The Durham Alliance for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship (aka DAFIE) has set up a website to rally public support for the food trucks and attendance at Monday's public hearing in Durham. To read more about what they like and don't like about the proposed rules for mobile vendors in Durham, go HERE.
Officials with both the Durham Central Park and the Durham Farmers' Market said Tuesday they were surprised by city officials' proposal to ban food trucks and other vendors from the streets surrounding the park.
Both Matthew Coppedge, president of the park's board, and Charles Samuels, a member of the farmer's market board, said they were unaware a new policy was in the works. "I don't want people to think the Durham Farmers' Market had a hand in writing these regulations," Samuels said late Tuesday.
The public can attend a hearing about the new rules from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, July 9 at Durham City Hall in the audit services conference room on the first floor.
Samuels said market manager Erin Kauffman met with the park's board, city parks and recreation officials and an assistant city attorney in March 2011 but hadn't heard anything from city officials since. Coppedge said the discussion centered on unlicensed and unauthorized vendors in and near the park when the market meets on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
"We were looking for guidance from Durham Central Park and the city," Samuels said. (Samuels' partner, Phoebe Lawless, is a vendor at the market and owner of Scratch, a downtown Durham bakery.)
Both men added that their organizations support the park's vibrant scene. In fact, the park board teams up with food trucks to host a regular gathering of 30 or more food trucks that attracts hundreds of people to the park.
On Monday, Durham officials sent out a press release announcing the proposed food truck rules, which not only ban trucks around the park but also ban food trucks within 100 feet of the front entrance of a restaurant unless the truck has the owner's permission.
The rules appear to not only affect food trucks but anyone selling from "a vehicle, cart, stand, table, or other device or thing, whether or not wheeled." There is a similar restriction around the Durham Bulls ballpark.
Durham has long been considered the friendliest town in the Triangle to food truck entreprenuers. Raleigh and Chapel Hill are more restrictive towards food trucks, in part due to protest by restaurant owners. Neither city has as vibrant a food truck scene as Durham.
In Durham, many food trucks have had a long-standing practice of parking on the periphery of the farmer's market. In fact, Brian Bottger, who owns the Only Burger truck and restaurant, had recently obtained a permit to close off part of nearby Hunt Street to create a designated area for food trucks during the market. City officials told Bottger that his permit could be revoked if these new rules are approved.
On a recent Saturday morning, Bottger said there were not only food trucks but folks selling lemonade, t-shirts and frozen food. "I didn't see business licenses anywhere," said Bottger, who also serves on the Durham Central Park board. "It's getting a little chaotic. I can understand people wanting to get it under control."
Durham City-County Planning Supervisor Grace Smith, noted that the city wants to stay friendly to food trucks in Durham. She pointed out two other proposed changes help the trucks. City officials want to remove a rule that require trucks to move 60 feet every 15 minutes and another rule that required truck owners to obtain a mobile cart permit.
Go HERE to read the proposed rules.
Durham officials are considering banning food trucks from within 100 feet of the front entrance of a restaurant and from the Durham Central Park area.
Go HERE to see food writer Andrea Weigl's post about the new rules.
Officials in Durham - long considered to the friendliest town in the Triangle to food truck entrepreneurs - are considering imposing new restrictions on food trucks.
First, food trucks would be banned within 100 feet of the front entrance of a restaurant unless the truck has the owner's permission. Second, food trucks would be banned around Durham Central Park, including when the Durham Farmers' Market meets on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. The rules appear to not only affect food trucks but anyone selling from "a vehicle, cart, stand, table, or other device or thing, whether or not wheeled." This is similar to a restriction around the Durham Bulls ballpark.
Many food trucks have had a long-standing practice of parking on the periphery of the farmer's market. In fact, Brian Bottger, who owns the Only Burger truck and restaurant, had recently obtained a permit to close off part of nearby Hunt Street to create a designated area for food trucks during the farmer's market.
Although these proposed rules were a surprise to food truck owners Monday afternoon, Durham City-County Planning Supervisor Grace Smith said there has been an ongoing discussion among city officials. "This has been talked about for some time," she said.
Smith, who noted that they want to stay friendly to food trucks in Durham, pointed out two other proposed changes help the trucks. City officials want to remove rules that require trucks to move 60 feet every 15 minutes (truck owners say this was not enforced) and that required truck owners to obtain a mobile cart permit.
About the ban around Durham's Central Park area, Smith said, officials with the park and the farmers market sought the change to have some control over who was setting up around the perimeter. (See update below)
On a recent Saturday morning, Bottger with the Only Burger truck said there were not only food trucks set up near the farmer's market but folks selling lemonade, t-shirts and frozen food. "I didn't see business licenses anywhere," Bottger said. "It's getting a little chaotic. I can understand people wanting to get it under control."
