Downtown Raleigh starts pilot program for food trucks
Posted August 10, 2016 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated August 11, 2016 10:01 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The city of Raleigh has launched a new pilot program that allows food trucks to operate on the corner of some downtown streets.
Downtown Raleigh has hosted food trucks before, but only during special events or food truck rodeos. This six-month trial program allows trucks to operate at one of four designated zones: 100 E. Polk St., 300 S. Harrington St., 300 S. Bloodworth St. and S. State St. near the DMV headquarters. The locations were chosen because they have business with lots of employees near by, but have a lack of brick and mortar restaurants.
Rare Earth Farms food truck chef Justin Livesey was the first to take advantage of one the zones. The truck served customers on South Bloodworth Street Monday.
"We jumped on it as quick as we could," Livesey said. "I'm very surprised there are not other trucks out here already."
Although the program launched Aug. 1., the zones remained empty the first week while trucks worked to line up permits.
"I think it's going to be slow to build, but eventually it's going to be a strong part of the food truck community because it's going to be such a regular event," Livesey said.
Local business owners like Bryan Regan have been waiting for trucks to hit the streets.
"I don't have to go anywhere for food and the food will be right here at my door step," Regan said.
Tony Hudson, owner of Flattz food truck, recently picked up his permit, which allows him access to the reserved spaces.
"I'm excited about it. Today, I'm driving around to the four different zones to see what space is available, what's in the way, so I'm not surprised when I come out," Hudson said.
Hudson sees the progra as a way to bring food trucks into the downtown Raleigh mainstream.
"We're getting there. When you start seeing trucks on Fayetteville Street, when restaurants start realizing food trucks aren't necessarily the enemy, that we're not taking your business, then...we'll be big time," Hudson said. "We're getting there, slowly but surely."