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Help Save Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District!

June 21, 2012

As anyone who showed up two night ago knows, the plug got yanked on Tasty Tuesdays, the Milk District’s weekly Tuesday-night food-truck meetup, with basically no notice. Trucks full of delicious chicken & waffles, popsicles, and hummus were left scrambling to contact their fans via Facebook and Twitter to let them know there’d be a distinct lack of tastiness on Robinson Street.

No one is saying anything substantive about what happened or why, just making vague accusations that one of the Milk District business owners (unnamed) called the city to complain that the event made parking difficult for its customers. Of course, let’s not take into account that the event was bringing dozens, if not hundreds, of new people into the area on a weekly basis, right? Nah.

We have contacted the city for comment and will update this post when we hear more. Apparently the issue is that at Tasty Tuesdays, unlike most food truck events, the trucks set up in public parking spots. City spokesperson Heather Fagan confirms that this is against code, but says they’re still looking into the issue.

In the meantime, Tommy Barger (a.k.a. DJ Mot) of Spacebar has set up a petition asking the City of Orlando to reinstate the event. You can sign it here. And this week’s event is planned to happen in the parking lots behind Spacebar/Sandwich Bar/Milk Bar/Etoile Boutique, so: not in public parking.

Finally, if you would like to express your displeasure on-camera on the local affiliate of the Devil’s Own News Network, Fox 35 will be on Robinson Street trolling for interviews at noon today. Did someone say photobomb?

UPDATE: Cassandra Lafser, spokeswoman for the City of Orlando, sent us a response, excerpted here.

“Code Enforcement typically reacts to complaints received by residents
and businesses and responds to those.  In this instance, a neighboring
businesses called code enforcement and reported a complaint about
businesses operating in the location of the public parking spaces
along Robinson Street.

“Code Enforcement inspected the situation and found that these
businesses were in violation of City code by operating in the public
right of way.  Businesses are informed of the City’s operating rules
and regulations and must sign they understand these before they are
issued a Business Tax Receipt allowing them to conduct business in the
City of Orlando.”

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  • Milk District home owner

    Its totally the angry jerk owner at Sports Town who complained and always complains because he’s mad everyone else gets business!  

  • Jeannejack

    Nice job owner of hmmm…Sportstown. Way to help the community….

  • Julie Norris

    this is a tough one. no business owner would complain if their sales went up, if they go down, however, that is when businesses are looking at their own thin profit margin and having to do what they think is right. remember, when a small business feels threatened it’s not shareholders they are worried about, it’s their ability to feed and house their children. I dont know the particulars of this situation, but I can imagine. I am all about the mobile movement, but it must be a win win for everyone. Not one business should feel like they are losing. We either all rise together, or we fail miserably at a vibrant local living economy.

  • Denika

    If a storefront is losing business from an event that is bringing many new potential customers right to their doorstep maybe they should be looking at why those people aren’t interested in their business instead of driving away those potential new customers.

  • Hjeff

    many people go to sportstown just to people watch.  it’s much more fun peoople watching on tuesday nights outside of sportstown

  • Thom DeSoto

    Given that Sportstown constantly called code enforcement on the original Social Chameleon, forcing them to eventually close down the location, it wouldn’t be surprising that the small-minded owners pulled this stunt.

  • Neighbor

    The public parking spots are on the opposite side of the street. The only issue that I can see is that the food trucks were parking in the right-of-way for traffic.

  • Rachel

    The thing is though, it is one night a week on a Tuesday and garners them exposure from the participants. Maybe the business owner should hold special deals that day to raise awareness for a beloved event rather than possibly lose more business from protests that will happen against their place. Just a thought :)

  • Rachel

    The thing is, it is one night a week on a Tuesday and garners them exposure from the participants. Maybe the business owner should hold special deals that day to raise awareness for a beloved event rather than possibly lose more business from protests that will happen against their place. Just a thought :)

  • Anonomous

    I would understand if Stown called the 5-0. The rest of the “new bars” shall we call them essentially box out stown and bull & bush from Tasty Tuesdays. As a result, they get no added business from the event. In fact, they probably have reduced business since its harder to park. 

    Moral of the story: If the trucks lined up more in the center of Robinson and included all of the bars, this probably never would have happened.

  • SignReader

    Parking is legal on that side of the street after 5 or 6pm. Can’t remember which one but, regardless, the event started at 6:30.

  • Jessica_Bryce_Young

    It’s no surprise to anyone that Orlando’s food truck lovers are a passionate bunch! But let’s all stay civil. (I’m not talking about the comments here, but things are getting heated on Facebook.) This is an issue food trucks have faced in a lot of cities — the New York appellate court just upheld a food truck ban — but I’m sure creative solutions are in the offing.

  • Naytattoos

    The owner of Sportstown advertises Tastey Tuesdays for your information!! SHE is a supporter of this event, so make sure you have your story straight before you throw ignorant accusations around. Thank you and have a great day!!!

  • Naytattoos

    For all of the ignorant accusations that the owners of Sportstown were behind this, get your story straight! She was a supporter of the event!!! She even advertised it on Sportstowns facebook page weekly! I personally know the owner. Get your facts straight people!!

