By Andrea Cordle
As local eateries have been mandated to limit business to carryout to slow the spread of the coronavirus, residents have been hungry for more options.
At the May 4 meeting, Grove City councilman Ted Berry brought up the idea of creating a food truck station in the city.
“A lot of people are asking about it,” said Berry. “Folks are looking for different places to eat.”
The councilman said some food trucks will take orders then deliver the food to a specific area. In his neighborhood, a popular doughnut truck took orders and dropped off the goods. According to Berry, it was a big hit among his neighbors.
According to the city code, businesses are not permitted to operate in residential areas. However, Stephen Smith, the city’s law director, said a food truck that takes orders and delivers those orders would be no different than pizza delivery or Grub Hub.
Per city code, food truck operators or street vendors are not permitted in any public or private area within the city without a permit issued by the director of public safety. They must also have a mobile food license with the Franklin County Public Health Department.
Food trucks are also prohibited from conducting business within 500 feet of the primary entrance of an open and operating brick and mortar food service establishment.
Though food trucks are popular and many people would like to see more of them, especially at a time when restaurants are limited, Christine Houk, council president said this is not the time to revisit the already-established legislation to create an additional food truck station.
“Food trucks are permitted in Grove City. They can apply and find a location,” said Houk.
In early May, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced his plan for reopening bars and restaurants.
“Reopening Ohio is a risk, but it’s also a risk if you don’t move forward. We’re on a dangerous road that has never been traveled before in Ohio and the danger is that we relax and stop taking precautions” said DeWine. “All of us collectively control this. I ask you to take calculated risks and make good judgments. Continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing face coverings. If you aren’t concerned with what happens to you, do it for others.”
Restaurants and bars were permitted to reopen on May 15 for outdoor dining only. Dine-in service can begin on May 21.
To ensure that these establishments operate in a safe manner, a restaurant advisory group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for restaurant and bar owners to follow. That list can be found at coronaviurs.ohio.gov.