Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Skirmish In The Food Truck War

A group of black-shirted staffers of Numero Uno Pizzeria stand in a cluster in front of their store, surveying the Friday night scene on Chatsworth Street. Over the course of the last several months, they've watched the number of food trucks — or as they call them, "roach coaches" — burgeon on the stretch between Yarmouth and Zelzah, growing from one or two, parked only in front of Menchie's, to tonight's herd of fifteen trucks, spread up and down the street. And they're not happy.

"Obviously it's a nuisance. You see nothing but wrappers, and cans, just trash. Why would Granada Hills want catering trucks to damage the place and destroy it? Not one of these trucks is from Granada Hills, not one. Why not pump up businesses that have been here, that support the Little Leagues, the Devonshire Police Station pasta night, instead of this little fad with catering trucks?"

Numero Uno's staff says they're not alone in their frustration. "I can say there's twelve businesses between Yarmouth and Zelzah that are not happy with it. Every single one. All Valley Trophy, they're not happy with it. Vegetable Delight. Fishin' Fools. Ani Bakery. Big Mama's And Papa's, they're not happy with it."

Observers reported that the disgruntled local employees and business owners this evening moved to recapture disputed territory by banding together to park cars in front of their businesses before food trucks could arrive.

The escalating turf war then started getting uglier, as truck owners and business owners got into occasional shouting matches, each side accusing the other of unfairness.

"You're taking our parking! That's sabotage! I'm playing your game now!"

One of the Numero Uno employees yells at Joe, owner of Slap Yo Mama truck, who has pulled up in front of the store to exchange tense words.

Joe steps out of his car so he can put his two cents in. "It's not cool, they all park bumper to bumper over here, they're giving people the middle finger. But if they're just standing out here watching us, they still don't have customers."

Joe, who is in fact a Granada Hills resident, answers the charge that food trucks take away local business' parking and customers by pointing to the slots directly in front of the Pizzeria. "Their parking is right here. We park across the street. We're not taking their parking, and they have parking in the back. It's almost like a school gang, where they're coming out here watching and laughing and high-fiving each other. Why are they standing out here on the sidewalk? They should be doing business. Now, instead of having all of this foot traffic here, everyone is down the street." Chased off the side of Chatsworth west of Yarmouth, the trucks and their customers have now clustered to the east, with a couple of trucks on Yarmouth itself, both north and south of Chatsworth.

Despite many businesses' strong distaste for food trucks and the Numero Uno employees' insistence that the trucks are totally unwelcome, opinion is far from unanimous along the street.

At Blis Hookah Lounge, owner Helena said of the trucks, "We like them. We have a couple of favorites that we get in front of us. They don't bring business in necessarily, but it' s good to have everybody out and about. We appreciate it, and we don't have any problem."

Helena explains that while the trucks are parked nearby, business actually slows down at the smoking lounge, but she feels her business benefits because more foot traffic means more people notice her establishment. "It slows down because it's mostly families and kids, but the guys poke their heads in and say they'll come back when they don't have their kids with them," she says. "This used to be the main drag of this area. It's maybe not the ideal way to get everybody back on the street, but it's doing it."

Joeleen Medina, owner of A Sweet Design, whose cupcake shop is well known for playing host to trucks, says that even she has become dismayed by the current Friday night situation on Chatsworth Street. (Disclosure: Medina's shop, A Sweet Design, is a GigaGranadaHills advertiser.)

"It's out of control," Medina says, adding that she does support the presence of a smaller number of trucks. "It's fine when there's one, two, or three trucks, and people aren't having to cross the street and be in danger. But do you really want what happened in Venice to happen here? The trucks are supposed to enhance the neighborhood, but I never ever planned any of this."

Of the fifteen trucks on Chatsworth Street tonight, only one was there at Medina's invitation. Other truck owners whom GigaGranadaHills spoke to said that they had decided to come to the area from word of mouth recommendations from fellow truck owners.

This evening, Medina was fraught with worry, shaken not only over conflict with neighboring business owners, whom she says she wholeheartedly supports, but also by what she saw as a potentially dangerous situation for motorists and pedestrians. Pointing to a food truck parked in a red zone, she said, "If you want to make a left, you can't see who's coming. It's dangerous, and these are our neighbors and our customers."

