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Hits & Misses

Chow Truck, One Percent Campaign & Low Gas Prices

By Josh Loftin
Photo by Lunch at the Chow Truck. //
Posted // June 16,2010 -

Fast Food
SAD.jpghe Chow Truck, which sells its bistro fare out of a food truck, is being forced to move every two hours because of a Salt Lake City law that prohibits them from staying in one place for any longer, even in a private lot. Owner SuAn Chow met with city officials on June 9, and afterward tweeted that “everyone is in support of making progressive changes” to the laws. Lisa Harrison Smith, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s spokesperson, said the city is studying the issue. That sounds good, but what’s too study? Portland  has loosened food-truck laws in recent years and now has a burgeoning mobile-food culture (click here for a PDF about Portland's use of food carts for urban revitalization). Apparently, however, the city would prefer to study and study more while also enforcing ridiculous laws. What’s next, those pesky lemonade stands?

Giving One Percent
The Crusade for the Homeless is urging Utahns to donate 1 percent of their income to help end
SMILEY.jpgchronic homelessness. Founder Jack Gallivan told The Salt Lake Tribune that participation from just 20 percent of Utah residents could bring in $100 million. The money would go to the the Housing First effort, which has built 500 low-income housing units that permit people to rent apartments by paying just 30 percent of their income. While the ultimate goal of the group—to end homelessness within 10 years—may seem ambitious, their approach actually aims to help the homeless. That’s a welcome change from the inconvenience that the homeless seem to pose for Salt Lake City officials.

Safety at the Pump
SAD.jpgThe oil spill that fouled the waters of Red Butte Creek, killed fish, stained birds and closed Liberty Park will not cause any grief for motorists. According to Chevron officials, crude oil supplies are fine, which is good news to the AAA of Utah’s Rolayne Fairclough, who told the Tribune that “it would be a very unfortunate time” for a gas shortage. After all, it’s summer, which means Utahns need to drive large vehicles hundreds of miles, generally pulling a trailer loaded down with other gas-guzzling toys. Hey, gas prices have already weathered the BP oil spill—they actually dropped 16 cents in the last month in Utah—so it would be a tragedy if the Chevron pipe break caused prices to jump.

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Posted // August 2,2010 at 03:38

I am a transplant from the big apple and the first thing I do when i visit nyc is eat my favorite hot dog and pretzel on the street. When I heard about the Chow Truck I was happy and amazed thinking that the mobile food cart business would thrive here. I hope that the old farts in capitol hill will see that SLC is thriving and a new "breed" of residents are the one revitilizing this city. It's just sad to hear that they continue to keep it "toned" for whatever reason and make it difficult for small businesses to actually succeed and or start. Actually....I know the reason and you have to be part of the "good ole network" to pass...but that's another article. Anyway out of curiousity I checked both the and health department websites for mobile food vending regulations and It's a biiiiaaatt..h on just starting one!! I feel for the chow truck, I applaud them for not giving up on the stupid red tape just to open it! In addition kudos for The Chow Truck, to have the patience to keep it going with all the stupid beaurocratic junk to keeping it open! Chow Truck, you guys are the best and I hope the city makes changes to help your business thrive! It is a good business concept, your food is great, the service is great and It reminds me of back home! :)


Posted // June 16,2010 at 12:14

The dispute obviously involves non-mobile restaurants near where Chow Truck parks.


Posted // June 16,2010 at 10:24

The Chow Truck: They are going "to study it" is the answer people give when they either have no answer or are afraid that it won't be politically expedient to take a stand in public. Think Jim Matheson not holding Town Hall meetings or attending the Demo Nat'l COnvention that nominated Obama.

When I worked at KSL many years ago, the joke in the hallways was,"We're going to have a meeting on it" Then, during the meeting, no one wanted to poke their head above the herd and nothing was done, except to agree to another meeting at some other time.

If I own a parking lot and I give Susie Chow permission to park her truck and do business, with a health dept. permit in hand, who's business is it?