by Jane A. Donahoe | Memphis Business Journal
Downtown’s Court Square will host food trucks next week as the Memphis City Council prepares to finalize new laws governing mobile food vendors.
The Downtown Alive Food Truck Fare will be held April 19 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
There aren’t a large number of existing trucks in Memphis because laws have prohibited their operation. But at least five mobile vendors plan to sell food during the event, including Fuel, YoLo, Square Meal on Wheels, Rolling Pit and Crepe Maker.
YoLo’s truck, dubbed the YoLo Mobile, is a renovated 1965 Airstream trailer.
The city council passed an ordinance in March relaxing laws that restricted the degree of food preparation in a mobile kitchen. The ordinance’s third reading, required before the ordinance can become law, will coincide with the date of the Downtown event.
The ordinance places a variety of restrictions on the trucks. For example, operators can’t park within 50 feet of a restaurant in Downtown’s central business district or within 300 feet of a restaurant outside the CBD.
The food truck event is part of the Center City Commission’s Downtown Alive series, a series of events held in Court Square during the lunch hour. Reggae artist Taj Weekes and his band Adowa will perform during the food truck event.
Food trucks have gained popularity across the country in places like Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; and Nashville.
Memphis is one of several U.S. cities currently retooling laws to loosen restrictions on food trucks, including Salt Lake City and Cleveland.