The potential danger to pedestrians is just about the only point of agreement between Medina and her neighbors at Numero Uno, who insist that Medina is solely to blame for the proliferation of trucks and competition. "She's the one who organized all of this. And when we went over and told her that its unacceptable, taking our only parking, which is on the street, she proceeded to make it worse and worse and worse. I don' t know why Granada Hills will encourage this, if people are constantly jaywaking. Until someone gets hit or killed, that's when it's going to get solved?"

The Numero Uno employees don't mince words in expressing their frustration with the trucks. "We hate it, everything about it. They weren't invited, they come here. Look at all the trash these trucks are leaving. Walk up and down the gutter, you see nothing but trash," he says, pointing to a clump of wrappers that have blown onto the restaurant's patio. "They come in here, they never cared about any of the businesses that already exist here, the damage that they're doing. Not only us, but every single shop around here."

A second employee interjects, "They're not competing with us, they're sabotaging us by taking away our parking space. That's not competition, that's straight up sabotage. Everybody acts like we're some big pizza guys, but the fact is we're busting our asses just to get by. It's not playing on an even level. There's nothing to protect any of the small businesses here. If we were to go out of business, then who's looking out for Granada Hills?"

Joining in the complaints was a man who identified himself as a business owner but declined to give his name. "They shouldn't park in front of storefronts. When the owners pay top dollar for a storefront, they don't want another business in front of them, blocking them."

Honorary Mayor of Granada Hills, Mike Casey, whose daughter owns KC Salon on the corner of Chatsworth and Yarmouth, differed, going on record as in favor of the trucks.

"Being a business owner on Chatsworth Street and having some commercial property, most of the input I have has been very positive from my tenants who have property on Chatsworth Street and feel that the food trucks have brought them exposure they wouldn't have otherwise, as well as an opportunity for people to have something to eat on Friday night. It brings a lot of people to the street that otherwise might not come to visit all the opportunities that are available. So I'd say I'm in favor of it." Of businesses that are anti food truck, Casey says, "I can understand their position, because there are a lot of other food venues, but a lot of the businesses I know along here are usually closed after five or six."

Medina's disputes the accusation that she's acting as the secret mastermind bent on orchestrating a food truck takeover. But her pleas for understanding and an amicable solution to the feud, it seems, have so far fallen on deaf ears. "They think that we organize this, but we don't," she says. "We don't condone the illegal parking, we don't condone jaywalking, and we don't want food trucks parking directly in front of restaurants." Medina says that on more than one occasion she has even tried to defuse tensions by chastening trucks that parked directly in front of Numero Uno or neighboring Vegetable Delight, but says she can't spend the entire evening patrolling the sidewalk or taking responsibility for policing errant trucks. "I have orders to fill," she says. "I have a business to run."

48 comments:

  1. Clearly the food trucks have tapped into a "hunger" in GH: both a literal one (the desire for a variety of different kinds of food) and a figurative one (the desire for a sense of community/belonging). The trick is to find a balance, so it enhances the quality of life in our town for all stakeholders.

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  2. Wow, this is really getting ugly. As a resident of Granada Hills, I am torn. I do want the businesses to succeed but I also enjoy having a bite at the food trucks. My fear is that this is going to get worse and then they'll both be on the losing end. There HAS to be a compromise! Can't they all just get together and have a meeting? Maybe they can work out a couple of Fridays, where the food trucks can come and the business owners can pass out advertisement on their business. That way the other Fridays residents can come to their businesses. Not sure what is going to happen but it is sad to see that there is already resentment building up and that is never good. Hope they come to a resolution soon!

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  3. The food trucks on Chatsworth are bringing life back to a largely ignored and irrelevant section of Granada Hills. While I understand the merchant’s kneejerk reaction to the invasion of their turf and the threat of their business, the reality is this attention should be good for their business if they embrace it.

    I have lived in Granada Hills for nearly ten years just a few blocks from Chatsworth and Zelzah and during that time I have rarely even noticed most of the businesses along Chatsworth much less spent money there. My impression of Numero Uno as I’m driving past at 35 MPH was that it was a tired remnant of the past that was barely hanging on. Since I have been walking along the street and waiting in lines for the food trucks, I have noticed that it is actually a quant restaurant with a nice outside eating area. While I haven’t been there for dinner yet, it was definitely on my list (at least it was before their petty antics on Friday).

    Since the food trucks have started appearing on Chatsworth, I have purchased frozen yogurt from Menchies, pastries from Ara’s Bakery, cupcakes from A Sweet Design. My daughter has become a regular at the Blis hookah lounge due to our curiosity being piqued while waiting in line for a food truck. I have watched the dancers in the Polynesian Dance room. I have noticed dozens of interesting businesses that I have missed and ignored in my years in GH.

