Why All the Food Trucks Vanished from East Downtown’s Truck Yard

WHY ALL THE FOOD TRUCKS VANISHED FROM EAST DOWNTOWN’S TRUCK YARD Health department officials ousted all food trucks from the open-air structure pictured adjacent to outdoor seating in August — reports Samantha Morris over at Houston Food Finder — nearly 4 months after the Lamar St. bar opened. Their justification: City code bans food trucks from parking within 100 ft. of dining areas and from parking underneath “any canopy, awning or other covering,” that isn’t attached to the truck itself. (If the covering’s already there for another purpose, and the truck just happens to park under it, the city lets it slide.) As a partial fix, “We’re going to take the roof off,” Truck Yard’s general manager tells Morris. Until the city okays plans for that change, cheesesteaks from the bar’s in-house kitchen will be the only food source available. [Houston Food Finder; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Truck Yard Houston

14 Comment

  • I guess this might be a problem for the old Spaghetti Factory conversion as well

  • The restaurant lobby at work.

  • More BS from the NOT an original idea/ thought in their pea sized brains bureaucrat butt holes @ the COH. Obviously the resto industry is threatened that their tired food and concepts have COMPETITION. Austin & Seattle cater to the food truck industry. Houston wants to stay BORING, DULL, UNORIGINAL and ASS BACKWARDS !!

  • Building code at work. A truck burning in the open air isn’t that big of a problem, a truck burning in a warehouse is a big problem.

  • Houston, your backwards mentality sucks!

  • Well, the brick’nmortar establishments long ago captured the regulatory offices in the COH and now see the fruits of their labors. When citizens give the government ultimate control over all decisions, there will be losers and winners. In this case, the truckers are the losers.

  • @Jeromy
    not sure I understand what the difference would be between a burning truck and a burning building. I do get the rule that you can use a propane tank inside. that makes sense. but something burning, is something burning.

  • Thanks for sharing our article with your readers, Dan!

  • It seems like most of the food trucks run generators while they are parked, and it seems like common sense to prohibit them from doing so in an enclosed area.

  • @toasty
    Smoke is the big difference. If you are within a structure, there is a big risk of smoke killing the occupants. Also, a restaurant of this size would be required to be sprinklered. The City doesn’t want owners to use food trucks to skirt the building code. This is not just a Houston requirement, this would apply everywhere that the IBC is enforced.

  • Man this is really Jayce. Beto is Jayce. Thanks

  • @Jeromy

    The brick building portion IS sprinklered. Hypothetically if the truck parking area was a separate building/permit/whatever I don’t think it’s big enough to require sprinklers. I think it’s like 5,000 sqft for an A-occupancy before sprinkler requirement kicks in? It’s also open on 3 sides if they keep that Hutchins side open.

    As for smoke – surely smoke vents would be adequate… They put them in un-sprinklered warehouses all the time. In fact, i’m pretty sure the area over the trucks currently has gravity ventilation.

    The real question is why does the HEALTH department have the power to rescind what they already permitted and all the other departments were OK with? As long as those individual trucks pass health inspections what does the HEALTH department care where they are parked? It seems more likely to get bird shit or flying insects on my burger than whatever might be around the trucks. Had the Fire Marshall said something this might be a different argument.

  • @Barks No one is an island to himself, unless you live on one, you’re sharing with others. What a change? Work for it.

  • Personally I want the city of Houston controlling my eating options, controlling what they consider safe for me, controlling how much parking must be provided for me, making sure I wear my seatbelt on the way there.
    Thanks for controlling me so I say safe pappa government
    Because if I went into an enclosed space that had a bunch of smoke from burning food trucks, there is no way I’d say “F this I’m out”. Naaa, without the government I’d just stay in there die.