Opinions are revving up in advance of today's food-truck meeting at the Downtown Denver Partnership, where stakeholders -- among them mobile food vendors, restaurant owners, downtown businesses, city agencies and neighborhood groups -- will have a preliminary discussion of the role of food trucks in Denver, and whether regulations that govern their operations should change.
This is all in advance of the first meeting of the task force that Denver City Councilmember Carla Madison is chairing, which will be held in mid-March. In the meantime, Mantonat has his engine running:
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Here's one thing you can't regulate by law: what people like. Denver Foodie and Another Voice, you both offer compelling arguments - compelling arguments as to why now is a great time to consider getting into the street food business. Despite efforts at regulation, competition will continue, people will keep coming up with innovative ways of making money. Yes, restaurants have to pay rent, which is why many food vendors opt for a cheaper solution. If they take business away from established restaurants, it's up to those business people to come up with ideas to attract new customers, not to turn to the government for protection. Lost opportunities in one sector turn into new opportunities elsewhere. In a few years, maybe the economy will be so strong that people will ask themselves why they are sitting on the curb eating a gourmet corndog when they could be inside a nice restaurant enjoying full service, cocktails and a wider variety than most street vendors can provide. In the meantime, many restaurant owners are jumping into the current game with their own trucks, carts and booths. The winner here is the consumer.
We'd give you a full report on today's confab, but we've been disinvited from attending -- something about our presence being a roadblock to a free and open discussion. If you're not feeling too intimidated, feel free to post your response to Mantonat's comment -- or anything else you'd like to say about food trucks and the Denver restaurant scene in general -- below.