UPDATE | Growing food truck trend prompts rule change in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The city of Charleston is trying to clear a few roadblocks so that food trucks can move down the streets with no problems.

Charleston Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin says they are submitting a plan that will allow for food trucks, safe streets, and is considerate of brick-and-mortar restaurants.

City leaders say that rules were written with a growing food truck trend in mind.

"If we want to attract young people here in the city of Charleston, we have to give them what they see in other cities," Mayor Amy Goodwin said. "If we want to be called 'Hip Historic Charleston,' food trucks is just another step in that direction."

Goodwin submitted a plan that will allow for food trucks, safe streets, and is considerate of brick-and-mortar restaurants.

"Look at what happens when you have one food truck show up, people flock to that area," Goodwin said. "That's what we need to see. Food trucks bring viability, energy and it's something to talk about."

Goodwin said there has been push back in the past due to fears that food trucks will hurt traditional restaurants, but research shows food trucks bring more foot traffic and that boosts all business.

Popular barbecue restaurant Dem 2 Brothers started as a food truck. It was so successful, it opened a location on the West Side of Charleston.

"You don't have to worry about seats and things like that, so it's a quick service," general manager Ashley Wright said. "The truck allows people to eat quicker and we serve pretty much the same things that we have here in the restaurant."

Wright said the truck allows them to get more exposure around the region to bring people to their restaurant. About 20 percent of Dem 2 Brother's business comes from its food trucks.

"More than anything, it draws people out versus people sitting and eating lunch at their desk," Wright said. "If they know that we are here, they are coming out, they are coming to get food. So I think it's definitely a good thing to basically help exposure to food trucks."

A committee is looking at Goodwin's proposal. She expects a final bill to be presented to City Council by the end of July.



 
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