Tomorrow Night's Art Walk Could Be Food Truck War

People enjoying the evening at Wynwood Food Truck Roundup.
People enjoying the evening at Wynwood Food Truck Roundup.
Laine Doss

Wynwood gallery owners are concerned food trucks cause more harm than good during the Second Saturdays art walks at local galleries. They complain the monthly events are attracting people that are not necessarily serious art buyers.. And they complain of generator fumes and garbage. So they want to tone down the carnival aspect the trucks can bring.

At last Saturday's Wynwood Truck Meetup a DJ was spinning tunes, a catering company was operating a bar and a group was celebrating a birthday on wooden picnic tables. Children danced as parents watched, taco or burger in hand. Serious art buyers? Probably not, but certainly not a rowdy crowd by any means.

David Lombardi is the owner of the empty lot on NW 2nd Avenue and 22nd Street where food trucks park on Saturdays. He said that Richard Hales, owner of restaurant Sakaya Kitchen and Food Truck Dim Ssam a Gogo suggested the food court be held on his property, after gallery owners started to grumble about trucks parking on the streets.

Lombardi provides porta-potties, picnic tables, garbage cans, a clean-up man and a DJ to the site. In return, he charges the truckers "rent" of $75 on Second Saturdays and $35 on off Saturdays to recoup some of the costs incurred with the services he provides.

But Jack Garabedian, owner of Jefe's Original Tacos is concerned Lombardi is trying to monopolize the food trucks in Wynwood. He forwarded New Times an email by a truck supporter making that point.

Lombardi replies that he is simply trying to make order of a messy situation. "I'm taking chicken shit and making chicken salad", Lombardi said.

Tomorrow night's gallery walk will prove interesting. Many food trucks, seeing a benefit in renting a space that has amenities like a DJ and porta-potties, are planning to roll into Lombardi's lot. Other truckers are planning on taking it to the streets to serve up food alongside NW 2nd Avenue. Whether or not the street-bound truckers will help or hinder gallery owners remains to be seen.

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