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Paladino joins fight to shut down Buffalo food trucks

There might be even fewer food trucks in Buffalo’s future.

Food truck fans who hoped to see more choices for eats on downtown streets are in for a stomachache: influential developer Carl Paladino wants the trucks gone. The former Republican candidate for governor, and city’s biggest downtown landlord, wants Buffalo Place to pull the welcome mat out from under trucks like Lloyd the taco truck, and the Whole Hog.

“We have to stop the trucks now. The restaurants downtown are fed up with this,” Paladino said, according to today's story by Aaron Besecker and Jonathan Epstein. Just Pizza and Charlie the Butcher are tenants of Paladino’s Ellicott Square building.

Paladino, who sits on the Buffalo Place board, was asked to “draft a formal resolution” that Buffalo Place can consider. If it's approved, the food truck era in Buffalo is over for the time being, except for private property gigs.

Other points of interest in Besecker and Epstein’s story on the maneuvering behind the proposed regulation of food trucks inside Buffalo city limits:

 * The Rev. Darius Pridgeon, the Ellicott District Council member who represents the downtown area and is on the Buffalo Place board, stands with Paladino, and encouraged downtown building owners to call city officials if they spot a truck serving food outside.

* City licensing officials have recommended that any food truck law limit trucks to pre-approved vending spots, and restrict days and hours they can open.

* Buffalo Council Member Joseph Golombek, who started the food truck law discussion, said representatives of two of Buffalo’s biggest locally owned fast food companies were busy lobbying council members during its August recess.

Golombek’s plan? Get the food truck people and the restaurant people to sit down and agree on what restrictions to place on food trucks.

Golombek is “calling for parties interested in the new requirements for mobile food sellers to meet next week in hopes of reaching a compromise between the vendors and restaurant owners,” Besecker reported. The meeting is 10 a.m. next Thursday, Sept. 29, in Room 1417 in City Hall.

Will consensus ensue? We'll see, but this much is clear: Failure to reach an agreement leaves restaurant owner interests defended, and the status quo in place. A status quo that is anything but a free-for-all of roving food trucks.

Call City Hall, and the police show up. There may be no food truck law on the books, but if current policies stay in place, a restaurant owner only has to call the City of Buffalo to run off the offender. Just ask Council Member Pridgeon.



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