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Food Truck Wars

Some say city’s temporary use permit for mobile food vendors is unfair

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Because Pollock isn’t a food truck owner, some say this isn’t his fight and that it’s a small but vocal minority of food truck operators who are blowing the potential impact of the new rules out of proportion. In fact, some of the rules encoded in the program were already in place before. It’s just that the trucks weren’t always abiding by them. For instance, city law has always made it illegal to serve people curbside, on sidewalks or in other rights-of-way. The pilot program explicitly tells food trucks they can’t do so. Lafser points out that if the trucks were doing it before, they shouldn’t have been. The pilot program, she says, clarifies things for the trucks and should make it easier for trucks to do business here.

But so far, the new rules have already resulted in what some are calling the first “casualty” of the food truck scene. Last week, the Falcon Bar and Gallery in Thornton Park announced that it would no longer host food trucks outside the bar because the business’ landlord is concerned about the pilot program, which states that any truck doing business on private property must first obtain a notarized letter from the property owner. No letter, no food truck.

Fish Out of Water’s Al Ruiz says this is a direct hit to his truck, which used to be at the Falcon every Thursday night.

“I am truly heartbroken over losing this venue to serve at,” he says. “We worked very hard for two years building a grass-roots following and a great relationship with not only the owners of the Falcon, but their staff as well as some adjacent businesses. … [I] am hoping that the people of Orlando won’t lay down on this subject, as it will affect everyone in some sort of way. I just want to work with my friends in the community. Working in a mall parking lot as being my only option just isn’t fair.”

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