There are several issues on the table, including increasing the number of permits and creating new vending locations in downtown for food trucks.
Meantime, the one downtown location for food trucks, The Lot on Coxe Avenue, is set to see a few improvements. Mackensy Lunsford of the Asheville Scene reports reports it all:
Soon, they’ll have a new courtyard with a landscaped seating area for customers too, an amenity the owner of The Lot’s surrounding property recently approved. Technically, the food trucks still can’t have tables, “because that makes us a ‘restaurant,’” said Nate Kelly, owner of the Lowdown food truck. (Tables also require the installation of portable bathroom facilities.) “But they’re going to allow us to have benches where customers can sit and wait,” he said. Murals on surrounding building walls are in the works, too, as are solar panels to help the trucks go “green.”
This week, food truck operators and a few Asheville Downtown Commission members revisited food truck ordinances to consider increasing the number of permits. City planner Alan Glines said there’s a good chance it will happen. “The commission is interested in talking about it further and coming up with a recommendation,” he said.
Click over to read Lunsford full story, which notes that it’s been a year since the food trucks were approved for downtown.
Interesting how the City was against these entrepenuers initially, and now that their popularity is soaring (so much that a birck and mortar business feels threatened) the leadership decides to increase the permitting and fees associated.
If they’re going to increase the number of permits they really need to find an additional location for the trucks to park. There’s already such limited space in The Lot that most trucks only get a shift two times a week . . .
Haven’t we really reached the saturation point when it comes to places to eat out around here? Between the restaurants, food trucks, and grocery stores, there’s more food than a city three times our size could eat.
I do not think we have. Everytime I drive around town, every place is packed and there is a wait. The market will decided when it is at the saturation point, but we are not there yet. Keep in mind, tourism is the big economic money maker in this town. When people are on vacation they like to eat out.
I cringe everytime I hear “saturation!”. If the market was saturated people would go out of buiness. If you do not like all of the good food then do not buy it. Or start a new business.
People *are* going out of business quite frequently already around here, and as more restaurants open they’re just going to start cannibalizing each other. It’s fine to build restaurants with the summer tourism season in mind if you don’t mind a dozen of them closing in the winter.
As to me not enjoying all the good food, I hate to cook and I enjoy the good food most every night… and I can assure you that not every place is packed. What I don’t want to see is one restaurant driving another out of business and then going out of business itself later on.
Asheville’s business community is very faddish, I’ve noticed. One brewery opens and then so do a dozen others. One restaurant opens and so do a dozen others. We never really look forward… we’re to busy copying and reacting to everyone else to ever really inovate.
I agree with your first point. I would hope that people enter the buisness with a good plan. But I don’t think that the failure rate is as high as some think. There are hundreds and hundreds of resturants in Asheville and only a few close every year. A resturant with a good plan can handle the Mondays Tuesdays and winters.
I don’t think most people are out there copying each other to make a buck. I think WNC just attracts people due to the culture and beauty of the area. It’s a place where they can follow their passions. And due to the independent buisness culture, it fosters start-ups.
Those who start restaurants and breweries are defiantly not doing it for the money. Long hours, hard labor and little pay. If they are just trying to copy eachother they will quickly find themselves out of buisness.
I’m really looking forward to a few more food trucks.