Concessionaire City: Ferndale Sees Most Street Food Vendor Requests in Recent Memory
"We're going to watch this season and see what we can improve on for next season," City Clerk Cherilynn Tallman said.
Two hot dog carts, two taco trucks and an ice cream man: Meet Ferndale's new street food vendors.
"Since I've been here, in four years, this is the most we've seen," City Clerk Cherilynn Tallman said.
At the July 11 City Council meeting, three concessionaire licenses were approved for Jacques Tacos, Detroit Underdog and Motor City Franks. At the next meeting on July 25, one was approved for Treat Dreams, and another, for Taco Mama, was tabled to further discuss its suggested location.
Taco Mama wanted to park in the first street parking spot going west on West Nine Mile, in front of Organic Food.
Council members felt that designating that spot to the food vendor, and the size of the truck itself, would block the facade of Organic Food. Tallman said the city has already discussed an alternative spot for Taco Mama in the Withington parking lot.
However, with the growth of these businesses in Ferndale, the City Council is sensitive to the effect they might have on downtown and on downtown businesses.
"We never had any, and now we're getting them, and it's kind of cool," Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter said at the July 25 council meeting. "But we're going reach a point where it's not as cool. We're not there yet, I don't think — but at some point, we're going to want to manage it."
Tallman said there are always potential issues when introducing something new to a city, such as street vendors, but so far, there have been none.
"We want to avoid issue with clear pedestrian access as well as not blocking the view and the access to brick-and-mortar business on Nine Mile Road," Tallman said.
Detroit Underdog serves hot dogs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, then from 10 p.m.-3 p.m. Friday-Sunday for the bar crowd.
Demian Mendoza, owner of Detroit Underdog, sets up at 306 W. Nine Mile, near Huntington Bank; 195 W. Nine Mile by the Ferndale Arts Building; and 251-253 E. Nine Mile Rd. at Greenleaf Bodywork, the business of his wife, Charity Mendoza.
"I never seen a hot dog vendor here, and this is something I've always wanted to do," Mendoza said. "It's a perfect time."
Mendoza said he started his business plan in "late April, early May."
"If I knew how long it would take, I would have started sooner," he said. However, he added, working with Ferndale has been great.
"I've lived here for nine years now," he said. "I like the way they do business here."
Mendoza offers hot dogs, Italian sausages and veggie dogs. He hopes to increase offerings to chili and pulled pork for what he calls "The Underdog."
"Pulled pork on a dog with barbecue sauce and garlic sauce ... that's an Underdog," he said.
Check out the list below for a schedule of when and where the other vendors will set up.
Tallman said Ferndale will finish out this season and will assess the situation for next summer. "We're going to watch this season and see what we can improve on for next season," she said.
"Having street vendors adds to the excitement of downtown. This is the most interest we've ever had," Tallman said.
|Jacques Taco||23300 Woodward Ave. (Ferndale Radiator parking lot)||noon-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday|
|Detroit Underdog||306 W. Nine Mile Rd. (Huntington Bank); 195 W. Nine Mile Rd. (Ferndale Arts Building); and 251-253 E. Nine Mile Rd. (Greenleaf Bodywork)||11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday-Sunday|
|Motor City Franks||The Rust Belt Market (north to the Rent-a-Center, and the southwest corner of West Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue)||10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, extended to 2 a.m. Friday-Sunday
|Treat Dreams||West Nine Mile Road, between Woodward Avenue and Planavon||noon-9 p.m. daily|
|Taco Mama (not approved yet)||To be determined
||11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday|