Tuesday, June 26, 2012
On June 19th, Mark Baratelli, of The Daily City, gave me a tip that a food truck event in the Milk District was being shut down by police. He felt that all the proprietors in the neighborhood were behind the event since it brought in a crowd. Apparently a business in the neighborhood did complain and there were reports that Code Enforcement was there. In Miami, food truck corals draw huge crowds to the trendy gallery district. I immediately drove over to see what was going on. As I approached the Milk District, I noticed a food truck driving away. The event was called Tasty Tuesdays and involved food trucks in a parking lot at the corner of Robinson and Graham. There was a small crowd of 20 to 30 people milling about. Some people were finishing off plates of food. Two police cars were parked in the middle of the road blocking traffic. Officers stood in the road with their arms crossed waiting for the food trucks to pack up and leave. Melissa's Chicken and Waffles food truck closed up and pulled out of the parking lot as I sketched. A camera man from Fox 35 News started shooting video.
Saigon Sizzle on the left side of my sketch packed away a table and supplies and then backed out of the lot. I asked the guy who was helping guide the driver why they had to leave. "The police say we are blocking traffic." he said. "We assumed the organizer had all the right permits, but I guess not." Slowly the crowd disappeared as the sun set behind the T.G. Lee's Milk towers. A mosquito kept tickling my left elbow. I rushed to finish the sketch before I lost all my light. The Flattery, a black food truck was parked on the sidewalk and was the last to leave.
The Daily City contacted Commisioner Patti Sheehan and this is what she had to say. "City staff is working with Tommy to try and get the issues resolved. There was a complaint from a nearby business. I was aware of parking concerns, and I had spoken to OPD about it, but I was unaware of the code provision that does not allow sales from the city right-of-way. The trucks were warned, but a few decided to pay the fine and continue selling. I would rather work this out so that all of the codes are understood and followed, and the event can continue. I do not think this is a bad omen for food trucks in general, just a hiccup with a group trying to promote an event that needs to be a little more familiar with our rules." Read the rest here...
Tasty Tuesdays in The Milk District had this to say on Facebook, "One of the businesses on the street complained one too many times. Worst case scenario, next week the trucks will be in the Spacebar/Sandwich Bar, Etoile Boutique/Milk Bar, and Doggy Day Care parking lots. Best case scenario, we're back on the street - we will keep you all updated. Small businesses for the win!"
Yum! Yum! I drove home and had a hot dog for dinner. I was starving.