Clear the old leftovers out of your fridge, because you can pick up some fresh tood truck feasts through April.
The Board voted to extend the town's food truck program through April of 2013, and to stop waiving the food vendor fee of $225 which were waived at the beginning of the food truck pilot.
Health Department Director Alan Balsam added that in April, they intend to extend it again for 18 months, so that the food truck permits can be renewed the following December, at the same time as the other food vendor licenses that come before the Selectmen.
Included with the memo from Kara Brewton, currently acting as director of planning and economic development, were about 220 signatures from customers in support of food trucks in Brookline. Brewton added that one of the most surprising things to her was that these signatures not only included residents all over Brookline, but as far away as Dorchester and other parts of Boston.
Brewton acknowledged that some of neighbors e-mailed them similar complaints to those made when the trucks were discussed in March about the presence of food trucks being unfair to brick-and-mortar restaurants.
To address that unfairness, Brewton's memo recommended lifting the waiver of the $225 food vendor fee, and increasing the parking fees to be more in line with those in Boston. Vendors will now pay $10 for parking per serving shift.
Chuck Silverston, owner of Paris Creperie--which according to Mobile Cuisine magazine has 2012's Best-Designed Food Truck--added that there are a number of differences between brick-and-mortar and food truck operations, such as maintenance fees and less flexibility with staffing.
He also reported that the Creperie's business was up 3 percent, and that it is in part because of customers coming from the food truck. The truck has also created 22 new jobs for the creperie.
One business owner reported that his business had taken a hit in the last six months. Nud Pob Restaurant owner Eddie Chen reported that his business had decreased in the last six months, had "dropped significantly, not terribly, but significantly." He attributed this drop to competition from four Brookline food trucks, two Boston trucks, and Boston University moving one building to a Kenmore location.
"I don’t think it’s a good idea to have all the food trucks on St. Mary’s St. Corner," Chen concluded.
After taking the vote, Selectman Dick Benka commented that he was interested in exploring ways food trucks could build synergy, such as a suggestion of guest chefs from Silverston.
Other concerns brought before the Selectmen in March were food smells, customer noise and litter. Selectman Jesse Mermell asked whether these had been issues during the initial pilot program.
There had been one issue between neighbors and food trucks, to Balsam's knowledge, when a food truck was blocking a driveway while waiting for a car to be towed from its parking spot.
Below is the full schedule of taco trucks which has been renewed by the Board's vote last night:
- Baja Taco Truck – Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the median parking spaces across from 1842 Beacon Street.
- Compliments Food Truck – Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the median parking spaces across from 1842 Beacon Street
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Pleasant Street near 940 Commonwealth Avenue
- Paris Creperie – Saturday 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., near 1622 Beacon Street.
Sunday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday to Friday 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. near 11 St. Mary's Street
- Pennypacker's Food Truck – Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near 11 St. Mary's Street
- Renula's Greek Kitchen – Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near 11 St. Mary's Street