Wynwood Food Truck Roundup Cancelled, Brad Knoefler Tattled
|Dim Ssam a Gogo's Richard Hales has cancelled this week's Wynwood roundup.|
According to Hales, the vacant lot that serves as the Wynwood roundup location changed ownership and Hales had to reapply for a temporary event permit. Hales submitted the paperwork about a month ago, and planned to hold the roundup as usual. But then he received a visit from zoning officials at his restaurant, Sakaya Kitchen.
They informed him they received an email of his plans to hold the roundup on Saturday evening and that if he proceeded, inspectors might show up. If they found the roundup was being operated without a permit, truck owners would be issued a warning and the property owner would receive a fine. Hales then decided to call off the roundup, effectively pulling the plug on work for 34 food trucks, 20 crafts vendors, a DJ, and a charity that was going to sell t-shirts.
Hales told Short Order that that kind of revenue loss is detrimental to the truckers who rely on every event in order to make a living. "Times are difficult for everyone. Here you've got about 56 individual businesses who are losing a combined $60-70,000 in revenue for the evening. That hurts everyone involved."
But Hales determined that holding the event wasn't worth taking a chance and incurring the wrath of the city of Miami. "Food truck owners are working with police and the city to do everything legit and legal. We are not rogue. The permitting process is in place, and we'll wait until we're issued the permit."
The informant, by the way, is Brad Knoefler, president of the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association. Knoefler, is the organizer of the new Friday evening food truck event at Grand Central Park in Overtown. Short Order spoke with Knoefler, who confirmed that he sent an email to the city's zoning department.
"Every email that I send to the government is public record, so yes, I did send an email," he said. As president of a community organization, Knoefler said he's informed of all special event permits that are pulled. When he noticed that a permit wasn't pulled for the Wynwood roundup, he sent the email. Knoefler said that he was concerned about fires and emergencies at the Wynwood site. "I want to legitimize food trucks in Miami," he told Short Order, "but there are life safety issues in play here."
Knofler said that he has a three-year permit to hold special events at Grand Central Park and plans to hold various fundraisers, including tonight's food truck roundup, which comes with a suggested $5 donation for attendees.
It seems, though, that his fundraiser might also be cancelled. Food truck owners are pulling out of the event to show solidarity. Knoefler said that while he feels that the park is the best place for food trucks, he'll cancel the event if he has to. "We're a non-profit. We don't really need a roundup, but we're for economic development."
In the meantime, Knoefler feels that everything will work itself out today for both roundups, "Look, maybe the city will give [Hales] an emergency permit. My intent is positive."
Short Order will provide updates regarding the status of the two food truck roundups.
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