Food Trucks to Roll On Miami Beach
|North Beach will hold food truck roundups as part of a pilot program passed by the Miami Beach City Commission.|
On May 9, the Miami Beach City Commission moved forward with a long-discussed (and fiercely debated) pilot food truck program in North Beach. The program was first introduced jointly by city commissioners Michael Gongora and Edward L. Tobin over a year ago as a means of encouraging more resident activity in North Beach, but was finally passed this week. Latin Burger's Jim Heins represented food truck owners at the meeting, stating that roundups would encourage families to experience North Beach.
The pilot program would work on a three-month trial basis in which a monthly food truck roundup would be held at the municipal parking lot on 72nd Street and Collins Avenue. In addition to the food trucks, there is talk of a city event, possibly involving live music, at the North Beach Bandshell. The city has agreed to pull the permits for the events.
In a monthly email sent to Miami Beach residents, commissioner Gongora stated that he hopes "this pilot program is successful as a means to encourage business in this area and also bring more customers to our existing businesses in North Beach. Gongora also added that the city sanctioned events would help "draw people there and discourage the delinquents and panhandlers that we often receive complaints about in this area of North Beach."
Margueritte Ramos with the Normandie Sud Homeowners Association, is a big proponent of bringing food trucks to North Beach. "I was at the meeting and was very pleased that this pilot program finally passed," she told Short Order. She said the planned food truck roundups will be designed so that local restaurants will play an important role in the events, which should lead to increased business for all. "We're inviting local restaurants to have tables at the events where they could sample food, hand out menus. We're even discussing whether or not they could sell wine and beer, since the food trucks can't."
Ramos is also hoping that the North Beach food truck events bring increased awareness and business to local restaurants by enticing residents of neighboring South Beach and Mid Beach to come for the roundups and discover new places to eat. "This is a great neighborhood and I'm looking forward to having people come and enjoy good food, good music, and the beautiful beach."
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