DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An effort to bring more people downtown through their appetites appears to be working.
But 2 NEWS is asking if all areas of downtown welcome food trucks with open arms?
Food truck owners say they’re not looking to step on anyone’s toes.
In fact, they say they’re here to just get a piece of the pie and bring people back into downtown Dayton.
There’s a new push for downtown revitalization.
Part of that includes, food trucks as an attraction.
We asked several food truck owners if they think they’re bringing competition to other businesses, but a majority said no.
“We’re not in competition, basically what it does is it just brings more people out. They get a sampling of food, they still go to their favorite restaurants, that’s not a problem. They go to us maybe once a week, once every other week and that’s what we ask for. It works out really well for everybody,” said Dick Bell with McNasty’s Great Food Express.
Bell started his food truck, three years ago after years of owning his own restaurant, north of Dayton.
He believes the trucks add value to downtown.
Fellow food truck and restaurant owner Gloria Castro thinks it’s a good idea; she says it’s a quick meal on wheels.
“Over here, we can offer to the people the same kind of food in a very casual idea,” said the co-owner of El Meson in West Carrollton.
In the restaurant-filled Oregon district, minutes away from these food trucks, some say it’s about respecting each business’ turf.
Joe Bavaro with Oregon Express says he welcomes opportunity for all.
“Every month, you hear of new and small businesses opening up and that’s great for everyone. It creates job and interest in people wanting to, you know, open up a restaurant or business in the city of Dayton or anywhere,” said Bavaro.
Bavaro’s sentiments is exactly what Downtown Dayton Partners wants to see happen.
“We know that as I said there is a demand for food truck rallies and such but also our bricks and mortar restaurants, you know. they’re here every day of the year and they’re working hard to establish their businesses so it’s all about working together and finding the right mix,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of Downtown Dayton Partners.
According to organizers, last Friday’s food truck rally brought in at least 1,700 people.
They hope those same people spend their dollars throughout downtown.
The next rally is August 8 at the Yellow Cab Building on Fourth Street.