Dallas to Consider Expanding Food Truck Ordinance

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Dallas Food Truck Ordinance gets another look at the city.

It will take a long time as many know that while food trucks can be great, the city hasn’t always made it easy to have them.

And if you’re a restaurant owner who wants a grocery trailer, you might be luckier in a neighboring town.

Kim Finch, owner of Double Wide, Single Wide, and Thunderbird Station, briefly had one at her Deep Ellum Bar.

“I tried to do some of this [the Thunderbird] Double Wide menu: I was trying to turn this trailer into a small food trailer, ”she said. “But it didn’t fly because you could have a food truck, but you can’t have a food truck.”

Maybe if the Dallas City Council goes a certain way, she could revitalize that space.

North Oak Cliff Councilor Chad West announced Thursday that he is calling on members of the industry to provide feedback for more information on when the item will finally be on the agenda.

A memorandum signed by five councilors was sent to Mayor Eric Johnson’s office on November 9, requesting an item that should be on the council’s agenda on the food truck regulation before the end of 2020.

This has not happened yet, in part because city officials have pulled data from other cities’ best practices for food trailers and food service from shipping containers.

Grocery trailers can be pretty fun: we were in Waxahachie recently and got wistful that they are coming to Dallas.

“The food trailer isn’t that big of a deal, not the problem related to the robbery. The hold-up is the shipping container, it’s a little stranger, ”says West.

Of course, it makes sense that food service from a shipping container should be unknown to most Dallasites. In any case, you can send the council member (with the subject line “Food Trailers”) your suggestions for the current Food Truck Regulation in order to exchange your opinions and experiences.

Portland, Oregon, published a 2013 report on grocery trailers (or carts) that outlined their effects.

Among the results: “Food trucks have a positive effect on street vitality and life in the neighborhood in residential areas with a lower density as well as in the inner city with a higher density.”

Better Block joined Council members West and Adam Bazaldua last fall after examining an opportunity to activate an area of ​​the Forest District in south Dallas.

“We originally started with an open street concept to get the transformation work going in the Forest District. When it was about to start, the pandemic hit and we weren’t happy with pushing community gathering events, ”says Kristin Leiber, Senior Project Manager at Better Block.

They then looked at the economic plight of the pandemic and determined how many vendors had lost income with the State Fair of Texas closing – and linked that to the number of vacant lots in the area.

“There were no affordable grocery suppliers with low entry barriers for Dallas,” says Leiber. “The purpose of these changes is to keep those barriers to entry down, making them an affordable option for restaurateurs who have been forced to shut down chefs or unemployed, or for people with great food who are not ready to move into one $ 200,000 food truck immersion or a five-year lease, but they could spend $ 25,000 on a grocery trailer outfit. “

Better Block took Austin’s guidelines on the matter and compared them to Dallas for city officials to review. West hopes that most of the proposed policy will be in final form by the time it reaches committee.

Maybe we could see it on the council’s agenda by March and, who knows, earlier than we think we could get food out of a cute Dallas trailer.

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Taylor Adams has been writing about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now, as the Observer’s food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news on the Dallas Morning News.

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