By Jesse Fruhwirth | CityWeekly.net
Keep truckin’: Mobile food vendors hope changes to regulations will allow more vending downtown.
Julie Sheehan cooks out of and drives Torta Truck, her Italian-food business that she started in November, a few months after Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker gave public assurances that the city’s food-truck ordinances would be loosened. Those ordinances are under review now, but Sheehan is frustrated there hasn’t been more progress. Indeed, Chow Truck, another food truck, was recently told by the city that it can no longer park at Gallivan Center, one of that business’s most lucrative parking locations.
“I know that SuAn [Chow, owner of Chow Truck,] is going downtown more than I am right now. Actually, knowing that [SuAn] has had a hard time with the city, I haven’t really explored [operating there],” Sheehan says. “There’s places downtown I would love to go. … It’s a frustration, and I’ve learned a lot in watching what the Chow Truck has gone through. In other cities, [mobile food vendors] are all over downtown.”
Chow Truck often parks in a pull-out on Gallivan Avenue. KUTV’s news trucks are authorized to park there, and they gave permission to Chow Truck to park there occasionally, as well. But Chow Truck recently started getting parking tickets from Salt Lake City despite that permission.
“I’ve been told KUTV does not have authorization to give permission for anyone other than media trucks to park on their strip,” Chow says. “The only thing that can be [done] is for the city to change its ordinances for food trucks. I can’t get anywhere near downtown the way the ordinances are currently structured.”