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Keep on Truckin’
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

 

Food trucks across from the Powerhouse. Photo Ann Gardner

 

Will the Wednesday night food trucks return to Del Mar now that the City’s new regulations for mobile food vendors have been approved? It’s up in the air according to Curbside Bites, a gourmet food provider who schedules mobile food vendors at locations throughout the County and had organized the food trucks that showed up last fall at the parking lot on Coast Blvd. “We haven’t had a chance to review the new regulations to determine whether or not, or which, vendors are still interested,” they said.

To re-cap, last October nine food trucks were licensed by the City of Del Mar and scheduled by Curbside Bites to sell a variety of foods ranging from Barbeque and Italian food to Crepes and Knish between 5 and 9 p.m. every Wednesday evening at the parking lot. They attracted locals who liked the convenience of many choices and good food in one informal location, a place to bring children and meet neighbors and where kids from nearby soccer fields who had checked out their favorite food truck locations on their iPods, got their moms to drive to the lot after a game.

But local restaurants complained about the competition, and there were questions about the lack of health and safety regulations for the new to Del Mar phenomenon. On November 12 the City Council issued a moratorium on any additional mobile vendors, including food trucks, until regulations were in place. The nine previously licensed food trucks could continue to operate. With input from the public and the Planning Commission the carefully thought out regulations that will allow food trucks to operate in Del Mar will become effective May 15; no objections from residents or restaurants were raised at the second reading on April 15.

In the meantime only a few of the previously licensed trucks continued to show up at the parking lot, and at various, unscheduled times. Curbside Bites explained that they discontinued scheduling trucks for the Wednesday night event because it was hard to fill a schedule with only nine vendors. The company normally has a palette of eighty to work with. Plus, the time of year – the sun was going down at about the same time the trucks were setting up. City Senior Planner Matt Bator said under the new ordinance any mobile food truck or booking company could operate in Del Mar with the proper operating permit and business license. He has not had any new bites so far but expects the City may get more inquiries as it warms up and summer visitors join locals who enjoy the food truck atmosphere.

 

 

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