomplish. Anyone that frequents downtown Raleigh would observe A) too many officers B) wasted money in the city with ” fragile economics” holding it together at the seams.

    While were at it can we also do away with the city ambassadors? They serve absolutely no purpose.

    The demographic that actually “supports” local business on a nightly basis are for a progressive Raleigh, not another close minded, over run with yuppie vibed, city in the south. The new restaurants that “pioneered” downtown and made it “safe” for these new food trucks.

    Hold for rant: Safe!? Are you kidding me? This is Raleigh, NC. A city where you can walk down the street in the worst area, and unless you are acting a like an dis-respectful adolescent, like so many of you that freuqent local business during the weekend, you’d be perfectly “safe”. Meanwhile, travel. Visit a large city, with real problems and see how “safe” you are. It’s an entirely different entity. End Rant.

    Those restaurants all started somewhere. So must the “up and comers.” New eateries and concepts are born in the back of the trucks, while also growing small private business. Yet, I digress, shouldn’t we just grow government more, instate a public cafeteria, and setlle. That seems what most would like, to remain content rather than grow and progress a city that could be magnificent.

  • Mike R
    07/27 12:51 PM

    Food trucks would be awesome and convenient to have around downtown, a lot of people in Raleigh are aware of the awesome food trucks that roll around in Durham and would just like to have some good options in that same vein of thought. I think it’s weird that this is such a polarizing thing, but I also don’t run a restaurant and I can sympathize that it must be a very challenging thing that works you to the bone.  But I’m partial to the notion that this wouldn’t cause a bunch of restaurants to start going out of business, I think it would just bring more people out of the surrounding neighborhoods and make downtown look more lively. Raleigh has some really amazing eateries and the area in general is still thriving despite the broader economic landscape.

  • yes please
    07/27 12:52 PM

    Rob E. Champagne, Voice of Reason -

    Thanks for thinking it through!!!!
    When I want to go on a date or out with my family for a special event I will be going to a brick and mortar restaurant, when it’s 3am and I’m drunk and hungry, or it’s a Saturday afternoon and I’d like to walk around enjoying the sun with a sandwich or whatever other simple fare, I will get it from a food-truck. Why should the Hibernian or the Diner, or City Council get to tell me what I can eat and when!?!? Do you really think the restaurants listed “risked” their well-being for the greater good of this city? No, they are restaurants, they are out for a profit, just like any business - there is nothing wrong with that - but it is not for us to keep their interests in mind. If you like those places, go there, I like food trucks, so why can’t I be allowed to choose?

    All great cities have options. Wasting time fighting over where your citizens can eat is a great way to distract from real issues.

  • 150
    07/27 01:25 PM

    Lots of rediculous points being made that I won’t even address (Rob E. wins for having the most absurd).

    I’m not a business owner, and I realize I’m not going to win this debate amongst NewRaleigh posters, so I’ll exit the conversation.  The main point to consider is that we wouldn’t even have this issue without the money, time, risk, and effort put in by the existing Raleigh businesses.  Want to reward the food trucks, who have invested ZERO in that effort?  That’s up to you, please enjoy your burger made in a van. 
    I will not.  I will continue to patronize the establishments that did the real work creating what all of us currently enjoy. 

  • Tyler Durden
    07/27 01:52 PM

    150 needs his panties changed.

  • Skillet
    07/27 02:11 PM

    So, 150, downtown Raleigh is at its peak then? Nobody else is allowed to build on the successes of earlier businesses? I guess only Mecca is allowed to serve food?
    And they haven’t invested anything in the downtown revitalization because they haven’t been allowed to. Food trucks don’t fall out of trees, they cost money to get up and running, too. Certainly not as much as a traditional brick & mortar, but you don’t just wake up one day with a food truck under your pillow. Is there some minimum amount that folks need to spend to be legit? I’m guessing Slim’s didn’t spend as much money as Hatem has spent. Does that make them less legit?

  • 150
    07/27 02:12 PM

    Bravo, Ty.

  • another voice of reason
    07/27 02:17 PM

    With a viewpoint that city government should “reward” certain businesses over others, and that certain food choices are.. dare I say… “immoral”, it’s no wonder there is disagreement.

    But hey… why stop at market protection? Why not offer existing restaurants tax breaks as a thanks for their effort? Or outright taxpayer sponsored government subsidies? Maybe the city should pony up for their leases, or paying employee wages?

    I’d rather our government ensure some basic health and safety standards, and support entrepreneurship, innovation and business opportunity.

