The Herald’s Editorial this morning argues in favor of allowing food trucks in Downtown Lexington. With a yearlong task force exploration of the subject and some serious push-back from the HVAC-and-plaster restaurant industry, things are shaping up to be… weird.
That’s a legitimate reason to think carefully about how, where and when mobile food merchants would operate — as the task force has — but it’s not a compelling argument to keep them out of downtown altogether. More important to Lexington, to downtown and ultimately to the business people who have invested there is creating a lively, inviting street scene that will attract people throughout the day and the week. It’s in the interest of everyone to find a compromise that can bring street food to Lexington this summer.
….Back in Lexington, the task force is considering a pilot program that would allow food carts and trucks after 10 p.m. to cater to the bar crowd after restaurants have closed their kitchens. We’d take that a step further and suggest some regular daylight hours on weekends for those too old or too young to enjoy the late-night scene. It could help dispel the eerie quiet that can settle over downtown Lexington on summer weekend days.
On top of that, food trucks have allowed many blossoming chefs and entrepreneurs without the resources to set up physical shop the chance to burst into their city’s culinary scenes, develop buzz and attract investors.
As ProgressLex has pointed out, the Cheapside Entertainment District Association, representing restaurants in that area, have pushed for a 200 Foot buffer between any physical locations and a truck. Some even pushed for a limit of just 2 food truck allowances.
Why then, aren’t they seeking similar buffer zones and number limits on physical restaurant locations? Why would the growing number of sit-down spots not hinder established businesses from making money but certified food trucks would? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Let there be food trucks.