Legal Troubles

Doughnuts Fight City Hall— in Evanston

Photo: courtesy Liberty Justice Center

Evanston has generally seemed more hospitable to food trucks than Chicago— Evanston’s HummingBird Kitchen was the one truck that could run around actually cooking on board before the passage of the new Chicago food truck ordinance. But Evanston has its own quirky protectionist rules— and now one food truck is fighting them. Evanston’s rule is that food trucks have to be tied to an existing, brick and mortar business— as HummingBird Kitchen is an outgrowth of a local caterer. And to both Beavers Donuts and the Liberty Justice Center, a public interest litigation nonprofit focused on economic liberty and private property rights, that’s an even more obviously protectionist violation of equal protection guarantees under the Illinois constitution, barring an entire class of commerce to people who aren’t already engaged in another class of commerce— or as Jacob Huebert of the LJC puts it in everyday language, “The City is giving restaurant owners a special right that it won’t give to everyone else, for no legitimate reason.”

On Tuesday the Liberty Justice Center filed suit on behalf of Beaver Donuts against the city of Evanston, seeking to overturn the rule and thus allow Beaver Donuts to sell under the same licensing requirements and other regulations as any other food truck in Evanston. The Center made a video featuring Beaver Donuts owners James Nuccio and Gabriel Wiesen, explaining their point of view on the situation; watch it below.

Doughnuts Fight City Hall— in Evanston