No parking for San Francisco food trucks at America's Cup

Off the Grid food trucks in San Francisco.
April 9, 2013 7:26:05 PM PDT
There is a controversy cooking at this summer's America's Cup races. While the group in charge of concessions says it wants local vendors, the city's food trucks are feeling unwelcome.

Construction is in full swing at Piers 27-29. The area is being called America's Cup Park. It will include an amphitheater for concerts and a hospitality hub where food and beverages will be sold to those who come to see the world's most prestigious sailing event.

However, food truck operators are feeling slighted because the Chicago-based company selecting vendors put out a request for proposals stating that, "No food trucks will be permitted in either the America's Cup Park or the America's Cup Village."

Matthew Cohen, the founder of Off the Grid, which helps permit and promote food trucks, is confused because he collaborated with America's Cup officials earlier this year.

"We had a very positive relationship with America's Cup for the period of time we worked with them. So the reasons they included that prohibition I can't speak too. It's disappointing," he said.

But the America's Cup Authority says it's all a misunderstanding. There is no ban on food trucks, just restrictions on where they can set up.

"We want food trucks and we're going to have food trucks. The issue we've got at the moment is were not allowed to put them on the grass at Marina Green and we've got a safety issue about having them in the middle of the public here on the pier, so we've got to work our way around that," said America's Cup CEO Steve Barclay.

America's Cup clarification may ease concerns of some residents who said it would be unfair to exclude the trucks.

"I thought we brought America's Cup to spread kind of the wealth around the city," said food truck patron Steven Joe.

San Francisco Supervisors also want to make sure food trucks reap some of the benefits from the thousands of spectators who are expected for the regatta,

"I do hope that the America's Cup will understand that we want to see our local food scene depicted in its full diversity," said Supervisor David Chiu.

The America's Cup Authority blames the language in the vendor proposal for the controversy but says there was never any plan to exclude them.

"It is an iconic part of the food scene and that's why we intend to use them," said Barclay.

Vendors have until April 12 to submit an application for a food service permit.


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