If you didn’t get invited to a barbecue on Labor Day, don’t worry! WGNO’s Wild Bill Wood found a round-up of food trucks in Mid-City. It’s a food fest at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub on Banks Street.
This story has 9 updates
Food trucks across New Orleans are celebrating. Not only did the city council unanimously vote to put more trucks in business, but they did away with a buffer zone around restaurants.
Rachel Billow, owner of La Cocinita Food Truck & founder of the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition says, “Entirely, yeah, it went from 600 feet to nothing.”
Over the past several months the city council struggled to come to an agreement. They mostly struggled over whether to ban food trucks from coming too close to brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Rachel Billow believes there is room for both. “We’ve got loyal customers who go to restaurants on some nights, on other nights they need something quick and they stop by the truck and I know that once we have a restaurant we’ll see the other side of that. When people want AC on days like today, restrooms, sit down wait service; those are amenities that we are looking forward to offer, but we’re going to continue operating our truck as well because we understand that it’s two different niches in the restaurant industry. They both have advantages.”
The new ordinance would put 100 food trucks in business. It also creates a franchise system where the Mayor’s office allows a limited number of trucks to set up Downtown, on Frenchmen, and in residential neighborhoods; areas that used to be off limits.
Attorney for the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition Andrew Legrande explains, “Essentially you are renting a spot from the city that’s yours for specified days, on specified times.”
Food trucks that apply for a franchise permit must post a notice before they are approved so that neighbors could weigh in.
The Mayor is expected to sign off on the plan soon.
Dat Dog along Freret Street played host to Dat Truck Fest Wednesday night to show what happens when food trucks do business next to a restaurant also doing business.
“We’re getting customers, they’re getting customers,” says Rachel Billow, founder of New Orleans Food Truck Coalition.
Billow says the coalition now has backing to change regulations which required food trucks to keep six hundred feet away from restaurants, “We’ve got the support of the city council. We also have support from the mayor’s office.”
After a tough era of amending laws and challenging ordinances, Barrie Schwartz from My House NOLA says people in the New Orleans food truck industry can finally say, things are looking up, “It’s better and it’s going to get better.”
Schwartz says My House NOLA has been organizing food truck events for the past year and takes pride bringing food trucks, restaurants and city government together, “It’s a restaurant partnering with food trucks to bring more commerce to the neighborhood.”
The city council will also vote in July to increase time limits and make available one hundred more permits,” Those ordinances look a lot friendlier to food trucks,” says Schwartz.
She says their theory of being successful working with restaurants rather than against them is being proven true.
If passed, new ordinances will take effect in September or October.
“It’s fantastic. We will become an even greater food destination than we were before,” says one customer in line.
As Dat Truck Fest came to a close, all food trucks sold out of food and Dat Dog says sales exceeded expectations.
To learn more visit:
My House NOLA http://www.myhousenola.com/
Dat Dog http://datdognola.com/
Hungry? We’ve got just the thing! For the first time ever, food trucks are circling like covered wagons on Freret Street in New Orleans. It’s the “Freret Street Food Truck Fest,” and our Wild Bill Wood is there!
After vetoing a previous plan passed by the city council, Mayor Mitch Landrieu appears to be on board with a revised ordinance regulating food trucks in the city.
According to the mayor’s office, the proposed ordinance will cover all mobile food vendors no matter whether the vehicle is pushed, pulled, pedaled or driven.
The plan would reduce areas where the mobile food vendors are prohibited from operating as well as do away with a restriction preventing them from operating within certain distances of restaurants.
When it comes to food truck food in New Orleans, sometimes, what’s old is new again! In this case, we’re talking about the 5,000 year old food called falafel.
WGNO’s “Wild Bill” Wood has a nose for news that smells good!
(News with a Twist – 5/6/13)
Surprising food truck vendors throughout the city Mayor Mitch Landrieu vetoes the food truck ordinance.
Food truck vendors across New Orleans are sighing tonight. They’ve been defeated by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
“Well there’s frustration. A lot of it is just confusion,” says Rachel Billow who co-owns La Cocinita Food Truck and is president of the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition.
She says she’s been working with the mayor’s office on the new food truck ordinance for months and hadn’t heard of any problems until the mayor vetoed the ordinance passed by the council last month.
“We’ve worked so hard on this for so many months and I think, I guess we celebrated a little too early.”
The new ordinance would have welcomed more food trucks, and would have lessened the gap between trucks and restaurants.
Today the mayor`s office sent us a letter the Mayor Landrieu addressed to Clerk of Council Peggy Lewis. In it he called the ordinance possibly unconstitutional and goes on to say, “It would be unwise to sign this ordinance into law in its current form when it appears certain that it will be invalidated by the court.”
Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, the sole nay vote from the council, says in a statement, “While I believe that food trucks have a place in the overall economic picture of New Orleans, my first concern was for the brick and mortar restaurants and their employees. I was also concerned about the ordinance’s ability to meet a legal challenge.”
Billow says, “I don’t think it’s the government’s role to protect one sector of the industry over another. We’re a niche within the restaurant industry. We’re restaurants on wheels essentially, and I eat at food trucks sometimes and other times I eat at restaurants and I think that people like having choices.”
WGNO News has asked the mayor’s office for clarification of his reasons.
Read the full text of the letter below:
Ms. Peggy C. Lewis
Clerk of Council
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Dear Madam Clerk:
I hereby return Ordinance M.C.S. 025291 (Calendar Number 29,497) disapproved for the following reasons:
- Both the author of the ordinance and its principal proponent have publically stated their belief that elements of the adopted ordinance as amended may be unconstitutional.
- Further, the City Attorney has raised Equal Protection concerns and opined that this ordinance would not withstand a legal challenge. It would be unwise to sign this ordinance into law in its current form when it appears certain that it will be invalidated by the court.
My veto notwithstanding, I strongly support Councilmember At-Large Head and the City Council’s efforts to update the City Code regulations pertaining to itinerant vendors, including those governing frozen seafood, vegetable and fruit, and food trucks.
Accordingly, I have directed my staff to work with the Council to immediately address this issue and develop changes which will result in mobile food vending laws which are legal, fair, enforceable and best serve the industry and the people of New Orleans.
Yours very truly,
Mitchell J. Landrieu
See the original letter here: Mayor Landrieu vetoes food truck ordinance
A food truck fire closed the I-10 eastbound Monday afternoon.
According to the city of Kenner, the truck was also pulling a trailer.
But it was no kitchen fire; investigators say a ruptured fuel tank probably caused the fire.