Dallas Arts District Sets Stage for Food Trucks

City Council expected to approve change to food-truck ban

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011  |  Updated 6:03 PM CDT
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The Dallas City Council will vote next week on whether to loosen restrictions that have kept food trucks from servicing patrons in downtown Dallas.

Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW.com

The Dallas City Council will vote next week on whether to loosen restrictions that have kept food trucks from servicing patrons in downtown Dallas.

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Dallas is considering changes that would allow food trucks in the Dallas Arts District.

Food trucks are a hot trend in gourmet food from New York to Los Angeles, but they're banned in downtown Dallas.

"We'd love to be in the arts district, and right now these trucks aren't allowed inside Woodall Rodgers, so the city has been working on that," said Michael Siegel, who owns the Green House truck.

The city ordinance banning food trucks has been on the books for decades, but the executive director of the Dallas Arts District said it's time for a change.

"We realize we'll be the first," Veletta Lill said. "We're the guinea pigs in some way, but truly, it is something that will go more citywide in a very -- it will spread very quickly."

The new ordinance would allow some private parking lots in the Dallas Arts District to house food trucks as well as allow tables and chairs for patrons.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the change on April 27. Lill and John Crawford, the president of Downtown Dallas Inc., say they expect the measure to pass.

If the measure is approved, food trucks could start setting up on private property and designated areas along Flora Street by May.

Seigel's Green House was one of the city's first food trucks.

"I'd say I was one of the first to take the leap, not knowing exactly what I was getting into," he said. "But I'd do it all over again."

But you won't find him or his chef cruising the streets of Dallas. Instead, they're usually parked in a parking lot off of Preston Road in University Park.

North Texans such as Nicolas Rocha say they believe the demand for food trucks in Dallas is evident.

"I'm a foodie fan, and I follow food trucks all over the U.S., in New York and Miami, and I really like this movement," he said.

Lill said she also hopes to see the City Council allow more food trucks across the city of Dallas.

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