  • 150
    07/27 02:24 PM

    Skillet, your food truck pillow argument demonstrates you misunderstand the issue (I’ll let you figure out why).  I never said anything about Raleigh at its peak.

  • Rob E.
    07/27 02:31 PM

    “That’s up to you, please enjoy your burger made in a van. 
    I will not.”
    That’s all we want, 150. I’m glad you finally came around.

  • champagne_dumpling
    07/27 02:46 PM

    150 - The only ridiculous point I see being made is the one you are trying to drive home about being in support of local businesses that helped rejuvenate downtown Raleigh but then being against something that (most) everyone else sees as just one more thing to continue with that same rejuvenation. I mean, I can’t even get a slice of pizza at night while walking downtown. A SLICE OF PIZZA. I could go to Vic’s and pay for an entire pie but I mean just a cheap, single walk-up slice. Something so ordinary and simple in pretty much any other city is being put on hold because people like you think it’s so wrong for a food truck to be parked near other restaurants. Not that it’s about just trying to be like every other city, it’s just about embracing (and enjoying) the rapid rate at which Raleigh is growing and not putting up such a wall based on such a close-minded and impractical logic. It’s as if you are completely happy with the way things are now, would be perfectly fine if nothing new ever opened again and you’d be content with just the same handful of options you presently have. That’s hardly supporting ANY kind of “rejuvenation.”

    It’s not being made into such a big deal because we only ever want to eat “burgers made in a van” ever again, it’s being made such a big deal because it’s such a no-brainer that both options can coexist.

    Hey 42nd St Oyster Bar, there’s a reservation for 1 at the kid’s table.

  • champagne_dumpling
    07/27 02:48 PM

    It’s also interesting that all the outspoken oppostion (with the exception of Big Ed’s) is from one area of own. Something tells me that food trucks wouldn’t spend much time on Glenwood South in the first place.

  • Mark
    07/27 03:06 PM

    I wonder how long the now empty krispy kreme kiosk in City-Plaza would remain empty if Food Trucks were allowed to park there. I mean, why invest money in opening a business on that spot when you can pay considerably less and get a space for free at the same spot using a food truck. Same goes for all the other vacant space on Wilmington street. Most of the Food Trucks set up in Durham by Fullsteam a known dead zone for eating places. The only game in town there is Geer Street Garden and Kings (which has limited hours). Aside from that nothing for blocks. A 150’ restriction would work there and could work in Raleigh too. If you want a free space to run your business I think you should be ready to accept some level of restrictions. If you don’t like it you are free to purchase and invest in your own space and make your own rules.

  • Em
    07/27 03:52 PM

    Why would you boycott a restaurant due to a debate about food trucks? Grow up guys, we want to all support Raleigh, not fight like kids.  Let’s worry about more important things like poverty in our own neighborhoods…

  • Todd Morman
    07/27 04:31 PM

    I don’t see any reason to support businesses which use their position to stop other folks from starting their own businesses in Raleigh, just because those folks want to try another business model with lower overhead costs (and almost certainly correspondingly lower returns). Which businesses are next in line to pressure city council to exclude variants on a specific business plan? What gives them the right to do that? It’s ridiculously unfair of existing restaurants to complain that someone is trying something new, and actually disgusting that those restaurants have succeeded in stalling action for so long because they expect the city to protect them from an imaginary nightmare of competition. Call me cynical, but it sure seems probable to me that campaign donations from restaurant owners is one reason folks like Crowder continue to play the stall game. (Note to 150: I put my name to that. Until you have the guts to do the same, don’t bother talking to me here.) It’s worth remembering that all of the objections *except* the one that assumes our fine city council should be in the business of protecting one restaurant from another one can be easily dealt with - and have been in other cities where food trucks are already on the streets.

  • Rob E.
    07/27 05:30 PM

    “Why would you boycott a restaurant due to a debate about food trucks? Grow up guys, we want to all support Raleigh”
    I don’t think we do all want to support Raleigh. I think more options and more variety is good for Raleigh, and supporting people who don’t believe that does not feel like supporting Raleigh.
    I was at one of the city council meetings where this was discussed. The only opposition that was voiced at that meeting came from restaurant owners, and every argument was about how it would hurt their bottom line or how it was unfair because of the amount of money that they had invested in their restaurant. I did not hear that food trucks were bad for the city, just that a few people thought it would be bad for them, personally. I sympathize with any struggling business owner, but they lose my sympathy and my business when they try to curtail the freedom of all of us in order to maintain their profits.

