Monday, October 24, 2011

Bites Off Broadway Ends (for the Season)

By Jesse Hirsch
Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Bites Off Broadway’s six-truck pod staged its last event of the season on Friday, drawing record numbers. “I think people heard we were shutting down, and they wanted to check us out while they still had a chance,” said proprietor Karen Hester.

The tumultuous on-again, off-again food truck event was initially booted from Oakland Technical High School on Broadway, before gaining cautious approval for a limited run in front of Studio One on 45th Street. Now Hester has her sights set back on the original location, an area she calls “blighted” and in need of some fresh entrepreneurial spirit (it’s also across the street from her house).

Hester and some of the truck owners from Bites Off Broadway plan to speak at this week’s Community and Economic Development Committee meeting, voicing support for removing Oakland’s moratorium on truck pods. She hopes to get the ball rolling for a Bites Off (or On) Broadway next spring.

Despite a host of municipal setbacks for mobile food in Oakland, Hester maintains a hopeful stance. Pro-street food city councilmembers Jane Brunner and Rebecca Kaplan will present a new proposal to the Community and Economic Development Committee this week, and Hester feels change is on its way. “It’s like medical marijuana,” she said. “Someday the council members who are against [street food] are going to look back and see they were standing on the wrong side of history.”

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