By Aman Batheja | Star-Telegram.com
FORT WORTH – A Yum-Yum! Food truck is back in downtown Fort Worth.
Fans of the two mobile food trucks typically parked on opposite ends of downtown for lunch were outraged when the city kicked them out for two weeks because of the Super Bowl.
Randy Elledge, with Grand Prairie-based United Caterers, found out Friday that the truck that normally serves burritos and snacks at the corner of 10th & Taylor Sts. could come back downtown for the week. His other truck wouldn’t be able to return to its usual spot on the 100 block of Throckmorton Street until after the Super Bowl.
“We’re just glad to be downtown, and we love Fort Worth and we support Fort Worth,” Elledge said.
The Fort Worth City Council passed a temporary ordinance in December restricting street vending in downtown from Jan. 23 through Feb. 7. Brandon Bennett, the city’s code compliance director, said the city pursued the ordinance after hearing from previous Super Bowl host cities that mobile vendors can end up inundating the area where the teams are staying.
“It just becomes a circus if we don’t have tighter regulation,” Bennett said. “We didn’t want to totally exclude the mobile food vendors. We just wanted to protect that downtown core.”
City officials began hammering out the details of the ordinance with the NFL early last year. Eight hot dog vendors were allowed to continue operating under the agreement. The Yum-Yum! trucks became downtown fixtures in the fall, “after all this had been discussed and agreed upon,” Bennett said.
The Yum-Yum! truck usually on Throckmorton falls in the ordinance’s “buffer zone” where no mobile vendors are allowed, Bennett said. The other truck is in the ordinance’s “clean zone” in which all the vendors must be approved by the NFL, he said.
City officials received permission from the NFL last week to allow one of the Yum-Yum! trucks back in for this week. “We had a chat with the NFL, and we explained to them that it was a local, reputable company … and we really wanted to try and get them back in operation,” Bennett said. Elledge and Bennett agreed that it was Yum-Yum! customers who pressured city officials to arrange a temporary fix.
Elledge said he appreciated the compromise and was pleased that the city gave him a permit to park a truck for the week on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Hospital District, a potential spot for a future Yum-Yum! truck, he said.
“It’s kind of a good opportunity to get out there and test it this week and see what happens,” Elledge said.