Vancouver food carts miss long weekend
Vancouver's plan to have 17 new mobile food carts on the streets in time for the August long weekend has run into problems, leaving just two of newly licensed food vendors ready to go, and only one planning to actually open.
The other 15 are still in the process of getting their carts built or passed by city inspectors, according to Vancouver City councillor, Heather Deal.
"Some of them had to go through more process than other ones. Other ones had to order carts and the guy who makes the carts has a bit of a backlog right now," said Deal.
The new program was launched with much fan fare by Vancouver earlier this month when 800 applicants put their names in a barrel for the $40,000 licences for one of the 17 designated spots on the streets of downtown Vancouver.
After the draw the 17 lucky winners were told they had to be up and running by the coming weekend, or lose their licence to someone else.
City hall has decided to extend the deadline to the end of August, after so many of the vendors struggled with the licencing demands. But Deal says some of the vendors are also likely to lose their spots if they can meet the extended deadline.
"We're probably gonna see a couple of the alternates on the streets because there are some of the vendors who clearly aren't going to be able to get up and going in a reasonable period of time. We've been quite flexible but some simply aren't there," said Deal.
"So the alternates are being alerted and are being asked to queue up and get ready to go and you'll start seeing some alternates pop onto that list quite soon," she said.
Stone-baked pizza ready to roll
One vendor who is ready is Frank Morra, whose 8-metre van is ready to cook and serve stone-baked pizza. He had no problems passing inspections, he told CBC News.
"Before I started it I phoned everybody to see what I needed to do, so there was no problem getting through inspections," said Morra.
Morra has already field tested his pizza-making van on a hot day and claims it is cooler inside than the family's eastside restaurant.
Thousands of people are expected on the streets of Downtown Vancouver over the weekend for the final night of the Celebration of Light fireworks festival on Saturday night and the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday.
But despite being ready to feed the crowds, it turns out Morra won't be serving his pizza this weekend.
"We have a really important family function this weekend. We have a wedding and I am the best man in it," said Morra.
That means there will only be one of the 17 new food carts on the streets this weekend, the Roaming Dragon food cart, which which is already selling its Pan-Asian cuisine at Kits Beach.
Other carts in the works intend to offer Korean meat and veggies, tex-mex burritos, Southern Barbeque for pedestrians strolling the city's streets.