The lede for that story yesterday – about an upcoming lottery for a sidewalk food vendor license in York – should have been written differently.
Maybe something like this:
Locals looking to start a small business but worried they missed their opportunity to slather condiments on street-cart hot dogs recently got good news from York city.
It’s not too late to ketchup.
That’s good stuff, as far as I’m concerned.
And so too, in my experience, is most of the food you get from such carts, usually run by small business owners who know their trade.
That’s why I wrote the story a bit under protest, wondering why the licenses are so limited and dreaming a little about all the good stuff that might be offered along the street downtown.
According to Kevin Schreiber, the city’s director of community development, there wasn’t much interest by vendors in street carts two years ago, when York City Council decided to limit usage to just one downtown license. There were only two applicants, he said.
The issue predates my time at the paper, but still it makes me wonder why we couldn’t have both of them.
Something to ask council members, perhaps.
Schreiber said he doesn’t know of much lingering debate here. And I guess that means there aren’t legions of food-cart vendors drooling over that downtown selling spot.
Schreiber did leave open the possibility things could change, as downtown plans develop over time. The license costs about $250, he said, not much to pay I wouldn’t think for someone looking to start a small, street business.
For my part, I hope there’s a shift. Maybe as word of the license offering gets out this year, more vendors will step forward.
Maybe sellers will approach the council, demanding their fair square of downtown sidewalk.
Maybe someday we’ll see more quick-snack options for those walking to the court house, or for people who stop downtown to shop. Even for reporters, hurrying to city hall.
For now, it’s only 9:45 in the morning. But I could really go for a taco.