An attempt to find some common ground between eateries that stay in place and those that move around is scheduled to take place tonight, Thursday, July 26.
A citywide forum on issues and concerns relating to food carts and trucks is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Charity Newsies building, 4300 Indianola Ave.
“The idea is to just discuss the situation,” said James R. Blazer II, a member of the Clintonville Area Commission who called the gathering.
He said last week that he’s hoping to have city officials, entrepreneurs from the local food truck community and representatives from “bricks-and-mortar restaurants” on hand for the forum.
A representative of the Economic and Community Development Institute has been invited to participate.
“This is kind of a fact-finding thing,” said Blazer, who represents District 3.
The gathering is open to the public, and Blazer encouraged those who are interested in issues relating to mobile restaurants to attend.
The result of the meeting might be recommendations for action by Columbus City Council, Blazer said.
Food trucks became an issue in Clintonville last August when the owners of Yerba Buena Latin Grill pulled up stakes from the 4400 block of North High Street and moved out of the neighborhood. One of the owners said this was in response to complaints lodged against the business by then-Clintonville Area Commission chairman John DeFourny.
DeFourny, who resigned his post in May, said he was merely passing along the concerns of local residents who said Yerba Buena Latin Grill was violating city regulations regarding how long a mobile food operation may remain in one spot.
Northland Community Council graphics task force coordinator William Logan, speaking shortly after Blazer announced in early June that he wanted to hold a forum relating to food trucks, said he would be willing to participate, but that it wasn’t a major issue of concern in his area.
“We’ve been diligent in working with the city to see that vendors understand their responsibilities with regard to health violations and zoning violations,” Logan said. “We would certainly participate. It is, at this moment in the summer, not a prevalent issue.
“We have no objections to mobile food vendors as long as they play by the rules.”