  • mark
    07/27 07:30 PM

    Sometimes I feel food truck vendors are the same as the people who get on airline flights and ask to sit in empty premium first class seats (eventhough they only bought a coach ticket). If you want the premium location you gotta pay for it. Why is that so hard to understand?

  • Todd Morman
    07/27 10:00 PM

    Mark, that’s ridiculous. The idea that restaurants have earned the right to ban new business models of selling food because they’ve invested in their own business in the past makes no sense. I work at a used bookstore; do I get to ask the city council to ban all those people who’ve started selling books from their bedrooms with those little scanner devices over the last few years? No. I don’t.

  • Mark
    07/27 10:04 PM

    But you’re not gonna be too happy if I park my van in front of your store and sell books out of it now are you Todd… and you could and should tell me to take a hike if I tried.

  • Todd Morman
    07/27 10:04 PM

    And you know, while I’m here, I’m finding myself more and more curious about Greg Hatem’s position on food trucks. He donated $2,500 to Crowder’s campaign in 2009, and has had problems keeping restaurants afloat recently, hasn’t he? I like the guy a lot, both from interviewing him and from what I’ve seen him do for downtown, but I’m starting to wonder if he’s made any public statements about food trucks to the N&O or anyone else. Can anyone clarify that?

  • Todd Morman
    07/27 10:12 PM

    Mark, I’d have a problem if you set up in our parking lot, which we own. But not if you set up down the street. And I’m perfectly fine with regulations like a 50-foot zone around existing restaurants, so your objection is moot. For what it’s worth, though (and I’m not speaking for the business or my boss here, just for me, a worker drone), a van full of books 50 feet away would be no competition at all, and would almost certainly be a net plus as another attraction to the area for booklovers. But whatever problem I might have, there’s no freaking way I’d be trying to get the city council to ban your right to set up a streetside book stall. I’d have no right to do that at all.

  • Angus
    07/27 10:38 PM

    I was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. A few years ago I moved to Chicago (where, full disclosure: I run marketing for one of the more popular food trucks) and one of the things that made me most happy was watching Raleigh grow and thrive better (and quicker!) than I had ever seen in my 18 years of residence.

    I’m proud of my hometown because the capital’s now feeling like a capital. Just in the past 5 years Raleigh’s seen a rennovated Fayetteville Street which helped to bridge a thriving downtown, a surge in local craft breweries, a hockey team that not only won a Stanley Cup but helped to bring the NHL All-Star Game in, a gorgeous new civic center, a massively impressive music festival on its second year and a legitimate public transit solution downtown in the R-Line.

    But there’s one thing I feel like I’m missing. Oh yeah, the amazing food we have. And it’s not just food, it’s businesses in general. And it’s not just businesses in general, but more importantly it’s how everyone in Raleigh feels about them. If the recent sudden falls and incredible returns of both Rockford and Kings (WELL done, dudes) have taught me anything it’s that when something captivates Raleighans they will find a way to get their hands on it.

    The point is that if something works then customers will spend money. Restaurants that oppose food trucks are running scared, probably afraid to innovate old and tired ways of business. Raleigh’s growing foodie culture means that people are looking for new ways to connect through food. Food trucks offer exciting new ways to connect through different cuisines and experiences and should be encouraged. In Chicago there’s a 200 ft limit a food truck must be from a restaurant where they’re interfering with business. Do that, fine. If anything it will encourage better food options to be brought places where they aren’t available.

  • mark
    07/27 11:15 PM

    Todd, I’m glad you are willing to give up a parking space in front of your store for a competitor to sell books. That is your right I guess just like it is the right for the restaurant owners to to object to it. As a customer I would onject to having to listen to a generator hum for an hour while I sit outside at the Raleigh Times or any other outdoor seating area. The city doesn’t have an obligation to provide free space for food trucks though they certainly can provide areas with certain restrictions. They have the option of making the distance from other businesses as long or as short as they like, though they do it at their own peril since their is still a lot of empty store front space downtown and I think city leaders are more interested in seeing them occupied rather than a few food trucks motoring around downtown. I enjoy food trucks but think they lack a compelling arguement for why they should be allowed a free space to operate and nothing you have shared is any better. I guess it isn’t a moot point after all. Happy reading and good luck with your book store. I hope you do better than Borders.

  • mark
    07/27 11:19 PM

    I hope everyone remembers what they asked for when the big chains get into the mobile food business? If you think this is all about Klausie’s and Only Burger you are sadly mistaken.