    This is the beginning of a spark in GH. With the renewal of the Granada Village Shopping Center, there is an air of revival in GH. We can either embrace what is happening and fan the flame or douse the spark and return us back to a dying city center. Yes, we need to address the parking issues. Yes, we need to address the safety issues. Yes, we need to address the trash issues. But these are solvable issues. If businesses embrace what is happening and work to control the chaos, it could be a win-win for merchants, food trucks and residents.

    Instead of viewing the trucks as threats to their business, perhaps businesses should embrace the foot traffic they are bringing. Instead of yelling at the food trucks and making a negative scene for their business, perhaps they should spruce up their businesses and offer promotions for people to come back. Businesses can pay thousands in advertising and not get the traffic that the food trucks are generating.

    The food trucks are proving that GH residents have a hunger for good food at reasonable prices. Perhaps more restaurants need to open along Chatsworth with patio dining to embrace the phenomenon. Would Numero Uno feel threatened if a dozen other restaurants opened on the street with patio dining that brought a ton of business to the area - probably not since at a minimum they would get the overflow crowd. Enterprising merchants should look to open complimentary businesses that will capture the attention of the foot traffic. Merchants and city leaders should work together to embrace what is happening in GH and capitalize on the event instead of being afraid of it.

    I like the change that I am seeing.

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    1. Great words...Im a GH local as well and agree 100%

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  4. Taking their customers? Are you kidding me? I very often drive down to Ventura Blvd. to get something DIFFERENT to eat. I wasn't aware that all this was happening on such a scale (and I live about 2 blocks away!) Shows how often I bother with that section of Chatsworth St. Except for franchises or chains, tell me what there is to eat in that area? Bring on the food trucks! If Granada Hills wants to get some bucks from them, make them get some kind of special license.

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  5. Numero Uno quant? This person must not have been inside. It is a hookah bar disguised as a restaurant. Not someplace I want to take my family. Numero Uno couldn't survive as a restaurant and needed to adapt to something seedier to bring people out to a fairly uninteresting part of town. I would love to see a nice restaurant row of trendy restaurants with patio dining where I can take out my wife and kids.

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  6. I have been impressed that the food trucks clean up after themselves and their customers. In the picture above, what is that trash on the ground? Is that the outside eating area of Numero Uno? Did they drag it over there? This is a crazy fight. We want them here! That is why there are so many people there!

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  7. I liked GH when it was Just Houston's and Momma Luccias. Like early 50's. Then the high end Trail's End across from where this food war is going on. Wow! What food and you didn't have to worry if you got drunk because you could walk home.

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  8. The success of the food trucks demonstrates that the merchants along Chatsworth are not satisfying a craving for local, new, unique, food. The street scene is good for Granada Hills. If the existing places can't compete, then maybe they should close up and let someone occupy the space who can. Recruit some of the Ventura Blvd establishments. Show them how popular the food truck scene is. Let them know that there are paying customers for good quality, original food.

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  9. Having fifteen food trucks WAS a little ridiculous. However, like many of residents of Granada Hills, I have began noticing businesses that I never would have before. Also, I have to wonder how many customers actually eat INSIDE Numero Uno pizza. I'd think that most of their business comes from delivery. I think they need to relax a little bit.

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  10. I drive this stretch of street every day. I would say that at 5:00pm on Friday 90% of the businesses are closed. I was there last night and bought food from two different trucks. I had Bbq which was great and my girl friend had one of the best budgets I have tasted. How many people can go to a restaurant and everyone have something different. Businesses owners should embrace this movement and advertise while we are all out there. I hope they continue to come to our neighborhood we have fun.

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  11. If the businesses and building landlords would modernize their storefronts and provided a nice environment things would be different but I ha e to be honest, I would never even thinktostop at any of the businesses on Chatsworth because they look run down and out of touch. We moved here in 2006 and honestly if property values had not tanked we would already have moved back out with a large part of that being a lack og good restaurants and walkable shopping areas. Old GH could be that area so many of us are looking for but not with the attitudes of so many of these archaic shop owners. Lets make Granada Hills a great destination and community. I am looking at the Hows shopping center owners too, that place needs a major overhaul as well. There is a difference between cherishing our mid century architecure and neglected shopping centers.

