Restaurants, food trucks vie for downtown Minneapolis lunch crowd

  • Article by: Maya Rao , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 30, 2013 - 1:28 PM

Warm weather heats up competitive tension.

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lami0102Jul. 29, 13 9:53 PM

A message to the skyway chain restaurants: Serve better food or lower your price to a point that attracts customers better than your competition and you won't lose business. Taco John's was only busy on Tuesdays for 99 cent tacos. The place sat empty most other days. Look at some of the busy food trucks, you might have to wait in line for 15 minutes to pay for a ten dollar lunch. Why? Because it is good food. People can get taco johns for cheap and fast but it doesn't even compare to a good food truck taco or burrito. Let's stop the complaining about your boring restaurants failing because people choose quality.

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nicolaswillJul. 29, 1310:03 PM

Good food. Overpriced.

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Cory089Jul. 29, 1310:14 PM

Look, it's called competition. If I can get better food from a food truck, I'm going there. Serve better food or lower your prices. Don't use government regulations to stifle competition and coerce us into buying from inferior places.

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Flicka1492Jul. 29, 1310:40 PM

Food Trucks = Roach Coaches. Does anyone inspect these trucks? You like food poisoning? You'll love the "food trucks". I never understand why cities allow these guys along the sidewalks. Their generators stink, they're loud, and they kill existing businesses. Hey, wait...I'm going to show up outside of the Twins ballpark with my Booze Truck and sell beer for a buck a bottle! I wonder how the city will like that? ;)

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DLBabatzJul. 29, 1311:10 PM

I work in the Investors Building, on Marquette. Several of us have boycotted the food trucks since they have overtaken our block. We feel we need to support the brick and mortar restaurants, so we have places to eat lunch during the winter, too. I did go to the Smack Shack for brunch this past Sunday. Never bought from their truck, but I will visit the restaurant again.

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tituspulloJul. 29, 1311:36 PM

Flicka1492Jul. 29, 1310:40 PM Food Trucks = Roach Coaches. Does anyone inspect these trucks? You like food poisoning? You'll love the "food trucks". I never understand why cities allow these guys along the sidewalks. Their generators stink, they're loud, and they kill existing businesses. Hey, wait...I'm going to show up outside of the Twins ballpark with my Booze Truck and sell beer for a buck a bottle! I wonder how the city will like that? ;)__________Of course they're inspected and of course you'll prove even one incident of food poisoning from eating from one of these trucks, right?

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jimiekJul. 30, 1312:12 AM

They are a real eye sore. I would do without before eating their food.

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eurotravelerJul. 30, 1312:41 AM

Taco John and Taco Bell closed? Gee, what a loss. I work downtown and buy lunch every day. The food trucks offer a change of pace and as a rule better food than what is available in the skyway. There are a lot of food places in the skyway that survive just because there's not much in the way of competition, not because their food is any good. Now, it was sad to see Peter's close.

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mgs5150Jul. 30, 13 2:21 AM

Food trucks are not a good value, whoever is saying that is fooling themselves or lying. Bad value, hit or miss food, meager portions and poor service. Last 3 times I've gone to the trucks they have messed up my order, there won't be a fourth. Greek truck stinks. Smack shack is over priced. Barrio truck is a rip off for two tacos and a couple chips. Hot dog truck is basically what you get for 1.50 in front of cub food for 4 dollars. I could keep going but you get the point. So to summarize, they charge more but have less overhead than restaurants. No wonder the restaurants are angry.

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william16Jul. 30, 13 4:29 AM

A few years from now, someone should be able to write a book on how to destroy a downtown's character, based on lessons from Minneapolis: 1) Pass building construction regulations that encourage only concrete, not green space and/or trees; 2) Install multiple skyways between buildings, so street-level appears lifeless during inclement weather; 3) Add add'l taxes to food and beverage sales downtown, making downtown dining the most expensive in the state; 4) Spend hundreds of millions in public money to build sports stadiums for billionaires, with stadiums that are only occupied a few days a year; 5) Spend tens of millions of public funds on subsidies for boondoggles like Block E; 6) Extend tax-increment financing to out-of-state developers and business owners with little interest in downtown other than $ extraction; 7) Ignore lessons of other cities in food truck enforcement, botch Mpls food truck regulations, and watch long-time bricks-and-mortar restaurants flee downtown in droves.

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