Monday, June 30, 2014

A half-dozen newly permitted sidewalk patios to try this summer

Posted By on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

The new sidewalk cafe outside River Park Square is bordered by flower planters. - LISA WAANANEN
  • Lisa Waananen
  • The new sidewalk cafe outside River Park Square is bordered by flower planters.

Way back in January when it was too cold to care much, we wrote about how letting businesses spill into the sidewalk with sandwich boards, music and patios can make cities more pedestrian-friendly and lively. (And that means safer, too.)

In Spokane, businesses that want to build a café area on the actual sidewalk — as opposed to private property that happens to be outside — must apply for a permit from the city. Among the requirements: The patio must leave at least 6 feet of unobstructed sidewalk, must not block deliveries for adjacent businesses and must be at least four feet from any street trees.

And the city has quite a few new ones this year. Now that we’ve got some summery weather, here’s the list from the city of all businesses newly permitted this year for their inaugural sidewalk café summer:

River Park Square
808 W. Main Ave.
A seating area outside the front entrance of the mall is bordered by new flower planters, and a popular place to pause with an iced coffee.

The Bartlett
228 W. Sprague Ave.
The wood-fenced patio was just constructed in the past week, and nearly doubles the seating capacity of the music venue’s café area.

The Blind Buck
204 N. Division St.
Partially covered by the bar’s awning, the little patio out front on Division is bordered by a tiny ledge just wide enough for your cold drink.

Wild Dawgs
102 N. Howard St.
The patio outside Wild Dawgs, in the shadow of the Parkade, has full-size tables and feels urban without too much traffic.

River City Brewing
121 S. Cedar St.
On the west end of downtown just up the block from Rocket Bakery’s big outdoor seating area, River City’s patio is a good spot for watching the sun set as trains go by.

916 S. Hatch St.
Located in a residential part of the Perry District — the only one on this list outside the downtown core — Wisconsinburger built a wood deck across the full front of the restaurant.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Food truck rules back on city council agenda tonight

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Jamaican Jerk Pan owner Roian Doctor - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
  • Young Kwak photo
  • Jamaican Jerk Pan owner Roian Doctor

UPDATE: The council voted unanimously Monday to approve the new rules. The full ordinance is below.

After a year of open houses and workshops and an anti-climactic meeting last month, the Spokane City Council looks set to finally vote on new food truck rules tonight.

The city's planning department has led the charge to hash out new rules to replace the current outdated and vague regulations — one example: mobile food vendors are technically required to move every 10 minutes. We wrote about the plan last summer and again when the council was set to vote on new rules in May. But, even though city staff said they worked with food truck owners on a new set of rules, when the time came for the city council to vote, the food truck owners who showed up were not pleased. Among other things, they criticized new fees and the city's proposed requirement for food trucks to get permission from nearby property owners in order to park in front of downtown buildings. So, the council delayed their vote. Now, after more meetings, the latest version of the rules is a compromise.

"There were things [city leaders] weren’t willing to compromise on and there were things they were. It was really nice that they were open," says Joile Forral, who owns the food truck Couple of Chefs and is president of the Greater Spokane Food Truck Association. "We do support the new changes."

The previous rules required a fee for each place where trucks planned to park; now, they'll be charged a flat yearly fee. On the larger, messier question of how much say brick and mortar businesses should have over food truck locations, the city will now work with food truck owners to identify downtown building owners who are "food-truck friendly" so food trucks now where they're welcome, Forral says. Outside of downtown, businesses can complain if they don't want a food truck near their building. In those cases, the trucks must stay 50 feet from the entrance.

Forral says she's heard from property owners who didn't want her truck nearby and was happy to move on.

"We don’t want to vend from where we’re not wanted," she says. "We just want to serve good food and be where people want us to be."

From the looks of it lately, that will leave plenty of locations. Food trucks have been welcomed at farmers markets and breweries that want customers to be able to enjoy food with their beer.

If passed by the council and signed by the mayor, the new rules will take effect in about a month.

Here's the full ordinance outlining the new rules (another ordinance on the agenda deals with which city zones will allow food trucks). The latest changes are in red.

Food truck ordinance, June 23

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Sandpoint reopenings, beer awards and cake for the garbage goat

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 3:10 PM

  • MickDuff's

After taking over the space previously occupied by Pend D’Oreille Winery and doing some renovations, MickDuff’s is opening its new tap room in downtown Sandpoint tomorrow. Unlike the original pub — which is still open like always — MickDuff’s Beer Hall doesn’t have a kitchen and will keep the focus on the beer.

