Food Truck Fridays have been temporarily put on hold as the sponsor of the event and the city work on resolving issues facing the popular event. J.L. Sousa/Register
Some local trucks said there may soon be an event like the weekly food truck gathering that started in September 2010 only to be shut down last March when the city said the event needed a use permit.
Truck owners are talking about an event where food trucks would gather to offer a variety of edible options. One suggested location, Dim Sum Charlie’s First Street property near McKinstry Street, which was the former site of Food Truck Fridays.
“We were invited to participate (via email a couple weeks ago), then when we tried to get more information about it, we heard nothing back,” said Colin Simonson, co-owner of the Crossroad Chicken food truck that operates outside JV Wine & Spirits on Silverado Trail most days.
Crossroad Chicken participated in the early Food Truck Friday events, but pulled out after things began to go sour with the city, Simonson said. He said he would like to participate in such an event in the future in Napa if permits were secured.
“You get people in the community to come to a relaxed setting, hang out, chat with people they haven’t seen in a while — it’s just a fun time,” Simonson said of food truck gatherings in surrounding cities. “It provides a different level of service. Not everyone wants to go out to a nice sit-down restaurant but they still want to have good food.”
The gatherings are often family-friendly, providing a chance for children to play while their parents watch them as they eat nearby, Simonson said.
Andrew Siegal, owner of Dim Sum Charlie’s and the lot at 728 First St. where Food Truck Fridays occurred, said there will be no event this Saturday, as speculated by some other food-truck operators.
“From time to time, we will be doing private events,” Siegal said Tuesday afternoon.
Siegal, who has yet to obtain the use permit from the city of Napa to operate his truck within city limits, said he has not applied for a temporary use permit with the city for larger food truck events.
“The city has already acknowledged you don’t need permits for private events with less than 250 people,” Siegal said.
City planner Michael Allen disagreed. Any event outside the normal scope of a business’ operation on private property would require a temporary use permit, Allen said. An event on public property would require a special event permit.
“The Community Development Department is unaware of any Food Truck Fridays-style event, and we have not received any applications for a special event such as this,” Allen said via email.
The roaming Mark’s the Spot truck is also interested in participating in a centralized event for mobile food venues, said owner Mike Raymond.
“(Food Truck Fridays) were good, really busy,” Raymond said. “It was good to see the community out supporting the local entrepreneurs.”
Raymond said he doesn’t anticipate the city would ban such an event but said it’s possible permit requirements could be too expensive.
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