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March 13, 2015


The Salem Food Truck Association is investigating this eviction. On the face of it, the ability of a business to force the eviction another business from another piece of property without any type of due process does seem to be egregious behavior on the p[art of local government.

We hope to have an update at our membership meeting Monday the 16th, 6pm at Barrel & Keg, site of Salem's First Food Pod

I live in Eugene and the food trucks here actually bring people into the downtown area which has really helped stimulate the local economy. In the past it has been difficult to get people into the downtown area which is now beginning to thrive. Some of the best chefs out there have food trucks.

The business owners that called for the eviction and who may have threatened to terminate their leases were not doing anything illegal. If you invested in a brick and mortar business and then had the rules of the game changed, you might also act as they did - especially if you are struggling and believe that increased competition could bring about your demise.
There is rarely any legal basis for the protection of businesses due to changing circumstances.
For example, if transportation planners decide to make changes that affect your business or the value of property you own, you probably have no right to compensation. The officials would simply need to argue that the changes are in the public interest.
Depending on the particular circumstances, having a lot of restaurants in proximity to one another often benefits everyone because people tend to go to areas where they have choices and this creates a larger pool of potential customers.
Life is not always fair.

Kurt, I'm a bit confused by your comment. You implied that downtown restaurant owners were appropriately concerned about increased competition from food trucks, but also said that people tend to go to places where they have more choices.

I agree much more with your last statement. What downtown restaurant owners should fear most is few people downtown. Whatever draws more people there is good, by and large.

"Quick" restaurants like the New York pizza place (just grab a slice and go) currently happily coexist with leisurely sit-down places like Table 508. So where is the problem in adding another option for diners, food trucks?

I love the rice and vegetables tofu dish at Venti's. I eat it there quite often. I won't stop ordering it when I have half an hour or so to sit down and enjoy it. But if there was a Fusion food truck parked behind the Reed Opera House permanently, this would allow me to grab some noodles and tofu when I don't have time to eat at Ventis or another restaurant.

For me, as for most people, food trucks would be an extra way for me to eat downtown, not a replacement for the current restaurants. Hard to see why this should threaten those restaurants.

I don't know if their concerns are appropriate or not but I don't think it is fair for us to decide that those concerns are not legitimate.
I agree that the carts would tend to help pretty much everyone that does business downtown but, at this time, we are only speculating about the ultimate results of what is essentially an experiment.
I am very much a supporter of food carts while assuming that they will have a negative impact on some subset of existing businesses.
Nevertheless, as I said before (more or less):
Asi es la vida.

I guarantee it was Dino Ventie of Venti's Cafe.

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