Pend D’Oreille Winery, meanwhile, moved nearby to 301 Cedar St., and is celebrating both the reopening and its 19th anniversary this weekend with live music and discounts.

Back here in Spokane, Fusion Flours — the gluten-free bakeshop — is back open at a new location: 130 N. Stone, which was previously the site of Michlitch’s gluten-free baking operations.

This week's Entree newsletter has details about Young Buck Brewing and the new incubator brewery getting up and running near the former Spokane Public Market.

With the rapidly growing number of craft breweries in Washington state, it’s becoming more and more difficult to be the best in the state. But a handful of local breweries managed to do it at last weekend’s Washington Beer Awards: River City Brewing took home gold for its River City Red (American Ambers), Iron Goat Brewing took home gold for its Gin Barrel-Aged Head Butt IPA (Wood and Barrel Aged Beers) and silver for its Barrel-Aged Goatnik Russian Imperial Stout (Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Beers); Hopped Up Brewing earned silver for its Lemon Quality Cream Ale (Fruit Beers); Paradise Creek earned silver for its Scottish Stovepipe (Scottish Ales) and bronze for Huckleberry Pucker (Sours); and Republic Brewing Co. took home silver for its Falligan’s Irish red (Irish Red Ales) and bronze for Big Mischief Porter (Robust Porters).

Some food happenings this weekend — Vegfest, Bazaar (not strictly food, but will have tasty things) and feeding birthday cake to the Garbage Goat.

Sorry, folks, it’s a short one this week because I’m getting married and need to go do stuff. But you can read previous food news here.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cider growlers and other new booze-related laws now in effect in Washington

Posted By on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 1:06 PM


A whole slate of new Washington state laws went into effect last Thursday, 90 days after the legislative session ends. Among them are a few laws that affect the way Washingtonians can get their drink on. Here are the changes:

Places licensed to sell beer growlers can now also sell cider growlers.

Craft cider is booming in Washington state, but the law hasn’t been exactly clear on how to deal with it. Is it more like wine? More like beer? Well, the passage of SB 6442 means that cider can be sold in growlers — the reusable, typically glass jugs — the same way beer on tap has been sold for years from local bottleshops and bars. The Northwest Cider Association expects this to be a huge boon for cideries trying to get a spot on local tap lists. The bill passed on March 19, and went into effect June 12.

Places licensed to distribute wine can sell wine growlers.

Tasting rooms, specialty shops and other distributors can now sell wine in refillable growlers, too, thanks to SHB 1742. Advocates emphasized that it makes wine a lot more sustainable, since wine enthusiasts can reuse a growler rather than throwing away bottles. This bill passed on March 17, and went into effect June 12. A clarification thanks to the Liquor Control Board: Wine growlers can only be sold by the wineries that produce the wine, at their own additional locations separate from any production or manufacturing sites. So, a tasting room in downtown Spokane owned by a winery in Walla Walla can sell growlers, but independent shops and tasting rooms that offer several wineries' products cannot.

Craft distilleries can sell you more alcohol.

Under previous law, craft distilleries could only sell a person three liters of spirits on a single day. That shouldn’t be a problem for personal consumption, but what if you’re picking up supplies for a big party or shopping for last-minute holiday gifts? Now, thanks to SSB 6226, that limit is gone. (It was just upped from two to three liters last year.) Additionally, craft distilleries could provide free half-ounce samples on the premises — now they can also charge for those samples if they want. Also important: It revises the definition of a “craft” distillery from one producing 60,000 gallons a year or less up to 150,000 gallons — so distilleries can make more without losing their “craft” status. This bill was passed on March 27, and went into effect June 12.

Farmers markets can offer more beer and wine samplings.

Last year, a new law started allowing beer and wine sampling at farmers markets around Washington state, with supporters saying it was a good way for local breweries and wineries to reach people who care about buying from local producers. In doing so, it also tweaked the definition of a “qualifying farmers market” so that more markets would be eligible. But since the definition wasn’t changed for selling beer and wine, some markets were eligible for sampling but not for selling. This year’s law, SB 6514, reconciles the definition so that all markets that qualify can do both. This bill was passed on March 27, and went into effect June 12.

Caterers can now apply for liquor licenses.

