A Real Cluster Truck: Food Trucks vs. Bricks & Mortar Redux

truckwar.jpeg
Mark Andresen
This week, in lieu of a review, I have a greatly expanded and revised version of last month's post about the conflict between food trucks and traditional restaurants downtown, a subject on which many of you, judging by the comments the original post prompted, have strong opinions.

At first glance the map of permissible vending locations that the City of St. Louis provides to newly licensed food trucks looks like the damage report from a London Blitz-style air strike downtown. A red dot marks the entrance of every brick-and-mortar restaurant, and a pale blue circle surrounds each dot, marking a 200-foot radius within which food trucks aren't allowed to park. The map covers nearly all of downtown, bounded by Interstate 70/55 to the east, 18th Street to the west, Cole Street to the north and Chouteau Avenue to the south. In the heart of downtown, where most office workers are concentrated and, consequently, where food-truck operators most want to be, those pale blue circles overlap again and again, forming an almost-contiguous quilt of off-limits real estate.

View the City of St. Louis' map for food trucks yourself (link PDF). Regular restaurant reviews resume next week.

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5 comments
Lone Mountain Truck Leasing
Lone Mountain Truck Leasing

I always like food truck because I am enjoy my dinner at food truck. And there are so many popular food truck that place near to my office.

Foodie
Foodie

After looking at that map, I find one major problem with it and that is its not accurate at all when it comes to some locations.  For instance, when you look at the main problem area downtown, the broadway/pine area, it blocks off the entire block because it marks a restaurant at the entrance to the met square building.  This is completely inaccurate, the restuarant in met square is nowhere near that entrance, its much closer to the back entrance, and yet they are blcoked off from being 200 feet from that spot?  It needs to be 200 feet from the actual restaurant, or at least 200 feet from the closest building entrance.

S314
S314

I can get behind the courtesy of not parking your truck directly in front of a restaurant, but honestly, if I want your food, I will come to your place and get it whether there is a truck there or not.  If I want what the food truck is serving, I will go there. It's not like most people are going to trip over a food truck and decide to eat there, give the customers a little more credit.

Jim Spahr
Jim Spahr

There's no restriction on another restaurant opening within 200 feet, why a restriction on Food Trucks?  Unless you're a walk-up take out restaurant, Food Truck customers are a completely different clientele.

Sherkory
Sherkory

I agree. I think another B&M opening next door, or two doors down, is more of a threat than a food truck.  And the last time I checked, I could not get arancini, fresh lumpia, deep dish pizza, fish tacos or falafal at ANY of the B&M places near my office.  I support B&M establishments as much or more, than the food trucks, but the idea is that it is a nice change once in a while, and it is wonderful to have unique options, especially on days when you have only 10 minutes to grab lunch.  If the food trucks all get pushed out of the downtown area, maybe more people will just start bringing their lunch to work.  If you put out a good product, at a reasonable price, you shouldn't be worried about a little competition.

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