Officials with Durahm Central Park and the farmer's market could not be reached for comment.
Go HERE to read the proposed rules. There is a hearing from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday July 9 at Durham City Hall in the audit services conference room on the first floor.
UPDATE: I got a return call Tuesday from Matthew Coppedge, president of the Durham Central Park board. Coppedge said the board did discuss unlicensed and unauthorized vendors in and near the park with city officials more than a year ago. He added: "We didn't hear anything until yesterday."
Coppedge said the board supports the food trucks and likes that there is so much activity and vibrancy in the park. He said they plan to attend Monday's hearing and share their response. About the current proposal, he said, "I think it needs some review."
Check out this list and slideshow of Serious Eats folks favorite food trucks here in the Triangle.
For pork and barbecue fans, there is a new truck on the road now and another in the works:
Porchetta RDU is a truck devoted to the Italian-style slow roasted pork sandwiches that got on the road two weeks ago. The owners are chef Nicholas Crosson and Matthew Hayden, former co-workers at Raleigh's 18 Seaboard.
Crosson explains that they make the truck's signature dish, porchetta (pronouced por-KET-a), by roasting pork that has been seasoned with sage, fennel, garlic, rosemary and red chile flakes. Their sandwiches are made with shredded and chopped pork. They also serve seasonal sausages, pork burgers and a veggie burger.
The Humble Pig is the work of husband and wife, Ross and Jessica McCarthy of Cary. Until last fall, Ross McCarthy worked in corporate sales. When he got laid off, this avid backyard barbecue cook decided to launch a truck devoted to smoked local meat. His wife, Jessica, says they plan to be on the road by July 10.
They will serve pulled pork, chicken and brisket. (The pork and chicken come from Mae Farm in Louisburg and Cozi Farm in Mebane.) They smoke the meat using a combination of apple and cherry wood. They do not pre-sauce anything. They will offer several styles of sauce: western North Carolina, eastern North Carolina, a South Carolina mustard sauce, and an Alabama white sauce for the chicken.
The Parlour, Durham's beloved ice cream truck, is trying to raise almost $20,000 for kitchen equipment for their future brick-and-mortar location.
Since they started last year, owners Yoni and Vanessa Mazuz have been working out of The Cookery in Durham. But they will need their own equipment for their future storefront. Vanessa Mazuz says they have narrowed their choice to two or three locations in downtown Durham. (We'll keep you posted on that front as we learn more.)
They have raised more than $16,000 so far toward their goal and there are 10 days left to contribute. Vanessa Mazuz says they were surprised by the community support saying they've barely had time to promote the campaign since they are on the truck every day.
Go HERE to read about their Kickstarter campaign.
Go HERE to read a Durham News story to learn more about their story.
In today's paper:
The main story is how to make jams, jellies, salsa and pickles without all the fuss of canning. Go HERE to read that story. (Be sure to check out our photo galleries for step-by-step instructions - HERE for freezer jam and HERE for pickles.) And I have a story on the new crop of canning and pickling cookbooks.
I have an interview with food writer John T. Edge about his new book, "Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Greatest Restaurants on Wheels." Go HERE to read that story. Go HERE to see Only Burger's Morning Burger recipe.
My column today is about a "Beer and Babies" gathering each month at the Tyler's Taproom in Durham.
Suzanne Havala Hobbs' On the Table column is about what to eat to build strong bones.
Linda Gassenheimer's Quick Fix column offers a recipe for dilled salmon.
We've got a story on how to make Tempeh Cheeseburgers.
We've got Mario Batali's column with a recipe for Bucatini with Crawfish, Jalapeno and Basil.
(Photo above by staff photographer Juli Leonard.)
The recipe was inspired by Only Burger's Morning Burger (pictured left). It was shared courtesy of John T. Edge's "The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurant on Wheels." Edge will be at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 20.
I had a Q&A with Edge published in this morning's paper.
Click READ MORE to see the recipe.
The News & Observer and triangle.com are hosting a Food Truck Friday event for lunch June 1.
Head over to our downtown Raleigh office at 215 S. McDowell Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; our parking lot will have food trucks Chirba Chirba Dumpling, KoKyuBBQ and Sympathy for the Deli serving food.
While you're here, you can play cornhole with triangle.com or spin the prize wheel to win various goodies, like gift cards, prize packs or other swag.
This will the first of three events on First Fridays this year. We'll keep you posted on details of future Food Truck Friday gatherings.