Food trucks hit speed bump in Downtown Norfolk

Posted at 12:16 AM, Jan 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-09 00:16:51-05

The promise of quick and tasty food on the streets of Downtown Norfolk is all too appealing for people on Granby Street.

"It would be really easy and cheap, and you could just walk by and get your food," said Jenny Rudan.

"It's very difficult to grab anything quick that is reasonably healthy," said Jarred Brooks.

Right now, food trucks are allowed in much of Norfolk, except Downtown. Norfolk city council is looking to ease the restrictions, but city leaders can't come to any consensus.

Some council members fear allowing the trucks downtown will hurt restaurants.

"Their margins are very fragile," said councilman Andy Protogyrou.

Food truck operators want to serve the lunch time crowd, but some city leaders say that'll take too big of a bite from the restaurants' bottom lines.

"I think that we do have a middle ground. We can come up with times that would not affect the lunch hour," said Protogyrou.

Food truck proponents say it'll energize Downtown.

Councilwoman Theresa Whibley says those against food trucks don't get it.

"I think it's just kind of confused and I think a little bit uniformed. So it's new to them, it sounds scary," Whibley said.

The portion of Downtown on Granby Street north of Brambleton Avenue, which has more empty storefronts than restaurants, was discussed as a potential food truck hot spot to revitalize the area.