Evansville Looks to Drive Food Truck Business

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Evansville's Board of Public Safety has approved a pilot program allowing food trucks to park on a "test block" downtown. Southwest Indiana Chamber Downtown Alliance Director Josh Armstrong says the move comes after months of resident and visitor input on the subject. He says the pilot program also allows entrepreneurs who may not have the money to open a brick and mortar location to try their hand in the food industry. Armstrong says the test area is in a highly-visible section of downtown, but far enough from traditional restaurant locations to avoid impacting their business.

October 30, 2014

News Release

Evansville, Ind. -- The office of Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is pleased to announce the Board of Public Safety approved a food truck test block in Downtown Evansville. The northwest side of Third Street between Locust and Walnut will be the site of the temporary test. It is the intent that a new municipal code will be created in the future allowing for food trucks and trailers in the Downtown and City of Evansville. The pilot program will run from Monday, October 27 to Wednesday, December 31, 2014. During this test, parking on this block will be reserved for food trucks or trailers from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on weekdays. A food truck or trailer must be licensed by the Vanderburgh County Health Department, and purchase a street vendor permit ($25.00) from the City Controller’s Office.

The current City ordinance covering food trucks and trailers has been cited by many potential vendors as an impediment to investing in mobile dining, which is very popular in other cities throughout the country. It is hoped that the test eliminates fears for the safety of customers and workers on the trucks, as well as concerns regarding littering. The test block is one of several in the Downtown area that have been identified as being highly visible, yet also at least 100 feet from a 'brick-and-mortar' restaurant. In addition to being a draw on their own, the trucks can also provide additional dining resources needed during upcoming construction projects.

"When I ask people what they would like to see in their Downtown, food trucks almost always come up," said Downtown Alliance Director Joshua Armstrong. "I began working with the Department of Metropolitan Development on food trucks just a few days after coming on board at the Chamber."

Additional information about the program can be obtained from Lana Abel, Department of Metropolitan Development Senior Project Manager at 812.436.7823 or ljabel@evansville.in.gov or from Joshua Armstrong, Southwest Indiana Chamber Downtown Alliance Director at 812.425.8147 or jarmstrong@swinchamber.com.

About Southwest Indiana Chamber

For nearly a century, the Southwest Indiana Chamber has been a trusted ally of the regional business community. Today, we’re one of the state’s largest, strongest, and most impactful nonprofit business organizations, representing a total membership of nearly 1,700 businesses, organizations, and agencies. About one-third of members have invested in our organization for 10 or more years. While nearly all major employers in our region are members of the Southwest Indiana Chamber, 71% of our members have fewer than 25 employees.

Learn more about the Chamber, our members, and the Southwest Indiana regional community at www.swinchamber.com.

Source: Southwest Indiana Chamber