Many restaurants have liquor licenses, as do bars and event venues. But until now, independent catering companies without a storefront could not apply for a liquor license. Thanks to ESHB 2680, caterers can now apply for a liquor license from the state Liquor Control Board that allows them to serve alcohol at any place owned or leased by either the catering company or the organization that hired them. A couple of the stipulations: Caterers must provide some type of food at every event (at least snack food), and must send a schedule of liquor-catered events to the regional liquor board office every month. This bill was passed on March 17, and went into effect June 12.

Day spas can offer a complimentary glass of wine or beer.

Art galleries can offer visitors a complimentary glass of wine or beer to sip while they peruse the art, and wedding boutiques can do the same. So if you can have a drink with your art and your bridal gown shopping, why not your pedicure? With the passage of ESSB 5045, day spas can similarly get a permit to offer beer or wine to their guests over 21. The bill was passed April 2 and went into effect June 12.

Law enforcement can get involved if places that sell liquor have too much theft.

Part of the reason Washington did away with state-run liquor stores was the convenience of getting to pick up a bottle of vodka at the grocery store. But it’s also made theft more convenient at places that don’t keep their supply carefully guarded, and sometimes those thieves are minors. Now, with ESHB 2155, there’s a process for law enforcement and the Liquor Control Board to intervene when stores have an unusually high theft rate — defined as two or more thefts in a six-month period that involve minors getting access to liquor. This bill was passed on March 27, and went into effect June 12.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Ephata Cafe and Crafted Tap House open, goodbye SpoCOOL

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM


Ephata Cafe, located at 1908 W. Northwest Blvd, is now open and serving up a variety of juices, smoothies, sandwiches and other snacks. Opening Week specials continue through Saturday, when there’s a cake and ice cream celebration at 3 pm.


Crafted Tap House + Kitchen in Coeur d’Alene is opening this Sunday.

Also in Coeur d’Alene, a new taproom is opening soon — but for kombucha, not beer. Read more about Bare Culture Kombucha in this week’s Entree newsletter.

This weekend — Father’s Day, hint hint — is Swirl Washington, a new evening wine event at the Davenport with winemakers and chefs from around the region. It’s meant to be similar to Taste Washington Spokane, an annual event that ended in 2010.

The Fainting Goat, a wine bar and restaurant in Wallace, is celebrating one year today with champagne and cake.

Hopped Up Brewing is celebrating its first anniversary on Saturday with live music and beer floats.

The Washington Brewers Festival is this weekend, but unfortunately held on the other side of the state. But a few of Washington beer guru Kendall Jones’ festival picks are available in our area: Iron Goat’s Dry Fly barrel-aged creations, Orlison’s IPL and Rye IPL, Ramblin Road’s Belgian-style beers, and Twelve String’s tequila barrel-aged beers — “Who ages beer in tequila barrels? Gotta try it.”

A handful of local breweries took home honors from last weekend’s Mountain Brewers Beer Fest: Laughing Dog got gold for its Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter and bronze for its De Aschste Hond (a wild ale in the fruit category); Paradise Creek Brewery took home gold for its Hoe’s Daddy Dunkelweizen; and Selkirk Abbey earned gold for its Saint Joseph. See the full results here.

This week’s Inlander is the biggest of the year, primarily because of the 84 pages of Summer Guide. We did Summer Guide categories for both food and drinks this year. We mentioned cold brew in the food section — Roast House is offering free classes on how to do it properly.

Remi Olsen is moving away from Spokane, the Spokesman reports, bringing an end of sorts to the reviews and updates of SpoCOOL. The site lives on in a new form, and the blog portion is still available here.)

Ha Ha’s Teriyaki Grill was hit with some vandalism and racist graffiti.

If you’ve never been to the Saturday farmers market in Moscow, it’s serious business. Vendor spots are juried and coveted, and the city is hosting tryouts for new food and craft vendors next Friday. Applications are here.

A little advance notice — next week’s Thursday Market on Perry also includes a food truck rally.

A New York chef spends plenty of pages of his new book praising WSU researcher Stephen Jones, a leading wheat breeder whose work involves small farms in creating diverse wheat varieties.

This has been around a while but I'd missed it until now, so maybe you did, too: A guy in Brooklyn sends grilled cheese sandwiches with little parachutes down to people on the sidewalk from his upper-story window. Here, described as only TV news can describe it.

Read previous food news here.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Spices, yogurt and lots of drinking

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 6:56 PM


This week’s update is heavy on the drinking. Pace yourself as needed.

