After being forced to relocate as a result of new zoning restrictions and the construction of the new library, food truck owners actually saw a boost in business.
“[The construction] has actually been kind of nice,” said Michael Zorzy, a sophomore business major who has worked at El Guaco Loco since September. The truck is at the corner of 13th and Norris streets every weekday. The construction for the library is across the intersection from the truck.
“There’s been more customers because the construction workers come here,” Zorzy said. “I don’t see many negatives or positives really, just that there’s more people here.”
Virginia Apostolopoulos, owner of the Creperie at Temple, said construction hasn’t had much of an impact on her business. Her truck is also near the corner of 12th and Norris streets.
The university reportedly sent out an email to food truck owners warning them of potential difficulty from library construction.
In Fall 2015, several food truck owners said they were concerned about relocating as part of the zoning restrictions and also the switch from generators to cables to provide electricity to the trucks.
City Council passed an ordinance in 2015 when construction on the new library began that created a zone in which food trucks would be allowed. The parameters of the food truck-friendly zone are Diamond, 10th, Oxford and 16th streets. However, the trucks are prohibited from parking or operating on construction-heavy 13th Street.
Tommy’s Lunch Truck is one of the food trucks that had to relocate because of construction. Last year the truck moved two times: once in May and September and another relocation is anticipated this summer, said owner Teresa Dinh.
She said she was concerned when she first had to move her business, but that it worked out alright.
“All my customers have found us here,” Dinh said, adding that the construction increased traffic to her food truck as well. The truck currently sits on Norris Street across from the library construction.
Tommy’s Lunch Truck also experienced electric and water problems, which Dinh attributes to construction.
Susan Allen, a sophomore speech, language and hearing major who works at Burger Tank, a truck parked near the corner of 13th and Norris streets, says the construction did not negatively affected the business, but instead increased it.
Construction of the library is projected to finish in October 2018.
Laura Smythe can be reached at email@example.com.
Nenseh Koneh contributed reporting.