Over two thousand people showed up at Pepper Place Sunday afternoon to enjoy the great weather and some great food at Birmingham’s first Street Food Rally.
“I think it’s great. I think any opportunity to be able to enjoy good food with good people is awesome,” Claire Flowers said.
The difference is that today’s treats all came from mobile vendors. The event was put on by the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition. The group joined together to promote their businesses and show their importance to Birmingham city leaders.
“It’s new and improved food and food trucks. Great chefs get out here and wheel and deal with great food. So I think that helps out the city,” Jason Parkman with Spoonfed Grill said.
But these vendors say they need help from the city. The Birmingham city council is looking to pass a new ordinance that could change how these businesses operate.
“We’ve never really had any true guidelines, but we’re working with the city right now to create a new ordinance that will help us and help the city to control the street food vending,” Parkman explained.
Councilman Johnathan Austin says the city is not against mobile vendors. They just want to make sure everyone operates in a legal, responsible way and within health guidelines.
“Let’s make some changes to the ordinance if we need to. Let’s look at changing the fees and zones and all the different things we need to do,” Austin said.
Coalition members say the support they received Sunday shows they should have a parking place within the Birmingham business community.
“We’re really sending a big, big message. The people want it. If the people want to support it, let’s have it,” Chris Bajalieh with Slice said.
Councilman Austin says the passing of a new ordinance has been put on hold for now, saying more dialogue is needed from both sides before moving forward. But he says the city hopes to pass a new ordinance by the beginning of summer.