Young and Hungry

Food Truck Association Fights to Lift Ban in Alexandria

1285198057_m_Cover_front-1Now that the fight over D.C.'s food truck regulations is over, the DMV Food Truck Association has its eye on reform of Alexandria's mobile vending scene, which is currently nonexistent. Food trucks are banned in Alexandria, except for construction sites and permitted special events.

Today, the food truck association launches its "Alexandria Hearts Food Trucks Campaign" with a website that aims to dispel myths about food trucks and rally supporters to contact city councilmembers.  In the coming months, the organization will also host a "Food Trucks 101" panel, open to the public, in the hopes of getting its message out.

Alexandria is the most restrictive place for food trucks in the greater Washington area, says DMVFTA Political Director Che Ruddell-Tabisola, who's also a co-owner of BBQ Bus. He says food trucks regularly get requests to vend at school fundraisers, the Mark Center Building, and Port City Brewing Company, but according to current laws, they can't vend on public or private property without special event permits. "Most Alexandria residents are unaware of how extensive the ban is," he says.

Last year, the city of Alexandria formed a task force consisting of food truck owners, restaurant owners, and community residents to take another look at the ban. The task force still has at least one meeting before it issues a report to the City Manager's Office. From there, the City Manager's Office will draft a proposal that will go to the city council, likely sometime before summer.

"I believe we're going to lift the ban this year," Ruddell-Tabisola says. "I'm confident about that."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Typical DC BS

    Funny how the People's Republic of Alexandria doesn't allow food trucks, when their just as liberal brethren in the District and Maryland seem to manage this feat.

  • JJ

    The food trucks have wiped-out all but one of the lunch places near my office. Now if only the District would pass a regulation requiring them to show up on rainy and snowy days I could get something to eat this week.

  • Lily

    Jessica, I know this isn't the right venue but I'm a troglodyte with no social media accounts, so: can we get an investigation into what happened at Bluejacket? It had to be pretty bad for her to leave so suddenly.

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  • Eric Nelson

    As a food service establishment in Alexandria, I am adamantly opposed to food trucks in most of Alexandria unless it is for a specific event. Food trucks should be allowed where the local market is under served. This is certainly not the case in Del Ray or Carlyle (or probably Old Town) areas of Alexandria. In fact, in Carlyle, food establishments have been struggling to stay in business--with many not being able to. Food trucks would be able to come in and cream skim the business without adding anything to the local infrastructure or economy. They would do nothing except help existing brick and mortar establishments go out of business.

    If food trucks had to live by the same rules as brick and mortar establishments--like pay the same square footage rent, be open 10-14 hours per day, contribute to the real estate tax base, etc., it would be a different story. But, I doubt any of the food truck business would want to do that. And, if they won't, only allow them to go to locations where there is unmet demand. Let them NOT undermine the existing businesses that are struggling so hard to be good community assets.

  • http://foodtrucksandmore.com Joseph

    Interesting article. I am looking for a list of food truck associations for our directory (http://foodtrucksandmore.com/directoy) and was unaware of the DMV coalition.

  • http://foodtrucksandmore.com Joseph

    Argh. My apologies for the incorrect url above. Our free directory for all food truck related websites/blogs/businesses can be found here:

    http://foodtrucksandmore.com/directory/

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