Every Friday and Saturday, the city of Denver- in the LoDo area will allow up to seven food trucks to operate until midnight. The recent policy update comes nearly four weeks after the city effectively banned food trucks downtown in a specific area of LoDo, according to new temporary rules released on August 25th.
Food truck operators must apply for a meter permit at least three days before the permit takes effect, and a food truck business can only operate at one location at a time.
According to Denver’s Emergency Rules Governing Mobile Food Vendors, “These rules are meant to increase the safety of all who visit and work in this area by requiring that mobile retail food establishments and similar businesses operate in different locations….these actions will help to facilitate individuals leaving the LODO and DUS areas after bars and nightclubs close, and curb large gatherings of individuals, and reduce the opportunity for conflicts and violence that arise.”
As one of the reasons for the rules, the city cites “a significant increase in violence and crime” in the LoDo and Union Station area.
According to the rules, food vendors who violate the new rules may be asked to leave or face citations, license sanctions or citations, as well as having future permit applications denied.
The rules will be in effect beginning Wednesday and will last for 180 days, or until February 20, 2023.
Unfortunately, this presents heavy economic implications for food truck owners across the city. Yacine Djaoui, an employee from Amore Pizza, expressed multiple concerns regarding the new rule, “We’re not responsible if people are drunk and acting dangerous. We’re making food. That’s all we do… from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.… it’s like 80% of what we do… It’s still a small business. If you cut off like 80% of what we do, it [leaves] nothing for us.”