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'Puts them out of business,' Appleton food trucks worry about limited hours

Posted at 5:10 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 18:21:07-05

APPLETON (NBC 26) — The City of Appleton is trying to prevent more violence downtown by limiting food truck hours. Food truck owners are speaking out.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

I told you about the City of Appleton's safety recommendations making their way to common council - one that would affect food trucks' hours. Since then, more food truck owners have spoken out. I'm your Appleton neighborhood reporter Olivia Acree hearing from neighbors this change would affect the most.

On a weekend night downtown Appleton, you may see food trucks with customers out until 4 am.

“Food trucks downtown are fun. To see people, people watching, make good friends and have good conversations,” said Reggie Desamour, Caribbean Taste food truck owner.

But after recent violence, the city wants food trucks to pack it up by midnight. Reggie Desamour owns the Caribbean Taste food truck.

“I did not understand how food trucks were contributing to violence on College,” said Desamour.

The owner of Diablo's taco truck feels the same way.

“It feels that all of the sudden we’ve been targeted,” said Alejandro Morales, Diablos Taqueria owner.

Kyle Fritz is the president of the Fox Valley Food Truck Association. He’s advocating against the recommendation.

“Part of that entertainment district is the appeal behind having the food trucks down there,” said Fritz.

Plus, he worries about food trucks' futures in the city without the weekend evening income.

“Essentially puts them out of business,” said Fritz.

Desamour understands where the city is coming from.

“Not against trying to make downtown a safer place for everybody,” said Desamour.

But he and Fritz don’t think the city hears where they’re coming from.

“But don’t think the food trucks are the reason downtown is not a safe place,” said Desamour.

I reached out to the city to ask them if they plan to support the affected businesses but haven't heard back yet. This potential change hasn’t made it to council for a vote yet, but I'll keep you updated with where it goes.