Northport gets mixed reviews on food truck event

Published: Jun. 7, 2016 at 2:52 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2016 at 3:00 AM CDT
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NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) - Jeanie Brown, owner of the popular City Cafe, still has a bad taste in her mouth two weeks after Northport's first ever "Trucks by the Tracks" event.

A handful of food trucks set up just off Main Avenue near downtown.

"Someone should have notified each individual that's on that historic Main Avenue," Brown said.

Brown says she was never brought in on the discussions before the event. She says the event took away some of her business and parking. Brown says food truck vendors were allowed to set up shop without the proper permitting.

"When you allow someone to come in that doesn't contribute to that, they're just getting a free ride and I don't think that's what we need to make Northport be a stronger business," Brown said.

Food truck vendors say they had to get business licenses for the event that drew close to 1,300 people. Vendors tells us most people enjoyed the event.

"It was well received. People were happy. A lot of our customers were working people that could come to Northport. They actually parked by the tracks not even downtown," Julia Sosa, a food truck vendor said.

"I think we're just providing more options for more people in the city and there's no different than another restaurant coming to downtown Northport and setting up in between them," Dustin Spruill, another food truck vendor said.

City Council President Jay Logan understands the concerns. We're told the event was a test run for the city.

"When we make these decisions it's not to hurt any one particular business. It is to make sure if you are going to have these events, you need to do it in a thoughtful, planned out manner. I think we've got a good idea moving forward how to make it better to include all of our businesses," Logan said.

We're told the city could form a food truck committee to include all stakeholders for the next event.

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