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  12. I love the food trucks and think they are a wonderful addition to the city. We were there 2 Friday's ago and I don't see how the stores can be upset when all of the ones we saw were closed and this was at 6:00! Extend your store hours and invite us food truck patrons in! I have never shopped on this stretch of Chatworth as I have not had a reason to, and the stores all go dark by the time I get off work. I love this city, there is a win win situation but the stores have to be "open" to it.

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  13. I've lived in GH for 40 years; i love that food trucks come here. there's so much variety and so different than all the fast food places in town. The fact that so many people stop and buy speaks to a real need for more interesting food choices. Little GH with so many food trucks. Cool!

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  14. Great article, and I don't see how it's going to be solved anytime soon. You have a whole area with a dearth of great food from that area of Granada Hills all the way through Mission Hills and into the San Fernando/Sylmar area.

    We all follow these trucks on Twitter and Facebook. Granada Hills is where we originally found the trucks, but we've followed some of them to Taft High School on Wednesday nights and to other areas when we see they're nearby.

    Two weeks ago, we went out to the trucks, and the one we wanted wasn't there--so we stopped in at Numero Uno to get a pizza to go. We thought we were helping the situation. We realized they had expanded, and finally have a bathroom themselves. Previously we refused to eat there as a family since they had no restroom facilities for the public.

    We've talked to several of the operators who have been driven away by the craziness, and we've found a few that we have added to our routine. The local businesses should both be respected and be respectful to clients. But if the local businesses start to act like bullies, new opportunities are going to pop up.

    The trucks are ever expanding. I hope we can encourage the trucks to come even further east. It's about community, but people are coming from a lot further down the street than most of the businesses realize.

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  15. >>There is a difference between cherishing our mid century architecure and neglected shopping centers.

    Huh ? What does one have to do with the other ?

    Also, fuck a Numero Uno. There are plenty of other desolate boulevards that resemble what Chatsworth St. used to look like before the food trucks discovered it. They're the ones that need to take their shitty food and leave if they can't play nice.

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  16. My point is not all things should be left untouched ie Chatsworth Blvd.

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  17. Hey - I have ordered from Numero Uno's a lot of times. Not any more. What asses. More people=more business. I think I may need to pop in up there on a Friday soon. i have been dying to try some of the new food trucks without going over the hill!!

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  18. I will say this: the parking lot behind those stores is not for customers. That is mainly office and employee parking, because those businesses have offices upstairs, and I don't think it's zoned for customers.

    I will also say that the food trucks could park a block down, and this would all be over. One block. Why would they park right in front of a bunch of businesses, including ones open late, when they could park one block down?

    And...I kinda think most of the food sucks, and some people just don't know good food. Some are good, but come on, it's a fad.

    Ok, one more thing. I'm a math teacher, so maybe it's just the logic in me, but more people means more business? If they were a bar or a store, maybe, but why would people who are getting food at the food trucks want to go to a restaurant? Especially with all this nastiness between them. That's ridiculous.

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  19. There are things we need to change down in Granada Hills to keep Friday nights going. The community loves it and wants it to continue. I have even talked to people that are mad at the local businesses, the chamber and the businesses improvement district for not doing what the trucks have been able to do. Granada Hills was once a ghost town on a Friday night. Now it is hoping and full of excitement with hundreds of families and neighbors. The community has wanted this type of downtown for years (except for a few NIMBY’s).

    The question is what can we do to make this a win-win for everyone? I have already presented some ideas in my earlier post seen below. What else should we do?

    1. The large number of trucks needs to be just on Friday nights, with only one or two other trucks on other nights at Menchies or A Sweet Design. Let’s make this a one night a week thing. This will hopefully make the local eateries happy and make it more special if it’s just once a week.

    2. The trucks should stay on the south side of Chatsworth between Zelzah and White Oak so that they are not in front of any of the local dinner businesses. This should also improve safety with people crossing at Yarmouth. Even though there is no crosswalk at Yarmouth it is still legal to cross.

    3. The Granada Hills Chamber, Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council and the Old Granada Hills Business Improvement District needs to work with the businesses on how they can take advantage of the opportunity the trucks bring. There is a great marketing opportunity here for all the businesses. Numero Uno and Jersey Mikes should be passing out coupons. The yarn store should be doing demonstrations in front of the store and signing people up for one free lesson and turn those people into a paid class. Ara's Bakery should be open and passing out samples. The fishing store should set up the goldfish game you see at school carnivals to make the connection with the product. I could go on with the ideas.

