By Contributor | CTV News – London
Forest city foodies could finally get their food truck fix, a year after the mobile diners were supposed to hit the streets.
While the trucks were supposed to be cooking up a storm last summer, several delays in drafting a bylaw means they’ll likely be able to hit the pavement this summer instead.
Chris Bunting and his sister built their food truck business from scratch last year, and while they might serve the best grilled cheese in town, you’d never know about it unless you work nearby.
That’s because the mobile kitchen it’s cooked in is tucked away in a private parking lot behind a snow bank instead of a prime public location.
“The decision for us is that if we could be viable like we are on a private lot then we’d still move forward with the truck, and when the city was ready we’d be ready to go,” Bunting says.
They opened in December, wanting to be ready for when city hall approves a new food truck bylaw, but after several delays even city councillors are hungry for answers.
Councillor Joni Baechler says “You’d probably want to tweak the bylaw depending on the input you get from the public and so that requires time. And you’ve also got to allow time for someone to be ready to go when the warm weather gets here and that really is a time crunch.”
Orest Katolyk, the city’s chief bylaw official, says food truck recommendations will be ready in the spring, after several changes to the initial proposal last year.
Proposed rules include trucks being 25 metres from existing restaurants and other refreshment vehicles, 100 metres from festivals or special events, 25 metres from schools and no setting up on residential streets.
A licence will cost about $2,000 a year and vendors will have to pay the regular fee for parking.
Katolyk says his department had to come up with menu options that pleased everyone.
“You’ll see unique menus. You’ll see different countries reflected in the menu selection. So very common in what happens across Ontario and Canada.”
So convenient culinary delights may be close at hand. Katolyk says if all goes well we could see food trucks like Bunting’s specialty grilled cheese on the streets by late spring 2014