There are just over two weeks left to go in Spiceologist’s latest Kickstarter campaign, this one funding an expansion to launch their line of spice rubs nationwide. Check out the project here, and look in next week’s Summer Guide issue for ideas and tips on how to use the rubs in creative ways this summer.

Flora, a yogurt company, successfully reached its Kickstarter goal and will be teaming up with Batch Bakeshop later this year in their new West Central location.

In other yogurt news, Chobani is laying people off from its Idaho plant.

Thrillist put together a list of Washington’s 10 best restaurants outside Seattle and included Casper Fry and the Black Cypress in Pullman. (Aside from one in Walla Walla, the rest are all still on the west side.)

In his column this week, Luke Baumgarten quietly dropped the exciting news that the folks behind Nudo are planning to open a burger joint on the same block.

This week's Entree newsletter introduces a new local tequila company, Nightshade Experience. Read more here.

Latah Creek Winery cleaned up at the Seattle Wine Awards, with each of eight wines entered coming home with an award, and other local wineries had a good showing as well.

Last week we mentioned the upcoming Washington Brewers Festival in the Seattle area; also coming up this weekend is the 20th Annual Mountain Brewers Beer Fest in Idaho Falls, with a fair amount of location representation among the participating breweries.

Dry Fly vodka and whiskey got mentioned prominently in a Father’s Day gift guide. (Conveniently, there is a 25 percent off Father’s Day coupon from Dry Fly on page 27 of this week’s print issue.)

This Pearl vodka mixology contest is labeled Seattle, but you’ll find a few local names to vote for if you’re so inclined.

First Friday is coming around again tomorrow, and along with the art we’ve got a couple of beverage releases. Liberty Ciderworks is hinting at a limited-release Dry Fly barrel-aged cider, and River City is releasing their Riverkeeper IPA at the downtown Numerica location. Like last year’s Riverkeeper Red, it benefits Spokane Riverkeeper. But it’s an entirely new beer — a true Northwest IPA made with local hops, grains and, of course, local water.

Iron Goat is celebrating two years with a big celebration on Saturday, and apparently the Inlander’s own Mike Bookey is going to MC for a while.

This weekend is also Elkfest, and this year there’s the option to bring two cans of food for 2nd Harvest food bank instead of paying the $2 cover charge for the beer gardens.

More upcoming drinking: Spokane Preservation Advocates is hosting a Pints for Preservation pub crawl on June 14 to learn about historic architecture in Spokane and, well, drink.

Swirl Washington is also coming up on Father's Day.

Bella Cova, which had started family dinners and a farmers market this year, is on the move after a sudden lease issue.

Recreational marijuana is getting into the food industry — check out yesterday’s Weed Wednesday post for a Seattle company making cannabis-infused coffee beverages and problems with edibles.

Candied bacon cannoli, deep-fried olives on a stick, “Comet Corn” — the Minnesota State Fair, where I once worked, revealed this year’s absurd list of new foods. It makes Pig Out look like a salad bar.

Read previous food news and musings here.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

10 Breweries, 10 Hours: Biking the Inland Northwest Ale Trail

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

To complete the Inland Northwest Ale Trail, participants must visit 10 of the participating breweries and have a drink at each one. In May, a group of bicyclists attempted to complete the trail in just one day. After a few pints and a wrong turn, they were feeling good but not sure if they’d finish in time.

Follow their journey in this video and find out more about the Inland Northwest Ale Trail here.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Italian openings, long line for free pizza, food trucks for Volume

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Uva Trattoria opened in Coeur d'Alene this week. - UVA TRATTORIA
  • Uva Trattoria
  • Uva Trattoria opened in Coeur d'Alene this week.

A new Italian restaurant on Coeur d’Alene’s Fourth Street corridor, Uva Trattoria, is now open. An Italian deli, Marina’s New York Deli, opened recently in North Spokane, too. Read more about what both are offering in this week’s Entree newsletter.

Java on Sherman is now open in their new location a few blocks down at 819 Sherman.

Also changing location is North Spokane Mexican restaurant Pueblo Amigo, moving just a short ways from Francis down to a space near NorthTown Mall.

A new cafe is coming to the International District location that was previously the Flying Pig: The Ivory Table, which is opening June 3. They’re currently seeking artists who’d like their work displayed.

A new restaurant called Palouse Caboose is coming to Palouse, Wash., later this summer.

