MADISON, WI – Two downtown alders have proposed a compromise that would allow late-night food carts to continue to do business on Broom Street without damaging the business of nearby restaurants.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, is one of the alders who proposed the compromise. He said that, currently, late-night vending is legal on Broom Street, but two area restaurants, Pita Pita and Silver Mine Subs, have voiced concerns about late-night food carts on the block. The restaurants’ owners have said the food carts are creating unfair competition for the brick-and-mortar restaurants and taking away from their profits, he said.
Verveer said this compromise, which he made with Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, would prohibit late-night vending on a portion of the 400 block of North Broom Street. He said three vending spots would be eliminated and ten vending spots would remain.
Verveer said the main concern is that food carts do not park directly in front of the restaurants. He said food carts must be located in a parking spot, pay a fee to the city and follow other city regulations.
The Vending Oversight Committee and City Council will still have to approve the compromise, Verveer said. He said Steve Lawrence, owner of the food cart Fried and Fabulous, has been acting as a spokesperson for late-night food carts and approved of the compromise. Verveer said he has not yet spoken to the owners of the two restaurants.
Lawrence said the alders’ compromise would allow him to stay in business.
Verveer said Pita Pit brought the complaint to the Vending Oversight Committee last semester when Banzo, a food cart that frequently parks on Library Mall, experimented with late-night vending. Banzo, which has a nearly identical menu to Pita Pit, parked on the 400 block of Broom and directly in front of Pita Pit one night, Verveer said.
“I believe the prudent course of action is for the Vending Oversight Committee and City Council to accept this compromise,” Verveer said.
Find the entire article by Sarah Eucalano at the Badger Herald <here>
Sign the petition to keep the late night food cart spots in Madison <here>