ROCHESTER, MN – Downtown Rochester is better defined by the sprawling Mayo Clinic than its dining options. But a flareup over a pizzeria’s food truck is igniting the city’s foodie scene.

Tom Boxrud and Jason Brehmer thought they had found a way around the city’s ban on food trucks on downtown streets and a way to expand BB’s Pizzaria, their 8-year-old business. They bought a food truck and struck a deal to use a church’s driveway in exchange for giving the church a portion of sales. But after a week, they were kicked out for violating a city ordinance prohibiting food trucks on downtown streets.

“One of our competitors who’s in the Galleria — not even that close to where we were at — complained,” Boxrud said. “That brought the city back out. They deemed

[the driveway] to be public property.”

Now a food fight is on.

On July 1, what organizers are calling a food truck summit will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kutzky Market on 6th Street NW. in Rochester. Several food truck vendors will serve their fare amidst a public forum about changing the city’s ordinance.

Rochester’s law allows food trucks to operate in the city, just not in the central business district on public land. It also requires food trucks to move every 15 minutes. Randy Staver, Rochester City Council president, said the ordinance was passed about four years ago amid business owners’ concerns that food trucks might park in front of their establishments. No one has formally challenged the ordinance, he said.

“If someone wants to eat a slice of pizza from a truck on the street, fine. If you want to sit down in a nicer environment and have a slice of pizza, fine,” Staver said. “I think there’s room for both of those.”

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