More than 100 people were in line by 7:30 this morning for the opening of a new Papa John’s on the South Hill, hoping to be among the lucky first customers to win free pizza for a year. The owner is Matt Goodwin, who also owns Press, the Volstead Act and the Boiler Room.

People got up really early this morning in hopes of winning free pizza for a year. - PAPA JOHN'S SOUTH HILL
  • Papa John's South Hill
  • People got up really early this morning in hopes of winning free pizza for a year.

With the new Target on the South Hill getting closer to opening, the developer announced some other nearby businesses, including a Cafe Rio and Anthony’s Beach Cafe.

It seems like only a little while since we first found out about the pack of restaurants opening in Kendall Yards. With the Wandering Table now open — here’s the full story from this week’s issue — the only eatery still under construction is Veraci Pizza. And they’re in the hiring phase.

It looks like designer extraordinaire Karli Ingersoll is working on the logo for Durkin’s Liquor Bar. As mentioned before, the new Main Avenue restaurant from the people behind Madeleine’s and Casper Fry is presumably named after Jimmie Durkin, famous liquor king of early Spokane. Looking through old papers, it doesn’t seem like Durkin had much consistent branding for his downtown stores — but he knew what he was doing with the ad copy.

1904 advertisement in the Spokane Chronicle.
  • 1904 advertisement in the Spokane Chronicle.

It’s on the other side of the state, unfortunately, but the Washington Brewers Festival on June 13-15 is the biggest one yet with 88 breweries, including a respectable Spokane-area delegation: Iron Goat, No-Li, Orlison, Paradise Creek, Ramblin’ Road and Twelve String. See the full list of breweries here and — just announced — what they’re all pouring.

Paradise Creek is also celebrating its 4th anniversary tomorrow with three casks and other festivities.

  • Riley Cran

No-Li’s latest in its Expo Series is Noble Hop, an extra pale ale. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it better be delicious since the bottle is my favorite color.

And on a sadder note, the craft beer community is mourning the death of Jack Joyce, who co-founded Rogue Ales in 1988 and helped forge the path for the resurgence of local craft brewers.

Finally, it’s not possible to write a blog post for the Inlander this week without mentioning Volume, our massive music festival, but fortunately there’s a good reason to mention it here. We’re setting up Volume HQ at the parking lot on Sprague across from the Satellite and Irv’s, and joining us will be several food trucks: Bistro Box, Shameless Sausages, King of Tacos and Fatburger. And you should buy a Volume wristband because it will be a fun time — and you get discounts at Bistango, Rock City Grill, Atticus and River City Brewing — but you don’t need a wristband to come enjoy our mini food truck rally.

Read previous food news here.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Openings, new patios and the Cosmic Crisp

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Selkirk Pizza & Tap House, left, and the Wandering Table, right, are both opening this week.
  • Selkirk Pizza & Tap House, left, and the Wandering Table, right, are both opening this week.

Today is the grand opening for the Wandering Table, the newest restaurant in Kendall Yards and the second owned by chef Adam Hegsted. The tapas-style menu is meant to be shared so everyone can try a variety of flavors — so bring a few friends and pick at least one dish that seems more adventurous.

The restaurant formerly known as Fat Daddy’s is totally renovated and now open as Selkirk Pizza & Tap House. They’ve got a salad bar and a variety of sandwiches and pizzas. See the menu here.

This week’s issue has a big feature on Saranac Commons and what’s coming soon to the building on Main Avenue, which is scheduled to open in July. Instead of listing everything, you can just read it here.

This week’s Entree newsletter has more about Egg It On, which still needs to be described as the brunch place where Hooters used to be at least for a little longer. And there’s also the return of the Garlic Mobile truck from the White House Grill. More details on where to find it here.

Manito Park Bench Cafe in Manito Park is opening for the season tomorrow.

We’ve been wondering where exactly in West Central we’ll be able to find Batch Bakeshop’s new storefront, and they’ve announced the address: 2023 W. Dean Ave., which is really in the heart of West Central. This is the darling little building, according to Google Street View:


The building will also be home to Flora, a yogurt company, which is almost halfway to its Kickstarter goal with a week left to go.

New on Kickstarter this week is the return of Spiceologist, which previously ran a successful campaign for the Spiceologist Block. This time it’s a campaign for their spice blend rubs in hopes of launching nationwide. Downdraft Brewing Co.’s campaign is also continuing for another month.

