So I post the food truck locations and reviews and pictures on my Twitter and Facebook pages. And a lot of my friends who do not live in Nashville, well, they get a little jealous. They also have started sending me information on the food truck scenes where they are.
I recently received a Facebook post from my friend, Emily, who lives in Birmingham, AL. The brick-and-mortar restaurants down there are having a really hard time accepting and trying to work with the food truck vendors. And food truck vendors are having a hard time trying to operate in the newly revitalized downtown area of Birmingham. In fact, the brick-and-mortar owners were trying to get legislation to ban the food trucks from the downtown entirely. The legislators who are trying to revitalize the downtown Birmingham area realize the value of food trucks and the life that food trucks bring to the streets. There is a new coalition of food trucks that has formed (Birmingham Street Food Coalition) to try and work with both the legislators and the brick-and-mortar owners to try and work everything out. For more information on the Birmingham issues, click here.
Now all this to get to what my post is about. Nashville has had a similar reckoning of sorts with the legislators and the restaurants. In Nashville, the food trucks came together to form the Nashville Food Truck Association (NFTA). Back in March 2012, Metro Public Works Officials, the NFTA, and traditional restaurant owners went through discussions that spawned the then new “Food Vendor Pilot Program” which began at the beginning of April. You can read a great article from The City Paper, HERE.
Under this plan, nine food truck zones were created throughout downtown Nashville where the food trucks could operate freely without any friction with traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. The downtown food vendor zones are:
- 2nd Avenue North (East Side) from James Robertson Parkway to Gay Street
- Deaderick Street (North Side) from 3rd Avenue North to 4th Avenue North
- Capitol Boulevard (East Side) from Church Street o Union Street
- James Robertson Parkway from 4th Avenue North to 3rd Avenue North
- James Robertson Parkway (Other Side) from 4th Avenue North to 3rd Avenue North
- 4th Avenue South (West Side) from Demonbreun Street o Broadway
- 1st Avenue North at Fort Nashboro (East) from Church Street to Broadway
- 1st Avenue South (East Side) from Broadway to Demonbreun Street
- Broadway at the Court of the Flags (East) from 1st Avenue South to 1st Avenue North
Nashville is really lucky to have the NFTA working with the legislators and the brick-and-mortars to ensure that everyone is happy and that we as patrons can always get access to the gourmet street eats that we love so much!!!
The NFTA is also so much more. They work with new food truck owners mentoring them to help them avoid any pitfalls and to help them get that leg up on their mobile venture. You can also contact the NFTA to help get trucks for special events and such. They do so much that we never know about. For more information on the NFTA, click here.
If you are out and about, make sure to check the downtown parking zones, because you just never know who will pop up near you! And if you are parking your car downtown, on behalf of us who love food trucks, please do NOT park in these zones. I know most of the truck owners are way too nice that they won’t have your car towed. But that won’t stop us food truck patrons from having your car towed (*chuckling)!
Let’s hope that Birmingham’s coalition can do for Birmingham what the NFTA has done for us here in Nashville. We sure are a lucky city!!!
You can follow the Nashville Food Truck Association on Twitter at @FoodTrucksNash!