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  20. I think that the Food Trucks are awesome! I've been living here in G.H for 6years and I've ordered from Numero Uno atleast 12 times. I usually go to Porter Ranch for a decent bite to eat until these trucks have showed up. Let's be honest, who really wants to eat inside Numero Uno? I never see the place crowded with kids even though you can throw a rock and hit the High School. And Bakery is on both sides of the streets so I'm confused about that. When I park near Ani Bakery to go over to Menchies I have to shield my kids because the owner is out front smoking, now is that kid friendly? Numero Uno should not hire staff who does these types of antics anyway. The parking they blocked was across the street from Numero Uno, so basically Numero Uno had parking and the strip across the street didn't. That's not fair to Menchies customers who had no place to park. I hope the trucks stay, we need trendy spots like Ventura. I'm sure in the 80s these buildings were glamorous. But now just run down. Having a Gourmet Truck with food usually found in Burbank or Encino is a plus for the community. I see the trucks stocking up at Smart & Final in G.H. I see them getting gas in G.H, I just hope they are scared off.

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  21. See how happy Menchies and Sweet Design are when more trucks serving only sweets show up. By the way Sweet Design, your cakes are tasteless and overpriced. Never tried your cupcakes and never will because your staff was incredibly rude. I've lived in this area for years and yes it is a cultural wasteland, but I've taken the time to walk up and down Chatsworth and have always tried using a local business before going elsewhere. Shame on those who live here and say they have never gone to any of the shops. Eventhough I welcome a few trucks to the area (I do love good food), I've also eaten many times at Numero Uno and I have to agree with their view. The trucks bring too many people who don't give a crap about the area, they leave trash, the traffic sucks, and who are you kidding none will come back to use the local business. I mean look at the kind of stores on Chatsworth. The turnover is riduculous. The other day one of the trucks broke down and some idiot was double parked trying to give them a jump, blocking traffic, and all the other idiots driving just came to a complete stop to watch. Lower the number of trucks allowed and keep away from the eatieries that stay open later. Believe me I'd much rather have some of the trucks as stores on Chatsworth so I can go anytime. Just try to be considerate and maybe the locals won't worry about losing their jobs during a scary economy. As to thecomment above: I was in Numero Uno two Fridays ago and the place was packed with high schoolers, but how much do they spend?

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  22. Two easy ways to solve thus: the trucks should not park in front of food establishments and the restaurants should open streetside service

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  23. Speaking of the Sweet Design bakery: Took the kids to get a cupcake after they opened. Cupcakes were price starting at $2.75. They were very small, dry (stale?), and looked like they'd been frosted by a child. We all agreed we won't go back. If you want a great cupcake, to to Abe's on Nordhoff. The same $2.75 (or less) will buy you a cupcake that's moist, tasty, and at least twice as big.

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  24. Even better, Yummys in Burbank

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  25. I love the trucks, but until they clean up after themselves and show respect for the rest of the business community, they don't deserve any respect themselves.

    Never, ever park right in front of a competing business; never block another business' signage unless you have permission or an invitation. Always clean up after yourself. These are the cardinal rules for any successful street food business.

    Remember: you only succeed when you ADD to the neighborhood - not when you subtract from it. It's not ALL ABOUT YOU, vendors.

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  26. I'm curious. Why does Numero Uno think that the people's parking spaces are "theirs?" How much did they pay for them? Would their insurance cover an injury in those spaces? Is it legal for them to purchase those spots? Have they?

    It seems to me that Numero Uno wants to own public property without paying for it. What interest does the public have in a low-end pizza place who want to privatize public benefits and publicize the burden?

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  27. Good food and a social, friendly atmosphere - in Granada Hills - on a Friday night. Really? Wow! A bit of fun in the ghost town. What a brilliant idea! It's about time.

    I've lived in Granada Hills for 8 years - within walking distance of Numero Uno. I can count on one hand the number of times I've eaten there. If I want pizza, they aren't at the top of the list.

    At the end of the day, people have a choice when it comes to eating at Numero Uno or choosing the food trucks. They choose the food trucks for a reason. Perhaps Numero Uno should stop crying and re-think their menu offerings. What are they going to do when the new food court opens up in the Regency center?

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  28. Why don't the trucks park in the mostly empty shopping center lot at the northwest corner of Zelzah/Chatsworth? (Why won't the NC, BID, or Chamber of Commerce find some private property space for parking?) Why don't they park on the south side of Chatsworth east of White Oak, where there are no food establishments?