Getting in on the brewery-and-food-truck trend is Norma Jean’s with a breakfast menu.

Today is the 4th annual bee appreciation day at the Thursday Market on South Perry, so go learn about why bees are important for pretty much everything we eat.

Ramblin Road and Wisconsinburger are both opening new outdoor patios.

Master mixologist Paul Harrington, of Clover, has one of his signature cocktails from his 1990s California days featured in Imbibe magazine as one of 10 “contemporary cocktails on the path to becoming future classics.”

Wallace Brewing is starting to bottle their signature beers in six-packs as well as 22-ounce bottles.

Morning Sun Bakery had their outdoor tables and chairs stolen, even though they were locked down. And Something Else Deli is closed today due to copper wire theft outside their location.

  • WSU

WSU announced the name of its new apple: Cosmic Crisp.

Careful with sprouts! Officials issued an E. coli warning yesterday after several people got sick from Idaho-grown sprouts distributed to Pita Pit and Jimmy John’s locations in the area, as well as Daanen’s Deli in Hayden.

Finally, something in the art-and-drinking category that has nothing to do with painting and wine — Mootsy's is hosting the 2014 Spring PBR Art Contest on June 5, but entries must be submitted by May 26. That's Monday. Rules: You must be at least 21. Art must involve "a likeness of PBR and Mootsy's yellow door in some form or fashion." The winning art will be on display for a month on a billboard in the Spokane market.

Read previous food news here.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

City Council to vote on new food truck rules tonight

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM

  • Young Kwak

UPDATE: After local food truck owners (represented by the newly formed Greater Spokane Food Truck Association) voiced concerns at tonight's meeting about the cost of the proposed mobile food vending permit, the Spokane City Council voted to defer the ordinances for one month. Councilman Mike Allen said he would work with city planning staff and food truck owners to consider changes to the ordinances before they come back to the council.

ORIGINAL POST: More than a year after starting a review of the city’s food truck laws, city staff have proposed new regulations on which the Spokane City Council will vote tonight.

Last spring, a growing number of food trucks emerged, complaining of confusing city rules that were only sometimes enforced. One especially awkward rule required that food trucks move every 10 minutes if they were operating in public right of way, like in an on-street parking space.

“What the City of Spokane has decided is to be proactive, to look at current regulations. What do they allow and how do they work in light of the modern mobile food vending industry? What we’ve found is they don’t really work that well,” city planner Andrew Worlock told the Inlander last year.

At open houses and hearings throughout the summer, food truck owners agreed that the existing regulations needed an overhaul but some worried that new rules, like a proposal to require food trucks to pay for each location where they want to park, would be an impossible burden.

“You can’t regulate spontaneity,” said Sabrina Sorger, who along with her husband owns the Jamaican Jerk Pan food trailer, a Browne’s Addition regular.

Now, with the weather rapidly warming and the city actively promoting food truck culture, the new rules will be put to the test.

If passed, the changes will allow food trucks to operate in most areas of the city if they have a valid license. (Find the full ordinances here and here.) To get that license, food trucks will be required to submit a list of all locations in the city where they plan to operate and will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Food trucks must have written consent from the adjoining private property owner to use any location where they plan to vend.

  • They must comply with all parking regulations, including paying meters.

  • There must at all times be a five-foot pedestrian pathway along the sidewalk next to the truck.

  • Food trucks must operate at least 75 feet from the entrance of existing restaurants, unless they have the written consent of the restaurant owner.

  • Trucks serving entirely on private property must have the permission of the property owner and remain entirely self-contained and not offer drive-through service.

  • Trucks vending in or next to city parks must have the written permission of the city’s park board.

  • As per state law, food trucks are not allowed to sell liquor.

Vendors who don’t follow the requirements will be ticketed.

These rules do not change the health and safety regulations on food trucks, which are handled by the state and Spokane Regional Health District.

The license application is $40 plus $10 for each proposed location; the annual renewal fee is $40 and $10 each for any new locations. Food trucks would also be required to pay $90 a year toward the Parking and Business Improvement Area, a self-taxing district where business owners’ dollars go toward marketing, cleaning, parking programs, special events and security in downtown.

The rules would not apply to caterers (who only serve at special events), trucks that operate for six days or fewer per year or those who sell only prepackaged food or vend from small pushcarts on the sidewalk and move at least every 10 minutes.

The meeting begins at 6 pm in council chambers at City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.)

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