The “Nouveau” mobile food truck trend, started last December when the Kogi truck began parking outside of the Brig, has gotten out of hand during Abbot Kinney First Fridays. First Fridays were started by local Abbot Kinney businesses as a way to promote local business while giving back to the community, opening their doors with free wine and food and celebrating a bit while slinging their wares.
So what is the problem? The nouveau food trucks are not community based and use Abbot Kinney events solely to take from the neighborhood rather than help contribute to it. Our local businesses pay high dollar rent and taxes and still manage to help local charities, local schools and promote local artisans and craftspeople. Local businesses hold a vested interest in making Venice a better place for all of us that reside here and those that visit here.
What has happened? Venice embraced the nouveau food truck trend and many of these food trucks have chosen to be bad party guests that literally trash our home every time we allow them to come to our party.
Many show up to make a dollar and then take off leaving a pile of their trash behind … common sense for any business is to keep their place of business clean, but the nouveau food trucks hide behind the fact that their business are run on city streets. You know what nouveau food truck owners? BS. Serve your food, then clean up your mess. If someone litters outside of Hals, Hals cleans it up. When someone litters outside of Abbots Pizza, they clean it up. There is no solid argument that just because they are mobile food trucks they should not be held accountable for the trash that they create … and to me it shows the mindset of the business owner when they see a pile of trash created by their truck and simply flip up their doors and drive away.
First Fridays are now wall to wall with food trucks. The only regulation we are aware of is that they have to have an agreement with a local business to provide a bathroom. While we like the food trucks, we do not like them blocking the sidewalks with their flip up siding and we certainly do not like the fact they do not clean up after themselves.
I’d think that the Abbot Kinney business association should stand together and start charging these trucks VERY high dollar fees for the agreement to allow them to access their bathrooms. (Heck, they are making their trash problem YOURS when you have to clean it up before opening your business the day after.) We accepted them as a community and they chose to soil where we live. Not cool. While I know that some of the trucks do clean after themselves, I also know that as guests they should self police each other and tell the offending trucks to do the right thing, or clean up after the lame truck owners themselves.
On a more positive note, our pal Edizen from Venice Paparazzi took some great pictures during First Friday, check them out here.
Update: Metblogs posted up on this issue too, and common sense says if an issue makes two “more or less” non judgmental bloggists ticked off at a problem it is likely a larger problem for the community than what they are reporting.