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'Food Truck Summit' gives all sides in local food fight chance to chow, talk

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You've heard of President Obama's "beer summit" – now, get ready for Rochester's Food Truck Summit.

It might sound like an on-the-go diner's paradise, but like the president's famous Rose Garden sip-and-speak, it will serve as a forum to discuss serious business.

At issue is a Rochester law banning food trucks from operating on public streets in the downtown area.

The "structured brainstorming" will attempt to clarify the city's zoning codes and what defines the "downtown area," in the hopes that local officials consider what the summit comes up with, the Post Bulletin reports.

Additionally, organizers describe the summit – taking place July 1 in the parking lot of the Kutzky Market – as a forum for all sides of the issue to discuss "how the city will address food trucks going forward."

And, yes, food trucks will be on hand – seven of them, in fact – to serve hungry attendees.

The event is in response to the expulsion of BB's Pizzaria from a church driveway near the Mayo Clinic, where the operators of the rolling pizza joint thought they were shielded from the city's ban, the Post Bulletin reported.

After the city received a number of complaints, it was found that the spot was in actuality part of a public street, and BB's was forced to roll back about 10 feet onto what all parties agreed was private property, according to the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.

Since the incident, there have been more questions about where food trucks should be allowed to park.

One local restaurant owner remarked to the Star Tribune that while he supports the trucks, it's simply unfair for them to park "in front of a full-service restaurant that pays real estate taxes and a lot of expenses to operate.”

Despite the presence of seven mobile grub vendors at the Food Truck Summt, the event "takes no concrete position" for or against city laws, according to Kutzky's website.

The company says the Rochester Trolley & Tour Company will provide transportation from downtown Rochester to the summit.

The discussion begins next Wednesday at 11 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m.

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