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Food truck pros, cons give Chapel Hill something to chew on

Posted November 29, 2011

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— The Chapel Hill town council got served with plenty of food for thought Monday as the community spoke out for and against a proposal that would allow food truck operators to park and serve within town limits.

The current proposal would require trucks to be set up in private lots at least 100 feet from the door of any restaurant that's open for business.

Jody Argote, who runs Parlez Vous Crepe, said her food truck brings in business from surrounding areas – business that could benefit Chapel Hill.

"I have customers that come to see me from other counties and because they are traveling to see me, they are almost always going to spend more time in Orange County," she said.

The owner of Sugarland Bakery on Franklin Street, Katrina Ryan, said she isn't worried about direct competition with her store, but doesn't think food trucks will boost the local economy.

"There are no local jobs created, there aren't any verifiable benefits to the town, so I don't see the upside," she said.

Council members said their main concern is enforcement – making sure vendors have the proper permits and are following health and safety standards.

The proposal is up for a vote in January.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Its the who what Nov 29, 2011

    "We don't like to get shot at or have our town trashed by a bunch of drunks and gang bangers.

    We also don't really like hepatitis or salmonella. I guess we are a bit strange!"

    Now gang bangers are driving food trucks?? REALLY?? Any violence in your town comes from your Chapel Hill residents. Secondly, you could probably do a study on hepatitis or salmonella just by going to that nasty hometown favorite, The Rathskeller AKA "The Rat".....yes I am not joking people....its actually named after on of the nastiest creatures on the planet!!! I guess its only okay to eat in a nasty hole in the wall if its brick and mortar on Franklin Street..or an alley off Franklin.

  • Scubagirl Nov 29, 2011

    "against a proposal that would food truck operators to"

    yet another fine job of editing!

  • 07GoldWinger Nov 29, 2011

    @wkph You apparently did not look close enough at my statement. I was quoting someone else.

  • mpheels Nov 29, 2011

    dlnorri - currently the issue in Chapel Hill is not about giving food trucks free reign. It is about letting private businesses operate on private property. As is stands now, food trucks cannot operate on private property with the permission of the property owner unless they meet an impossible standard (i.e. they have to construct a temporary wall/fence to block view of the truck from the street). No one is arguing to allow food trucks on public property on a day to day basis (currently they are allowed for certain special events). Carrboro and Durham both have thriving food truck scenes. Some of those business have grown enough to become brick and mortar restaurants (hello Only Burger!). I hate to think of the economic opportunities lost when creative, hard working people can't get their foot in the door.

  • warbirdlover Nov 29, 2011

    Whats wrong with Chicken Goat, it very tasty. Farmers have been butchering their own livestock for eons. It does not have to come out of a processing planr to be safe. When was the last time you ever hear of someone getting sick from eating off a food truck. All I see is people embracing the free market and being self employed businessmen. If the food is bad, word will get around and they won't be in business for long. As long as they pass health inspections, more power to them. Chaple hill wants to be like San Francisco, but they a just wantabes.

  • wkph Nov 29, 2011

    The food from these trucks is probably a lot safer than in some restaurants. The comments from 07GoldWinger are probably bull. If he has so much knowledge then he should report it to the proper authorities.

  • dlnorri Nov 29, 2011

    Food Trucks and carts are a plauge that should be tightly regulated. If you give them free reigh they will be everywhere (and you will not have anywhere to sit down and eat). They have thier place, special events, contstruction sites, businesses that are not large enough to support a cafeteria but want a food option for employees. This way you have private property owners regulating who they allow to sell food and ensuring the quality of the product. If you give them free access to public space, they will multiply rapiday, and quality and safety will be history.....

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 29, 2011

    November 29, 2011 10:42 a.m.
    Good post, your right on. If I ran a place and my biggest fear was a food truck parked close, I'd wonder if I was in the right business or not.

  • Buddy1 Nov 29, 2011

    aetius476 - "We also don't really like hepatitis or salmonella."

    Oh my goodness! Are you aware of an outbreak of hepatitis or salmonella coming from local food trucks? If so please post links so folks can follow-up and make sure we don't eat at the food trucks you are accusing. Thanks!

  • 07GoldWinger Nov 29, 2011

    White Cross said "One of the taco truck guys live near here. He slaughters goats,chickens,etc.in his back yard.He leaves out after 5 p.m. to avoid the health department. Get'cha some.....!"

    And by knowing this and not reporting it you either do not care for the safety of others or are trolling to start something.