VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach will be the next city in Hampton Roads to get food trucks.
Tuesday night, April 21, Virginia Beach City Council approved the proposal for an outdoor food truck park at the Oceanfront. The group behind the proposal, Eat the Streets 757, announced they’re set to open Friday, May 29.
Two weeks ago the city’s planning commission discussed allowing the mobile businesses to operate at the Oceanfront. 10 On Your Side was there and talked to the people with Eat the Streets 757. They hoped to turn the area between Atlantic and Pacific avenues at 8th Street, at 712 Atlantic Avenue, into a hub for local food trucks and small vendors or artists.
For Portsmouth and Norfolk, the acceptance of food trucks has been a fight. But, so far, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the Resort City — the planning commission gave Eat the Streets 757 the “okay” right away.
“It’s been a long road,” said Cassandra Ayala, a spokeswoman of the group. “We’ve worked with ABC board, the different committees in Virginia Beach. We’ve worked with the public in Virginia Beach. We expect this to just be a hub of lively environment that brings together artists, artisans, movable chefs, who are just really creating a great vibe when it all comes together.”
Not everyone in the community, though, has given the group a nod of approval. There were concerns about crowds, noise, and whether an open air market could be family friendly.
“We just don’t think it’s the right thing at that corner for that location,” said one man at the planning commission meeting. “A retail store, restaurant, all those things would be much more desirable.”
Despite some opposition, Eat the Streets 757, got the approval they needed. They were granted a one-year conditional-use permit so everyone can determine if the network of local food trucks and an open market are the right fit for the Oceanfront.
“I think that it’s an amenity to that area in terms of allowing for some open air open space feel,” said Dr. Karen Kwasny, who is on the planning commission.
“It adds a lot of vitality,” said Bob Thornton, who is also on the planning commission. “I think the fact that this has a one-year time limit causes me not to be concerned.”
Eat the Streets 757 representatives said they’ve worked on this plan for over a year. In some cities, they heard from concerned restaurant owners. But the groups says they will actually be leasing the land in Virginia Beach from a restaurant owner.
“This is the Virginia Beach boardwalk,” said Nichole Malbon, with Eat the Streets 757. “The whole point is to get people to come to the boardwalk for a good time.”
If you have a food truck or you’re an artist interested in connecting with Eat the Streets 757, go to http://www.ets757.com/ .