It has been a little over three months since the food carts in Corvallis moved from First Street to the parking lot on Fourth Street, between Western and Washington, due to new regulations passed by the Corvallis City Council. We followed up with two of the food cart owners to see how the move is affecting their businesses.
Dave Kell, owner of Kell’s Kitchen, had a positive view of the move. Kell explained that Hugh White had purchased the new property on 4th Street and installed electrical outlets, as per the city’s requirement. The new lot is also paved, as opposed to the gravel lot location on First; accessibility for disabled people was a major issue that the City Council took up with the First Street food pod.
Kell described what the move has done for his business: “This has worked out better. The visibility has been awesome with the traffic that goes by, it’s nonstop.”
Kell said that while the move was an annoyance, things have worked out for them in the end.
“We fell on our feet,” said Kell.
The move hasn’t worked out as well for other food carts.
“I don’t like it, I’m placed in the back, especially at night. No one can see me,” said a representative from Happy Shawarma food cart.
The representative from the shawarma cart explained that they have bad visibility due to their placement in the back of the lot, and that they have received a lot of complaints from the residents of the housing about noise and parking spots. The Happy Shawarma cart has tried to address these complaints by painting parking posts in the lot, and by asking their customers not to park in the residents’ spots. They also said that their business is open at night, and they can’t help the noise.
The shawarma rep thinks business could be much better. They explained that they have had customers call them and express difficulty in finding the cart, despite the address being online. They feel that they should have been given more time to find a new home.
“We are a business, even though we are a movable food cart, just like any other restaurant or store front. In my opinion, they should have given us a year to find another location,” said the representative from Happy Shawarma.
Next time you find yourself chasing down lunch on Fourth Street, be sure to have a look around and surveil all of your options; our taste buds have yet to be disappointed by any of these carts. Also, be mindful of where you park!
By Jonah Anderson