As far as Brian Phetteplace can determine, the last time the city revised the rules for mobile food vendors -- at least the rules as they applied to downtown -- was back in 1996, long before anyone anticipated the current race of food trucks. And now, as the manager of residential & retail development for the Downtown Denver Partnership, Phetteplace will be hosting tomorrow's meeting at the Partnership to get stakeholders' feedback on the food truck phenomenon, and how Denver's rules might need to be revised.
Those stakeholders include events organizers, restaurants (there are 300 downtown, by the Partnership's count), other downtown businesses, neighborhood groups, city agencies and, of course, food truck entrepreneurs.
Every food-truck owner who attended the January 26 Denver City Council committee meeting where mobile food vendors were discussed -- and the city unveiled its draft Food Truck Guide -- were invited to the meeting; Councilwoman Carla Madison, who's heading a task force on the issue, has since invited others.
Tomorrow's meeting, which starts at three, is "really just a working session for the food truck operators," Phetteplace says, "to learn what their vision for mobile food trucks is for the City and County of Denver."
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There will be other discussions in the coming weeks, and Phetteplace will continue to study the issues. He's been in touch with other cities with big food truck scenes, to determine their best practices; he's also talked with the vendors on the 16th Street Mall, who pay to peddle their wares there and at other downtown events; he's looking into whether trucks can take catering gigs at offices in the downtown area where mobile food vendors are currently prohibited.
Madison will convene the first official meeting of the Mobile Food Truck Task Force at the Partnership the week of March 14; we'll keep you posted on developments.
And in the meantime, feel free to post your thoughts and suggestions below.