  • John Morris
    07/28 12:03 AM

    It’s worth noting that independent restaurant owners a few hours away in Asheville aren’t opposed to food trucks like a few here in Raleigh are:

    “Does Asheville Independent Restaurants oppose food trucks?

    The official stance is that, though they want to facilitate the discussion in a manner that benefits everyone, they are not opposed to food trucks.”

    I’d also like to know why almost all of the vocal opponents run businesses on Glenwood Avenue.

  • Angus
    07/28 12:06 AM


    Last I checked the people who will run these food trucks will have to get a license (which they will pay Raleigh for) and will be operated by taxpaying citizens, therefore they have the right to park in a public spot.

  • Rob E.
    07/28 12:29 AM

    I’ve seen a few comments here and elsewhere mentioning thte idea that food trucks would be able to set up in a free, public parking spot. As I understand it, this is not what’s being considered at all. What is up for discussion is law changes that would allow food trucks to do business while parked on private property. Big Boss was regularly hosting food trucks in it’s parkning lot until the city started to crack down on them. It’s not public property. There’s no restaurant anywhere near there. But the current restrictions on food trucks make it difficult to operate there. The changes being proposed as I understand them would allow a business owner to provide parking for a food truck on their property. It’s not city-sponsored parking. It’s two businesses coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement with a third business down the road yelling “not on my block, you don’t!” And presumably calling 911.

  • Todd Morman
    07/28 09:40 AM

    Mark, the proposed ordinance *only* allows food trucks on private property, so I don’t know where your “they shouldn’t be allowed a free space to operate!” argument is coming from, except (and I say this as gently as I can) that you don’t seem to be paying very close attention to this issue as you write your comments.

  • Bill Jenkins
    07/28 09:55 AM

    I have extremely strong opinions about food trucks.

  • Grassfed
    07/28 02:27 PM

    The food selection is so boring and repetitive in Raleigh. I think food trucks would light a fire under their ovens. It would let them see what is most popular and add such items to their menus which they keep on the safe side. There are a lot of creative unemployed people around that could pump their creativity into food. It could launch new restaurants, existing restaurants could rebrand and hire the most popular food truck chefs. National food businesses base here could also be started. This is just free market and a celebration of a food adventure waiting to happen! IT’S LIKE THEATERS KEEPING OUT VIDEO STORES IN THE PAST OR BEING AFRAID OF VHS.

  • Phillo
    07/28 04:25 PM

    While I don’t agree with Crowder’s approach, there is nothing wrong with establishing a set of rules by which food truck operators can ply their trade. 
    Food truck proponents need to up their game from “but, but, but it would be cool” and start thinking about how these trucks will actually impact the blocks that they squat on with regards to generator noise, trash, and their minimal investment in the communities that they want to operate in. 
    I know it’s hard for bourgeois hipsters to be told no, or to have to wait for something they want, but it’s probably about time that the participation-trophy generation learns that the world does not revolve around their wants.

  • MAS
    07/28 04:37 PM

    A pretty simple debate has turned into a mountain.

    1) How many downtown restaurants are: a) anything more than slightly better than good, and b) affordable?

    Those of us who live and work down here know the facts. Pretty good food.  Pretty high prices. $10 for lunch is exorbitant. $17-20+ for dinner is, as well.  Especially when we just want a sandwich.  Sosta, Square Rabbit, Wilmoore have it right. Buku is worth its price.  The Pit and Z&R, perhaps worth their price.  Sitti, Gravy, Diner, among the many others along GloSo, are underwhelming for their cost structure. Competition is good.  That’s why Sauced is gone, and the other NY pizza joint on GloSo is still open.

    2) The food trucks serve a purpose. But they don’t incur the facilities costs that brick and mortar joints do.

    The solution: a generally free market capitalism (or a very limited rule set). BUT, levy a tax on the food trucks, similar to that of a retail unit.

    Pop-up stores are all the rage. Street vendors are everywhere ... even the hot dog carts that permeate what seems like every block now.

    Food trucks SHOULD be able to park in empty parking lots at odd hours.  They SHOULD be able to park in my building’s parking lot, if I, the owner, allow them.  But, they also SHOULD have their own unique retail tax to account for the waste, traffic, infrastructure and aesthetic “pollution” that they contribute.

    There is absolutely no reason—with all the outdoor events that used to take place weekly during Raleigh summers (hello, Downtown Raleigh Live, anyone ... anyone?) that we should allow carnival barker crap food trucks to line the streets, but NOT allow local food trucks on a regular basis.

