Cafe Society

Food trucks have steered their own course in Denver this summer

The Justice League of Street Food will throw another bash on Saturday, August 13, in the Rino/Taxi district, and while a few mobile food vendors have put their projects in park, Josh Wolkon, whose Steuben's Food Service Truck was the first venture to get rolling in town, doesn't see the trend grinding to a halt anytime soon.

Hey, even Applebee's now has a food truck.

"I think it's going well," Wolkon says, pointing to the twenty trucks that continue to congregate for Civic Center Eats twice a week -- and the fans who flock to the park for lunch. "We've figured out what events make sense and which ones don't. Last year, we were saying yes to everything."

He also doesn't see a recurrence of the kinds of problems -- cupcake controversies! -- that led to a lengthy Denver City Council committee meeting on mobile vendors in January and inspired council to set up a truck task force.

That task force got off to a fast start with a meeting of stakeholders in March, but it slowed after the death of councilwoman Carla Madison, who'd headed the group. Now her successor, Albus Brooks, will get a briefing this month from the Denver Partnership's Brian Phetteplace, who's co-chairing the task force; a second meeting of the entire task force will be held sometime next month.

When the truck season will be just about over. But at this point, there's no big hurry; most truck operators have managed to navigate through Denver's sometimes confusing regulations (read them here)..

"I haven't heard of any dramas at all this summer," Wolkon says. "The city finally realized that it wasn't an issue -- …at least for the time being."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun