Munch Mondays have been scrapped. Special event permits granted by the city of Santa Rosa for mobile food trucks between January 10 and February 28, 2011 will not be renewed after a vocal outcry from downtown brick and mortar restaurants.
Following several weeks of heated discussion between the city’s Economic Development department, which initially granted the event temporary space at the parking lot on E Street between Second and Third Streets, downtown restaurateurs and owners of mobile vendors of the Eat Fleet, it was suggested that the event move to a more distant location on Sonoma and D Streets.
That, along with discussions to move the event to Railroad Square never materialized, leaving the event in temporary limbo until today’s decision by the city.
CalTrans and the Railroad Square Association Restaurants nixed hosting the mobile vendors saying that they would be invited to certain special events in Railroad Square including Summer Nights.
Why the turnaround? According to a press release from the city, as debate about the location grew, so did the concern that managing the issues would continue to be time-consuming. “This being only on e of our many economic development programs, the Munch Mondays discussion began to take up on inordinate amount of staff and restaurateur time,” said David Gouin, Economic Development and Housing Director.
The decision by the city wasn’t completely surprising to Street-Eatz and La Texanita mobile truck co-owner Jillian Dorman, but disappointing nonetheless. “Most of the customers I talked to today are really surprised it isn’t continuing because it was so successful,” she said. “I think its fair to say that we’re going to continue to do what we’re doing and we plan to continue to grow our business,” Dorman added.
As part of the Eat Fleet, a group of mostly local vendors participating in Munch Monday and Rohnert Park’s newly launched Tasty Tuesday, she said that the group continues to receive offers in other towns and locations including Sonoma, Healdsburg and will be at their usual spots around Santa Rosa the rest of the week. “People can check out our Facebook pages or websites to find where we are,” she said.
“It’s been so successful in other cities as an option for eating. I think in time it will be more accepted here,” Dorman concluded.