    Restaurants will be forced to serve better food and/or lower their prices.  Food trucks will be forced to pay infrastructure fees.

    Move on, council, make a decision. This topic is stale.

  • MAS
    07/28 04:39 PM

    PS, who’s to say that the brick and mortar restaurants couldn’t do food trucks to supplement their business?  They almost all cater anyway.

  • mark
    07/28 10:59 PM

    “Food truck proponents need to up their game from “but, but, but it would be cool” and start thinking about how these trucks will actually impact the blocks that they squat on with regards to generator noise, trash, and their minimal investment in the communities that they want to operate in.”—- I agree. Everytime I hear a food truck proponent give the same old lame talking points about how food trucks will help bolster “the creative class” I know they pretty much don’t have anything constructive to add to the discussion. The rules in Durham and Chapel Hill have issues .... I’m glad Raleigh is taking the time to not only open up access and do it right the first time.

  • mark
    07/28 11:04 PM

    You’re right Todd. The proposed ordinance will not allow parking on the street - but the food truck vendors have argued that is unfair and keep bringing up the issue at city meetings. You don’t need to be gentle, just try to keep up Todd. Your ignorance of all the issues and angles only erodes your weak arguements further.

  • Big Eater
    07/29 09:53 AM

    There’s more to Raleigh than just downtown. The current restrictions need to at least be modified. Lots of busy intersections with vacant corners could be taken up by food trucks. There’s potential to have a great business with commuters where there is no brick and mortar.

    I understand these downtown restaurants took some risk when they opened, and the inflated prices they charge has to reflect the inflated rent they have to pay. But the substandard food quality and limited operating hours are on them.

  • JT
    07/29 01:20 PM

    The only places even remotely edible on Glenwood South are Thaiphoon, Mellow Mushroom, and Draft.  I wish they would increase the food quality so I wouldn’t have to walk to Fayetteville St or Poole’s everytime I want a decent meal.

    I know people like Zely, but I think it’s an order of magnitude less in quality than Poole’s and the food is the same price.

    The whole argument is fucking stupid… do you really think people dressed to the nines are going to start taking their dates to the food trucks to eat out of recycled cardboard containers?  That’s romantic.  Christ, let some people with ambition try a new business model and get off their nuts.

    I know this whole thing will just make me drive to Durham whenever I want a meal.  I’m certainly never setting food in any of the mentioned establishments again.

  • DanFromDetroit
    07/29 03:28 PM

    Any of these restaurants that is saying food-carts would hurt their bottom line is flat out lying.  There are many cities that have a thriving brick & mortar/mobile food scene.  I live in downtown Portland and regularly visit both food carts and established restaurants.  The argument that a storefront is doing more to stabilize an area or brings a bigger investment is just false.  Food carts require an investment & bring people into the downtown just as readily.  The argument for late night options is very strong.  After 10pm where can you eat downtown?  Mostly bars with a late night menu but that’s it - having another option (which doesn’t include booze) is just that… another option.  Do the bars/restaurants think people won’t still come in and drink?  I’m very disappointed by the opposition to the mobile food concept.  It’s a big sandbox and having another option to eat @ 11pm on a Saturday wont be hurting Sola’s bottom line.

    tl:dr it’s a big city and there won’t be the competition that the restaurants are claiming.

  • Dutch Oven
    07/29 05:34 PM

    I’m all for food trucks if they provide bathrooms for their customers.  Food goes in, food comes out.  Brick and mortar places are required by law to provide bathrooms for their customers.  I think the “new business model” should include this basic necessity for their customers, too.

  • Ryan G.
    07/29 05:42 PM

    I’ve seen some moblie coffee trucks before. Can’t tell me those wouln’t cut into the bottom line if parked by Helios and Raleigh Times.  Making a list of places against food trucks is real dumb since their are varying degrees of disagreement and people are at odds over different issues. Some don’t want them at all, some want them but are asking for reasonable restrictions, and some can’t agree on the restrictions. If you don’t want restrictions open a fucking restaurant. If you want to come squat on a piece of land for free and sell your wares, get ready to live with some limitations.

  • Rostam
    07/29 11:29 PM

    Soon, the food trucks will be spread all over downtown like armored winos.  Once this happens and regular folks are standing in front of them in line, the hipsters will turn on them faster than they did Vampire Weekend.

  • Behki
    07/29 11:42 PM

    “I’m all for food trucks if they provide bathrooms for their customers.  Food goes in, food comes out.”

