In the (legal) battle of food trucks versus restaurants, the food trucks have officially won.
According to Grub Street, popular food truck meet-up Off the Grid successfully challenged a lawsuit by nine local restaurants that would have shut down their mobile operation.
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The restaurants, which included popular Financial District lunch spots like Grumpy's, Fog City Diner and Café Distijil and others, alleged that the permit the city issued Off the Grid offered an unfair advantage to the growing collection of food trucks.
Off the Grid owner Matt Cohen appeared at City Hall on Wednesday night to challenge the suit, arguing that he had secured proper paperwork and that his food truck meetup is a welcomed addition to the local community.
After the decision, Off the Grid issued an official statement:
Last night, Off the Grid successfully argued for the upholding of an existing permit to continue their market located at Vallejo & Front. Several local restaurants had challenged the permit based on concerns of unfair competition and displacement of business. In a hearing at City Hall, Matt Cohen, owner and founder of Off the Grid, demonstrated that the permit is indeed fully within the law and that Off the Grid: Vallejo & Front brings a much needed diversity of lunchtime offerings to the area. Several Off the Grid supporters with offices in the neighborhood also attended the hearing to show support and share their appreciation for the market. Off the Grid looks forward to resuming service at Vallejo & Front in the near future.
Eater reported that patrons from nearby Financial District office buildings also appeared at City Hall to speak in defense of Off the Grid.
Food trucks have garnered enormous popularity in San Francisco over the past few years, becoming both a cornerstone of the street fair and festival circuit and a regular destination for the lunching business crowd. In January, The Huffington Post San Francisco even joined Nancy Pelosi on a food truck tour led by Cohen himself.
"San Francisco is a model for small business innovation," said Pelosi during the tour. "It's entrepreneurial and optimistic. Food trucks are a great match."
Pelosi even commented on the then-growing disparity between food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants. "It's not competitive so much as it is complementary," she said.
It seems City Hall agreed.
But is this battle really the end of the war? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
In the meantime, check out this slideshow of Nancy Pelosi on her food truck tour:
With Matt Cohen, founder of Off The Grid
With the founder of Doc's food truck