By Siobhan Morris | 610 CKTB
Free the food trucks.
There’s a push on to do just that at St. Catharines city hall Monday night. Council is considering changing rules around food trucks in the city’s core.
Right now there are only 4 licenses up for grabs. Downtown councillors Mat Siscoe &Mark Elliott would like to grow that to 6.
Siscoe tells 610 CKTB’s Tom McConnell a pilot project where the city hands out more permits would allow them to test the waters, to see how much interest there is in parking food trucks downtown. The hope is a test run would also determine if food trucks can pull more people downtown & whether or not they’d add problems.
Siscoe points to places like Vancouver & Portland, Oregon which have embraced food trucks in their cores & have seen an increase in foot traffic & more sales for existing businesses for it. Siscoe says the goal is get people to notice the great things happening downtown.
Opening up food truck rules wouldn’t be to serve the after-bar crowd either. The re-jigged bylaw up for discussion blocks the sale of food on the street midnight-6am. Siscoe says the city will focus on food truck operators interested in serving foodies & accentuating the downtown, not satisfying the munchies of the late-night bar crowd.
Siscoe insists food trucks aren’t a threat to bricks & mortar restaurants either, since they cater to different needs. But he says someone dashing out to a food truck on a lunch break may see a downtown restaurant on the way & be curious enough to dine in another time.