Food trucks told to avoid 17th Avenue S.W.
Thousands lined up to get a taste of Calgary's new gourmet food trucks during last week's launch, but finding a place to park downtown won't be easy for the mobile chefs.
Business owners on 17th Avenue S.W. don't want the YYC Food Trucks pulling up on their streets. And even though Stephen Avenue Mall was the site of the food trucks' successful launch last week, the trucks won't be allowed to set up there again unless by special permit.
That is disappointing for Chef Mario Spina of Pimento Mobile Pizzeria, but he says he can understand.
"At the end of the day it's about how do we bring fun, safe food to the public and without pissing off a restaurant that has spent a lot of money and pays a lot of rent."
In an email Tuesday, Barb Stein, executive director of the Uptown 17 Business Revitalization Zone, said members don't want to participate in the city's food truck pilot program for several reasons, including concerns that trucks could compete with area businesses and take up parking space. Noise, litter, crowds and exhaust could also be a problem, she wrote.
Trucks invited to Victoria Park
In nearby Victoria Park, food trucks are welcome.
"The businesses here are very supportive of this notion, mostly because it does create that extra level of interest, vitality and pedestrian traffic that this area has been struggling with a little bit," said business revitalization zone spokesman David Low.
"It is an uncomfortable walk, underneath the underpasses, to get in to Victoria Park and some people don't want to do that. If this gives people another reason to come to the area we are all for it."
Food truck operators say they have been told that other businesses on Fourth Street S.W., Marda Loop, and Inglewood would also like to make their streets "no roll" zones.
However, a spokeswoman for the Marda Loop Business Revitalization Zone told CBC News that they are considering allowing the trucks two times a week.