Dearborn is jumping on the food truck bandwagon by hosting rallies that will give locals - and visitors - of taste of several rolling restaurants and also serve as a test case for how food trucks interact with nearby businesses.
The first Dearborn Food Truck Rally, sponsored by Westborn Market, will be held from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. this Friday city's Parking Lot C behind PizzaPapalis, 22022 Michigan Ave., west of Monroe.
It is the first of three food truck rallies planned for this summer, the second coming Aug. 24 in the parking lot between the West Village parking decks and the third on Sept. 21 in the city lot behind the Double Olive.
The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
, the city of Dearborn
and the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority
are partnering with the Michigan Mobile Food Vendors Association, which put out the word about Dearborn's interest in food trucks and rounded up eight to 10 operators: Frank's Anatra, Concrete Cuisine, Treat Dreams, Ned's, Mack Shack, El Guappo, PPC and Jacques Tacos. Live music will be a part of the event and nearby businesses may try to capitalize on the activity. Economic development officials are hoping businesses will participate by offering specials, events and sales.
Food trucks are at the center of a debate over whether they help or hurt brick-and-mortar businesses, whether they're unfair competition and whether they should be more heavily regulated for food safety and business taxes. Portland, OR, a city known for its vibrant food truck culture, ran an impact study
several years ago that demonstrated how the mobile eateries had mostly positive effects on the neighborhoods they were in, and aside for parking issues, local businesses saw the food carts as a good way to increase street activity.
"We think this will be an exciting and unique way to bring families downtown on Friday evenings for food, fun and entertainment,” Jennifer Giering, president of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, says in a statement. “These community events have a tremendous economic impact on surrounding businesses with the first event in Ferndale attracting 1,500 people, many of which patronized local bars and restaurants after the event.”
Source: Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Kim North Shine