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May 8, 2013

Portland finally joining food truck revolution

It's a bit late to the party, and there remain some wrinkles to be ironed out, but this summer, Portland finally joins the food truck revolution.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Customers queue up at El Corazon food truck, which was parked on Commercial Street in Portland on Sunday.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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Rising Tide to host trucks through summer

Some businesses around Portland are embracing food trucks, hoping they’ll add a little extra taste of fun to their events and draw more people to their businesses.

"We're going to have food trucks every Saturday, and it's going to be a different food truck every week," said Heather Sanborn of Rising Tide Brewing Co. at 103 Fox St. in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland." Obviously, there will be repeats throughout the summer, but I have six I'm working with now."

The trucks will be parked on a rotating basis in front of the brewery during the business' tasting room hours, noon to 5 p.m. Gusto's Italian Food Truck will be on site this Saturday, and Mainely Burgers will be on tap May 18.

Sanborn said if the trucks prove to be popular, she may expand to Thursdays and Fridays.

She'll also be signing on food trucks for special events.

Sanborn said having food trucks in the area -- the SmallAxe truck will be parked regularly over on Anderson Street -- will be a boon for people who work in East Bayside, who currently have limited options for buying lunch and dinner, because restaurants are not allowed there.

As for whether or not a permit is required for the trucks that will be parked at her business on a rotating basis, Sanborn said she has left that for the truck owners to figure out.

"I don't see where that is actually required anywhere in the law," she said. "This is a major regulatory issue that the food trucks are going to have to deal with with the city. So far, I've kind of kept my nose out of it."

-- Meredith Goad

Chamoff tried leasing a spot in a private parking lot, but discovered quickly that he wasn't going to be doing much business there. So he moved, and everywhere he moves, he has to get a new building permit.

When he has parked on city streets, Chamoff has found it difficult to abide by the parking regulations for food trucks. Moving every couple of hours is not always practical in a big food truck that has to be set up and taken down every time it moves.

"The parking guys are all over us," Chamoff said. "I mean, they're just brutal. I've literally gotten tickets while on the truck serving food. The bottom line, quite frankly, if they want food trucks in Portland, they're going to have to change the laws or it's not going to fly in Portland. Not the way it's written now. It's just too restrictive."

The rules are supposed to be reviewed again in August, a year after they were put in place. Sutton said she hopes that once more people start food truck businesses here, there will be a stronger voice for the movement in the city.

Because if things don't change, don't forget: Food trucks are mobile, and they may just motor right out of here.

 

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at mgoad@pressherald.com

Twitter: MeredithGoadONLINE

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Additional Photos

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Chefs Joseph Urtuzuastegui and April Garcia at work in the Corazon kitchen.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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Owners Jack Barber, pictured, and Ben Berman will open Mainely Burgers 2.0, a Portland version of the truck they’ll continue to operate at Scarborough Beach.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

 


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