Push to expand food truck offerings across Lincoln comes down to the next 2 months

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The city’s expanded food truck pilot program officially launched Tuesday.

Lincoln recently amended its vendor truck ordinance, giving your favorite joints more places to set up shop.

Since 2018, Muchachos owner Nick Maestas and other food truck vendors have wanted more locations in Lincoln to do business.

When Councilwoman Tammy Ward was running in 2019, Maestas asked her to do more for the vendors in town.

“He came up and asked me, ‘If I happened to get elected, would I help the food trucks in Lincoln to get more spaces to do business?'” Ward said. “I said yes, let’s keep talking because I knew enough about food trucks and loved them enough that I knew there was more we could do.”

By March of 2020, they had locations around town picked out for the program.

But weeks later, COVID-19 started to shut everything down, delaying the program.

Some vendors since opened brick-and-mortar locations or have had to close, but those who have kept their food trucks running say changes like this would be a game-changer.

“I love the idea that Lincoln can be a progressive city in regards to food trucks and mobile food,” Maestas said. “Especially having pockets of downtown that don’t have a lot of food options, us being able to go in and fill those holes I think will be really beneficial to a lot of businesses around the area.”

So far, the city’s listed three locations downtown for the first two weeks of this program.

Those areas are Centennial Mall and Q Street, Centennial Mall and M Street, and 8th Street between M and L Streets.

“There are tables and chairs that people can take their food, there’s trash receptacles so people can clean up after themselves, and there aren’t a lot of restaurants over there,” Lincoln Urban Development Director Dan Marvin said. “We felt like there are a couple of places along Centennial Mall that work well for that, and then we wanted to be able to do something over in the Haymarket area.”

City officials say they’re trying to measure the level of interest and success of expanding food truck operations throughout the downtown area.

Right now, this program is scheduled to end on Nov. 1.

The city says it may permanently change the ordinance, if the demand is there.

Categories: Lancaster, News, Top Stories