PHILADELPHIA, PA – Thinking of grabbing 2 a.m. nachos after a night out in Fishtown? Don’t expect your favorite food truck to be parked at Frankford and Girard avenues when the bars let out – the Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections has stepped in after neighborhood residents and brick-and-mortar businesses complained to police.

The result is the sudden – and strict – enforcement of a city ordinance that prohibits food trucks from vending after midnight.

Police said the growing nightlife scene, too much noise, as well as the trash that’s been left behind by vendors and patrons has forced L&I to crack down on the trucks, to which Philly officials have mostly turned a blind eye to for years.

Steven Way, owner of BBQ/Tex-Mex food truck Smokin’ Tacos, said it had been business as usual last Friday night until three L&I inspectors approached him around midnight and forced him to shut down.

One officer threatened to throw away the food on Way’s truck and said his vending license could be taken away if he didn’t obey and close down for the night – even though Way’s said he’s been serving the 2-3 a.m. crowd for about three years, since he first opened.

“My reaction is kind of like, ‘What the heck is this about?'” Way told PhillyVoice on Tuesday. “It was pretty tense. A lot of people were unaware and I guess I was unaware.”

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