    By that logic, those little hot dog carts that flood the streets of downtown after dark need to provide bathrooms, those fair food vendors, oh, and ice cream trucks.

  • jt
    07/30 12:42 AM

    “I’ve seen some moblie coffee trucks before. Can’t tell me those wouln’t cut into the bottom line if parked by Helios and Raleigh Times.”

    Maybe if they also buy the $20000 la marzocco to go with the food truck.  Otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it :)  If they want to try bring it.  Market competition right?

  • Dutch Oven
    07/30 07:23 PM

    I wasn’t aware we were debating hot dog vendors, but you might just have a point there, too.  As far as fair food, I guess you haven’t noticed all the portojohns they bring in for festivals and fairs, huh?

  • Chad Evans
    07/31 12:31 AM

    Here in Portland, Oregon there are a ton of food trucks. Sometimes they are clustered in groups, sometimes they are by themselves. Many are right next to other businesses and restaurants. They are right downtown in the financial district, they are out in residential neighborhoods, they’re in shopping and entertainment districts. Most of the trucks are stationary and well maintained. It seems to be a very harmonious relationship between the food trucks and businesses. Both thrive, as long as their product is desirable.

    I don’t believe the carts here are inspected or have many regulations imposed on them. They’re very clean and the people working their have pride in their business. Some of the carts are like little satellite eateries owned by established restaurants.

    I think that allowing food carts would only help to strengthen and build an entrepreneurial spirit in Raleigh. The government needs to quit deciding what’s best for people and have faith that individuals can decide what’s best for themselves, their families, and community. Allow a little bit of risk and if it doesn’t work out, then oh well. Individual and communities should define their town’s identity, not the city council.

    There is a similar scale and density between parts of Portland and Raleigh, and I think this city is a good precedent to look at.

    Miss you Raleigh.

  • Ryan G.
    07/31 12:40 AM

    I’m sure the owner of Benelux (who has been pro food truck up to this point) would be singing a different tune if a coffee truck tried to park out in front of his place. Even a crappy coffee truck will eat into his bottom line and a few % off monthly profit can make big difference in the long run. People who point to other cities with food trucks and act like it works perfectly have a very selective memory. Do a quick google search and you will see many are grappling with issues and had to go through the same grwoing pains Raleigh is currently dealing with. It is pretty ignorant to think this is a decision that should be made quickly. Considerations have to be taken into account FOR BOTH sides of the situation.

    07/31 01:20 AM

    Its unbelievable that this is even a debate. Food trucks are tacky and trashy. The food scene here is weak enough… why make it worse with nasty food trucks? The fact that the town is even considering allowing these stupid things shows how lame Raleigh can be.

  • not complain'n
    07/31 02:49 AM

    call me easy, but it’s all fair game.  make better food than a food truck can put out, and i’ll buy it.  give me a place to sit and a reason to be there, and i’ll go. anything that can thrive has a place.  competition is the name of the game and the food truck is a beast.

  • rdugirl
    07/31 12:54 PM

    Agree with not complain’n…it’s all about competition. Raleigh is a great little town, but it is refreshing to be in a city where the brick/mortar establishments co-exist nicely with the food carts that are on almost every corner, along with the guys who sell newspapers/lottery tickets.  It’s like having Taz on every corner only in a smaller space. 

    DTR thinks it is so progressive and while it has come along way, it’s got a long way to go.  Glenwood is like the Jersey Shore and outside of a 2 block radius downtown, there isn’t much going on. 

    Team Food Trucks!

  • Phillo
    07/31 06:33 PM 
    I can’t wait for the Taco Bell food truck to roll into town.  Sizzler is fine, but if Raleigh really wants to be progressive and support food trucks, we need to make sure that we get and Applebee’s food truck.

    08/01 10:55 AM

    I am all for the free market but does anyone else get the sense that the people pushing for food trucks are the same ones complaining about the brewery closing?

    08/01 11:26 AM

    I am all for the free market but does anyone else get the sense that the ignorang hicks complaining about food truck supporters are the same ones complaining about people who will miss the brewery?

    08/01 11:52 AM

    I have no problem with food trucks, I just think hipsters are uninformed hypocrites who do not understand business or how the real world works.

  • Ignorang Hick
    08/02 01:47 PM

    I don’t just complain about food truck supporters and people who will miss the Brewery. I complain about PBR drinkers, and 22 year olds with beards too.

  • Frank Booth
    08/02 02:39 PM


    F*ck that shit!

    Pabst Blue Ribbon!!

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