Food vendors say they’ve been barred from West 52nd and West 51st streets between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
MIDTOWN, NYC — Food truck drivers say police have banished them from two Midtown blocks that have long been among the city’s most popular lunchtime destinations.
Drivers say police began informing them about two weeks ago they were no longer welcome on West 52nd Street and West 51st, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, because of escalating complaints from nearby building owners. The blocks had previously been on the rotation schedules of many of the city’s most popular food trucks, whose legions have been growing at a rapid pace.
“They were saying it’s off-limits now,” said a distressed Oleg Voss, 29, of the popular two-year-old Schnitzel and Things truck, which has long spent its Thursday afternoons on West 52nd Street.
“They said everybody can’t vend from a metered location,” he said.
Edin Bektesevik, 25, of the Balkan Cevap Truck, said he’d been booted from his regular location on West 51st Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, twice by police in recent weeks, even though he’d never had any trouble there before.
“It looks like somebody complained,” he said, parked a block away, on West 52nd street, where he was the only truck left on the once-busy block on a recent afternoon.
He and others said being forced to move after establishing a following in a particular location is a huge blow to business, especially since being booted typically means having to close for the day.
“It’s not fair,” said Bektesevik, complaining that local restaurants are unfairly targeting food trucks because they see them as competition.
“We’re just trying to make a buck,” he said. “For us this is