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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Emeryville Names Street-Food Task Force. Do Restaurants Have an Edge?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 3:32 PM

click to enlarge Vendor Primo's Parrilla sets up a grill on the street (as it did last month at Eat Real) ― a bone of contention with some restaurant owners. - SJSHARKTANK/FLICKR
  • sjsharktank/Flickr
  • Vendor Primo's Parrilla sets up a grill on the street (as it did last month at Eat Real) ― a bone of contention with some restaurant owners.
Emeryville's City Council last night named the task force that'll come up with recommendations for reforming its street-food ordinance. It looks like the tsunami of interest in the subject caused the Council to create a bigger advisory body than first imagined.

The East Bay city had originally called for an eight-member advisory body, but last night the Council appointed 13 to the task force. City Council members Ken Bukowski and Nora Davis join four mobile vendors: Walker Bass of Primo's Parrilla, Jon Kosorek of Jon's Street Eats, Gail Lillian of Liba Falafel, and Shari Washburn of Ebbet's Good To Go. They'll join five representing brick and mortars: Anil Bhagat, vice manager of the Bay Street Shopping Center; Patrick Feehan of Café Aquarius;

Doyle Street Café's George Masarweh; Albert Repola of Ruby's Café; and Jonas Bernstein of Rotten City Pizza.

Restaurants would seem to have one more vote than trucks. Actually, says Emeryville City Manager Karen Hemphill, Bernstein is considered a member of both camps (he also owns Co-Op Kitchens, a shared-use commissary whose clients include mobile vendors).

Four city residents (up from two) are on the task force, too: Brandon Bidlack, Hrag Kozanian, Joan Strasser, and Evelyn Whitburn. Hemphill describes them as patrons of both trucks and restaurants.

What's next? The task force will most likely hold its first meeting in the next 10 days. Hemphill says all meetings will be open to the public.

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