VIDEO: Food Trucks Keep Rolling in Napa

By Louisa Hufstader |

Food truck fans were out in force Tuesday night when the Napa City Council discussed how best to regulate the mobile eateries, an agenda item requested by the Napa Chamber of Commerce.

But anyone expecting a heated dispute was likely disappointed – or relieved – with the way the meeting unfolded.

Napa Chamber chair Ryan Gregory told the council that the city’s rules governing food trucks are out of date and inadequate to the needs of today’s rolling restaurants.

But, he said, “it’s very important to allow all mobile food operators to continue” while new rules are being developed.

The council also heard a series of public comments from food truck operators and their allies.

Longtime Napa caterer Melissa Teaff told council members that she’d once viewed the trucks as competition and now rents kitchen space to mobile proprietors.

“You’ve got to keep up with the future,” she said, to applause from the City Hall audience.

Brothers Kevin and Colin Simonson of the Crossroad Chicken truck asked that they have a voice in developing the new rules.

Only Andrew Siegal, proprietor of Dim Sum Charlie’s and impresario of the now-stalled Food Truck Fridays gathering on First Street, expressed displeasure, reading a prepared statement attacking the Chamber as a “special interest” that wants to change the rules in response to his truck’s popularity.

Council members agreed that Napa’s food trucks should be allowed to continue operating while city staff forms a group of “stakeholders,” including truck owners, to craft an up-to-date set of rules.

“The roach coach is no longer the norm,” council member Peter Mott said.

Not all of the Napans who took nearly every seat at City Hall were there for the food trucks, however.

The other item on the evening’s agenda was a public workshop on budget priorities for the upcoming two fiscal years, which attracted contingents of golfers and boaters who spoke out, respectively, for the Kennedy park golf course and the proposed Main Street boat ramp.