    One thing that seems to be missing from this discussion is hard facts on the amount of food truck customer that are not local. I suspect that many food truck customers come from outside GH, following the trucks on Twitter, never to return to any local business. (That's pure speculation -- but deep in my heart I think I'm right, nonetheless. So there.)

    BTW, if you see a double-parked vehicle, blocked hydrant, red zone violation, or a broken traffic signal flashing red in all directions, call LADOT 24x7 at 818-752-5100; press 2 at the recording.

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  29. Food trucks, taco trailers, little billboard trailers, vans wrapped in advertising and left parked on the street or a table with an umbrella, an ice chest and a "frutas" sign.

    These are ALL different forms of "street vendors".

    It's all ugly as sin and makes our city look like a patchwork trash heap.

    It's ALL just another way to cheat. By not having the overhead of a building, these people take UNFAIR ADVANTAGE.

    And really, that's the point. It's not about "providing what the community wants" - it's about competing with the local retailers by taking advantage of the free rent of parking in the street.

    All these people who patronize these street vendors - where are they going to use the restroom? Sure as hell the street vendors aren't providing for it. How many street vendors even provide a place to wash your hands before you eat? NONE.

    But the rent paying retailers are REQUIRED to provide it.

    So you can either take a stand and say, "Granada Hills is NOT going to end up looking like Tijuana" - or you can do nothing and watch it happen. If you don't think it will, take a look at Van Nuys and Panarama City.

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  30. How are these food trucks benefitting the city of Granada Hills ? They take cash only and charged people sale taxes and DO YOU REALLY think they are going back to the CITY ? NOT .... while brick & mortar business have way too many expenses to compete fairly.

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  31. In regard to Sweet Design and Menchies - I can't wait to see their reaction - if there is a CupCake truck or Yogurt truck park in front of their store.

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  32. The food truck craze in GH will only help bring business to the Chatsworth st. area. Many of the businesses on Chatsworth have less curb appeal than the food trucks, or are unnoticed by the local community. Foot traffic encourages people to notice businesses previously ignored. I see no downside to the food truck business. More buzz= more potential customers and it should be seen as free advertising for the folks on Chatsworth. Now that the food trucks park there, I make a point of driving on Chatsworth.

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  33. If Granada Hills residents want to revert back to a complete lack of food places on Chatsworth Street during the DAYTIME, the lack of a NUMERO UNO that is open all week long for LUNCH and DINNER, other places open also for lunch and dinner, then go ahead and support the FOOD TRUCKS Gone Wild. Let them unfairly STARVE our local store fronts by taking their parking spaces starting at 2 in the afternoon by parking cars there to HOLD the spaces for the BIG FOOD TRUCKS.

    We can revert to a blighted town. Before the earthquake, we had a lot of empty stores, issues with vandalism, shooters putting bullets through the plate glass windows, and pretty much no food places on CHATSWORTH STREET. It has taken a lot of years and work to make OLD GRANADA HILLS prettier attract our own local BAKERIES, PIZZA, KABOB, and other places that service us ALL WEEK LONG, not just WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY NIGHT.

    Having 15 trucks blocking our local storefronts is ridiculous. And they are leaving garbage around. The FOOD TRUCK customers rudely ask to use bathrooms in businesses where they did not buy food.

    If the FOOD TRUCKS destroy our local businesses to replace them with ADULT BOOK STORES, various lounges and tenants that want heavily discounted rents, that would be fine for the FOOD TRUCKS who just want a nice parking spot on FRIDAY NIGHTS. But when all the work paid for by the COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS to fix Chatsworth Street, build, improve, and plant the medians, ends because those storefronts cannot attract good tenants, then the RESIDENTS OF GRANADA HILLS will return to complaining about how bad it all looks.

    I am sure that some restrictions and cooperation can be GOOD FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE LOCAL STORES and the FOOD TRUCKS. It is thoughtless to blame the local food businesses for wanting to survive in a community where they have an interest in our neighborhood. The local food places are not just here to sell food after 6 on Fridays, but they are here to be a part of our community, and they get involved in all kinds of community events, including the PARADE, STREET FAIR, Non-Profit fundraisers, etc. And they care how our community looks ALL THE TIME.

    Even the STORES who experienced increased exposure on Friday Night as a result of the FOOD TRUCKS---would those stores be happy here when other stores close down, we have vacant and ugly store fronts, the commercial property owners cease to pay for the extras that have made this CHATSWORTH STREET so attractive to those food trucks?

    SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS.

    LET FOOD TRUCKS KNOW THAT THEY MIGHT BE APPRECIATED IF THEY WILL COOPERATE WITH OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES BUT NOT DESTROY ANY LOCAL BUSINESS. DO NOT SUPPORT OR VISIT WITH ANY FOOD TRUCKS THAT MONOPOLIZE PARKING IN FRONT OF OTHER LOCAL BUSINESSES. Do not support FOOD TRUCKS that HOLD SPACES during the day in front of local businesses just so that they can get the space after 6 pm.

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  34. This so interesting, clearly the food trucks fill a need in the community. Is that because the local businesses feel that they just have a right with out any effort. Find out what your community and customers want give it to them. The trucks only do well because your out of touch. Is see on this blog fundraisers for the local community do the local business do the same? I grew up in GH and had to move on because it lost pace with the world. Maybe things will change and I will be able to move home to the town I spent 20 years in.

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  35. I haven't seen any pizza or pasta food trucks...maybe Numero Uno should take advantage of the foot traffic and sell slices of pizza and bowls of pasta. Make it work to their advantage! If their afraid of the competition, isn't Numero Uno and Mama's and Papas pizza ( a block in either direction) competition?
    I live 2 blocks North of Chatsworth and I prefer to get in my car and go to Two Guys or Vincenzos. But I do walk down to the food trucks.

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  36. Sorry, I meant Dominos and Mamas and Papas

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  37. I've lived in Old GH for 17 years now, and I SUPPORT the Food Trucks. They breathe new life into that dying strip of stores on Chatsworth. I have friends who would love to move into our neighborhood due to the regularity of the food trucks' presence (yeah for property values!).

    BTW.. it's not like we live in a high populated area, like Hollywood or by the beach. Even there, people will park blocks away, pay for parking, WHEN THE FOOD IS GOOD. Numero Uno (and other businesses).. don't be haters. Sorry, but I've eaten there once and I will never eat there again. Your food is so unhealthy, heavy and out of touch. If you're not attracting customers.. Time to revamp. Gotta love competition, because it brings the best in us. This is how capitalism works.. and it works beautifully (ok, sometimes painfully for those who are unwilling to change). Change is hard... but necessary.

    FOOD TRUCKS COME! Not everyone in Old Granada Hills are Old Farts... there are many of us who Welcome you!! :)

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  38. "I've lived in Old GH for 17 years now, and I SUPPORT the Food Trucks."

    AWESOME!

    Could you please give directions to your house, because I'm going to go get me some street vendor food this Friday night and I'll need a place to take a dump afterwards. I'm sure you won't mind because you "SUPPORT the Food Trucks".

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  39. It is obvious that some of the Old Granada Hills businesses that do not support the food trucks have gone crazy with the posting on here. Most of the businesses in Old Granada Hills support the food trucks on Friday Nights. But, there is a small minority of businesses that don’t support the vibrant community that the food trucks have created.

    I wanted to comment on some of the above comments:

    - “It's ALL just another way to cheat. By not having the overhead of a building, these people take UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. And really, that's the point. It's not about "providing what the community wants" - it's about competing with the local retailers by taking advantage of the free rent of parking in the street.”

    Food trucks have overhead just as a brick-and-mortar business. I food truck costs $4000-$6000 a month to lease. Food trucks have to buy gas. At $4.20+ per gallon that’s a lot of money. Customizing the kitchen can cost $25,000-$175,000. Purchasing a truck can cost $20,000-$75,000. Wrapping the truck will cost another $4,000. The costs can go on. A food truck as many of the same costs, if not more than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

    Have you not been reading the comments from people and walking outside on a Friday night. The community loves what the food trucks have brought to the area. As one member of the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council said, “The food trucks have done what we have been trying to do for years.”

    The food trucks also want to work with the local businesses. Munchie Machine had coupons and business cards at their truck Friday night from the local businesses.

    - “Let them unfairly STARVE our local store fronts by taking their parking spaces starting at 2 in the afternoon by parking cars there to HOLD the spaces for the BIG FOOD TRUCKS.”

    Call the kettle black since this is the very same thing that Numero Uno did a few weeks ago to make sure that there would be no where for the trucks to park.

    - “Having 15 trucks blocking our local storefronts is ridiculous. And they are leaving garbage around. The FOOD TRUCK customers rudely ask to use bathrooms in businesses where they did not buy food.”

