WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington got input today on the Port City’s moveable feasts.
Food truck owners want changes to the city’s code regulating them, but some downtown restaurant owners are not happy about the possible changes that could mean more competition.
During a meeting at city hall, Food truck and restaurant owners split off into groups to discuss issues, including where food trucks can operate and if trucks and carts should be treated differently.
One restaurant owner wants to come to a happy medium. He says he is all for competition, but fair competition when considering the area the trucks can park.
“It needs to be extended, but not indefinitely so that they can’t go to one spot all the time, or have it where there is one spot that they can go to downtown all the time that would be away from all of the other restaurants,” Slice of Life owner Ray Worrell said.
James Smith owns the Patty Wagon. He hopes to see food trucks set up in non-residential districts as long as they are 50 feet from the main entrance of the nearest open restaurant.
“The majority of my business is after 2 (a.m.), and there’s only maybe two other restaurants serving food that late, and I don’t think I’m stealing from them,” Smith said. “My customers come to me for a reason.”
Some food truck customers say they think it would be a good idea to have more food trucks downtown.
“I definitely prefer the food trucks,” customer Ben Boyatti said. “That would be an awesome bonus, because you either get pizza or what else is there?”
“The food here, the BBQ is fantastic,” Robbie Walker said while grabbing lunch from the Poor Piggy food truck. “That’s what it boils down to. If there was another place downtown where you could get bbq like this, we might would go down there.”
The Wilmington Planning Commission will hold a public hearing June 5 on the food truck rules. City Council will take up the debate July 9.