Plans for a pilot program for food trucks on Revere Beach were put on hold last Wednesday by the Licensing Commission so more information can be obtained, including permission from the Department of Energy and Conservation.
The commission received a request from the Mayor’s office to consider an application of three mobile food vendors for a pilot program to evaluate mobile food vendor business in the city. The proposed pilot program would be placed on Revere Beach Boulevard at the foot of the Markey pedestrian bridge from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dimple Rana, director of the Healthy Initiatives Department, said this would be a pilot program coming off the Summer Series, which highlighted food trucks at different spots around the city. In the end an ordinance for food trucks will become part of a citywide ordinance.
The three food trucks/cart for the Markey Bridge area would be Maria’s Taqueria, PerrosPaisas and Eloti. All of the food trucks are owned by Revere residents.
License Commissioner Linda Guinasso said there was no DCR approval yet, and she was aware that some of the business owners were concerned about the impact.
“To give a license without permission from the DCR, I don’t think we can do this,” Guinasso said, adding that more information is needed.
Rana said the location on Revere Beach Boulevard was picked so it would not have an impact on the brick-and-mortar stores.
“In the area of the pedestrian bridge there is nothing,” Rana said.
Cheryl Queen, owner of the Twist and Shout at 82 Revere Beach Blvd., said she and other businesses tried to have vending businesses on the beach but the DCR told them no. She had questions about revenue for the city, what city sales tax would be paid from and if there is a larger vision for food trucks.
“We have only two months to make our money,” Queen said. “It’s tough because we’re all trying to make a living. Business has declined every year for the past five years.”
Vincent Laurantano, owner of the Pizza Kitchen at 76 Revere Beach Blvd., said public safety has impacted his business with State Police often congregating near the Shirley Avenue bathhouse and the pavilion.
“It’s good to have a couple police officers there, but people do not want to go to the beach there,” he said.
“Food trucks are not going away. They will be discussed,” said Chairman Robert Selevitch. The commission agreed to table the issue until its September meeting.