Food truck owners push local cities to expand their appetites

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by Janet Roach, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 18 at 7:23 PM

NORFOLK-- The food truck movement is trying to gain momentum in Hampton Roads, and support.

Vendors say they need more freedom on where they can set up, so on Monday they staged a demonstration at local Haynes furniture stores to give people what they hope is a taste of what's to come.

"For some reason, Hampton Roads is just having a hard time letting us do our business," says Casey Haas, who co-owns Stuft, a taco vendor, with his brother Alex.

Both Haas brothers say there's nothing new to the food truck movement but it's new to Hampton Roads and local governments have been slow to support them.

What vendors want is the ability to set up operations on public streets. Bull Island Barbecue owner, Kerry Law says the truck restaurants are just as regulated as land restaurants, if not more so. He says inside his truck is state of the art equipment that provides gourmet barbecue cuisine.

"We're probably more inspected than most because we are out and about," says Law.

Resistance isn't just coming from local governments that worry about the trucks causing traffic issues. Many restaurants also have no appetite for the idea.

Manager Randy Windley is the manager at Doumar's in Norfolk and says they've been paying taxes at the Monticello Avenue site since 1934.

"I wouldn't want a barbecue truck that could freelance on the other side of the block here and sell barbecue. I think that would hurt business," said Windley.

 

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