By Damian Main | Mail Tribune
Late-night revelers at the Bohemian Club have been enjoying a midnight meal at the Fired Up Food Truck that has been parking outside since November.
“Initially, we gave him permission,” Medford police Sgt. Don Lane said.
Later, Lane discovered that allowing food trucks to operate in public parking spaces is prohibited under Medford municipal code. After discovering the code prohibiting operating in a public parking space, the city revoked permission for owner Cody Diehl to park his food truck in front of the Bohemian.
The food truck generally operates from about 11 p.m. until sometime after 2 a.m.
Alison Chan, city finance director, said food trucks are generally allowed on private property and only in certain designated public rights of way, including the sidewalk across the street from Rogue Community College where a hot dog stand is located.
Diehl’s food truck is often seen next to KOBI in a private parking lot on 10th Street along with other food trucks in the area. Fired Up serves burritos, tacos and other dishes, fusing south-of-the-border fare with Asian flavors.
“Parking near a street is the nature of a food truck,” Diehl said. “Parking in a public right of way is an issue for them, but for me it is an opportunity.”
Diehl, who has appealed to City Council to allow him to park in front of the Bohemian Club, also moves his food truck to other locations, including wineries and breweries.
“I’m giving food to every demographic in Southern Oregon,” he said.
The Bohemian Club starts shutting its kitchen down early, so the owners asked Diehl if he could serve meals outside to customers on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sometimes, he’s still serving meals well past 2 a.m. as people look for a way to soak up the alcohol. Also, workers in the Bohemian Club are looking for a late-night food option, he said.
“I’m there outside of normal operating hours,” Diehl said.
He asked City Council Thursday to consider amending its code or find some other way to allow him to operate outside the club.
The council appeared receptive to the idea, particularly because downtown parking spots are not so popular during the late-night hours.
“What’s the problem?” Councilor Kevin Stine said.
Stine said he didn’t see much problem allowing a food vendor to use a public parking spot from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
City staff told the council it would look into the issue quickly.