    Where is this garbage you speak about? I have not seen it and I am there every week. Most of the trucks bring their own trash cans and I have seen them clean up around their trucks.

    Blocking storefronts…People purchasing the food at the trucks are more likely to see the storefronts than a car speeding down the street at 40 mph.

    Those businesses that are complaining should go over to CSUN and take a Marketing 101 class. Take advantage of the opportunity. People don’t like complainers.

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  40. I've commented on this topic on other pages several times. In all the years that Numero Uno has been in Granada Hills, we purchased pizza there a handful of times. We don't live in Granada Hills, we live in Mission Hills. They don't deliver to us (I don't know if they deliver to anyone...). We come to Granada Hills almost every weeknight because of our daughter's dance classes at Gotta Dance. I shop at All Valley Trophy and sometimes Olympia Kabob and will drive thru Jack and the Box... but that's it.

    We go to the food trucks a few times a month (only when there are a lot of trucks parked there). A big family with picky eaters does not make it easy to pick one place for everyone. This is like a food court, only WAY better. Food courts often leave me feeling violated (paid too much for substandard food). My 2 youngest NEVER eat their meal from the food trucks... they are too picky. I let them buy a pizza or go to Jack and the Box. 4 out of 5 times they choose Numero Uno. We have gone there more times in the last 6 months than in all the years we've known them to be in Granada Hills put together.

    Numero Uno has always been our favorite pizza. However, that has not been enough to get us to call in advance and go pick it up while driving to GH and we just don't want to sit around waiting for the pizza if we decide in the moment to get food.

    Going to the food truck nights HAS filled a need in us. Going out to a restaurant with a family of 5 costs us $70 - $100 and a few hours of our time. Most restaurants won't satisfy our WHOLE family, so we have to keep going to the same few places OVER AND OVER again. The Food Truck Nights let us all be happy. I have purchased cupcakes from A Sweet Design (I NEVER in a million years would have stopped there just for them. They are too expensive and it's just not something we spend money on... but we wanted to support them for being truck friendly and we were already there...) My husband went to Bliss and had a great time. My daughter went to the Vintage store. We've never been to Menchie's, but we probably will one time in the near future.

    Our whole family knows about the Numero Uno drama and it's sad. My kids love being able to choose their own food and getting their own pizza, but I don't want to support them if they are so petty. Give out coupons! Make the pedestrians feel welcome! Post a sign that says "more parking in the back". No other truck has been selling what they have. If it's been working for my family, I bet it's the same in other families too.

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  41. Opening your own business is an exciting venture. One of the first things you should do to ensure your success is write a business plan and the food truck business is a real great thing. I don't see what's bad in great diverse tastes, low cost food and great people. I sure prefer it over any fast food restaurant in the local mall.

    sugar

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  42. This is a golden opportunity for G.H. businesses. If they can't find a way to make the best of this free foot traffic then they are short sighted and will be out of business with or without the food trucks!
    -Don, A business owner

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  43. I have lived here all my life.. I moved out for a year and i just came back in January. When i came back i was soo happy to see the little improvements in the city and im glad that the food truck fad is here. It may make businesses slow but at least you get noticed... Ive lived here all my life and i am barely noticing them. i dont think they should be standing outside being BITTER. These trucks are bringing people in, take advantage of the situation pass out flyers, serve samples, and make yourself seen. Isnt that one of the most important things about owning a business marketing yourself to the community??? DON is right it is a golden opportunity for G.H. Businesses so do something about it. Stop the immature fighting and focus on themselves.

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  44. Staying hipster and keeping with the times is fantastic. Making one of the prettiest, quaintest streets in the Valley into a barrio festival of trash every Friday night is not what I have in mind for my community. We know why they're here: because 17 other cities passed ordinances banning the presence of food trucks. They're like an invasive species that spreads until something is done about it. GET SOME RAID!

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  45. At least 2 businesses in Old Granada and one nearby business got a customer because of the food trucks. My husband and I enjoyed a "street food" dinner before going to the movies at the Granada Hills movie theaters on Devonshire. It was a modern version of a "dinner and a movie" date and a nice change of pace.

    I noticed a new hair salon that stayed open late Friday. I have been in need of a color retouch and a cut and made an appointment for the very next day. After my appointment, I stopped at Numero Uno's and got a take-out dinner.

    I'm only one person, and I am sure there are more folks like me who have noticed some of the businesses that they would normally just drive by but have now made a point to come back and try them out.

    Getting rid of the food trucks would be a business killer.

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