Street Fights: Food Carts and Trucks vs. the Brick-and-Mortars

Photo: Ben Stechschulte

Thanks to New York’s Cartology feature and the Vendor Power! pamphlet, the plight of food vendors is widely known by now, but the Voice revisits the subject and reminds us that street vendors face challenges from both the city (which has famously restricted the number of licenses and the streets they can operate on) and from brick-and-mortar businesses as well. Midtown Lunch, meanwhile, spots a disturbing new trend: traditional businesses running off food trucks. Earlier this week, a midtown building chased away the Sweets Truck because it was supposedly marring its alfresco dining area, and more recently the Wafels & Dinges truck had an encounter with the Saatchi & Saatchi building at 375 Hudson. Midtown Lunch thinks it has something to do with the high-end items the new brand of trucks is selling: “These new vendors are going to be perceived as a greater threat to the restaurants and fast food chains that can afford to pay high Manhattan rents.” Or maybe they’ll develop a symbiotic relationship with other businesses? Today, a publicist sent us this pitch: “TOO MUCH BIG GAY ICE CREAM TRUCK? WORK IT OFF WITH GAY MEN’S BOOT CAMP.”