Denton considers easing restrictions on mobile food vendors

Print
Email
|

by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 29, 2011 at 5:36 PM

DENTON - Some Denton city council members want to see their city become like Austin, Portland or San Antonio.
    
They’re taking about mobile food trucks and carts, which they say creates an environment that will attract people to Denton.
    
David Wilson turned a 51-year-old British double-decker bus into The Angry Friar, a mobile fish and chips eatery. But when he first set up shop on a Denton street, the city shut him down.

"We currently allow mobile food trucks, but we only allow them to stop in one place no longer than 15 minutes," said Mark Cunningham, Denton’s planning director.
    
The University of North Texas invited Wilson to sell his fish & chips on campus. He has been doing just that 18 months.

Now, at least three city council members want to ease those restrictions to allow more mobile food trucks and carts. They're taking a close look at the charm it has created in Austin, San Antonio, Portland and Seattle.

"Can you imagine just walking around, and if you want to eat Italian today, you go over there," said Wilson. "If you want to eat Mexican, you go over there. You can eat anything you want to eat. You can stroll around the area."

Wilson has shared his thoughts with city leaders on the topic.

But city planners say not everyone in Denton is warming up to the idea, especially restaurant owners.

"If you have a permanent pizza restaurant, you wouldn't want a mobile food truck parked in front of your pizza restaurant, selling pizzas,” Cunningham said.

Wilson disagrees.

"I think it will go the opposite way, I really do. I think it will bring more people in off it," he said.

City planners say it's too early to say where the mobile food merchants would be allowed. But if the man known as “The Angry Friar” has his way, he will soon have company creating cuisine on wheels.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|