  • Local

    I think you’re confusing them advertising Tasty Tuesdays with Tin Tuesdays, or is it Taco Tuesdays? I could see how that’s pretty easy to confuse though.

  • Local

     Refer to my response above ^

  • adult

    Let’s all be ADULTS here.  There is no sense in all of this junior high, he said, she said crap…. It was a CODE ENFORCEMENT ISSUE…If you want to point fingers, everyone involved should be pointing fingers at THEMSELVES. Have a great day.

  • Lu

    The owner of Sportstown DID advertise for the event. She even did so verbally to me.  If it wasn’t for her telling me, I would have never known.  Because of her, I along with many of my friends, went religiously EVERY TUESDAY.  As far as the parking issue, they have their own parking and it was never a problem for us to find a spot and there was plenty of parking on the other side of the street, so I don’t know much on that end.  But I do know, wholeheartedly, that Sportstwon promoted and encouraged many people to attend Tasty Tuesdays.  So before you all trash talking a business that DID support Tasty Tuesdays and has been a good source of business for the Orlando area, get your facts straight.  

  • anonymous

    Sportstown posts on their OWN page every week, *promoting* “Tasty Tuesdays”, they are ALWAYS included in Tuesdays updates on Sportstowns page…, which, by the way, is something that they DON’T HAVE TO DO!……there is no confusion…

  • BigRedd

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, you can’t even spell!!

  • anonymous

    wether they can spell or not isn’t the issue Big Redd??? the statement that they made is TRUE!  Get over yourself.  Haters gonna hate.

  • Bruce6410

    Please let me know what business called code enforcement so I make sure I don’t patronize them.  Last week I was in both Sportstown and Bull & Bush, so I’d like to know if I should take my business elsewhere.

  • Joren407

    I have personally seen the owner (s) of Sportstown eating and participating in Tasty Tuesdays. They’re great people and wouldn’t have called code enforcement.

  • anonymous

    Social Chameleon, was operating UNLAWFULLY! NOBODY FORCED ANYBODY OUT OF ANYWHERE… That was their fault, not Sportstown’s…Get your information straight. 

  • anonymous

    Why are you bringing even more senseless drama…This is NOT about Social Chameleon…

  • get a life, jerk

    ok I have to say this…SHUT THE HELL UP!

  • NoOne

    Unfortunately, these are the facts.

  • Local

     Show me one post. I just scrolled down the entire month of June. Nothing.

  • Don’t hate…create!

    The idea for this event, and with The Milk District, is to grow together as a community.  It has taken several years to get The Milk District community recognized.  I have attended several Tasty Tuesdays, and I’ve seen the owners of ST walk the area and eat the food (how could they resist such awesome food).  I’ve seen plenty of patrons get their food and walk to ST to eat, but I’ve also witnessed the owners of ST complaining about the event.  The reason Tasty Tuesdays is limited to that small section of Robinson,
    is because there is no parking at any time from Sports Town to Bumby.  The organizers of TT have always included every business on the block
    regardless of their involvement, because to them, it’s about something bigger than egos. While there’s no hiding that ST has had various issues with other business on the block, it’s unfortunate that  the community back lash they are receiving, is a result of the reputation they have created over the years.  The Milk District needs Tasty Tuesdays, and most of all it needs the businesses and community members to be proactive.  Now it’s about the food trucks, and changing the parking laws.  The best thing anyone can do, is to sign the petition and let the City know you love your Tasty Tuesdays!

  • urallidiots

    hey local…SPORTSTOWN took down any post EVER MADE pretaining to promoting Tasty Tuesday, WOULDN’T YOU????. They will no longer promote NONSENSE!!!..  Jerk off…..

  • uallsuck

     the only complaint is having NO courtesy to not to block SPORTSTOWNS driveway, it’s just plain ignorant, they (Sportstown) have EVERY RIGHT TO COMPLAIN…. how many times do you have to ask the same question about not blocking a BUSINESSES driveway???…it’s rude and dangerous to Sportstowns customers and owners….why is everyone getting this all twisted…

  • the truth

    While the first half of your first sentence is probably correct, The Social Chameleon only closed the location on Robinson Street to move to a new location and have not reopened yet.  They were not forced out, I found out from them that their lease was expiring and they had a better location in mind.

  • the truth

    There has been some contention about the parking on the side of the street where the bars reside as to whether or not it is legal to park there.  There are no signs which read NO PARKING, but the police have written tickets in the past.

  • the truth

    All the bars were listed on the advertisement, including Sportstown and Bull and Bush.  As far as I have been able to discern, Sportstown has yellow paint on their sidewalk out front and NO PARKING signs in front of their building.

  • the truth

    Out of all the posts that I have seen about Tasty Tuesdays on Facebook, I have only seen about 5-10 come from Sportstown through my feed the entire 5 months Tasty Tuesdays has been going on… As opposed to the weekly and sometimes biweekly posts from all the other businesses included (I don’t know of Bull and Bush, perhaps, but I don’t follow them on Facebook).

  • the truth

    Only half of the above post contains facts.  The parking issue is real in The Milk District as a whole.  If there were more public parking in the area, I think the entire neighborhood would see a drastic increase in business.

    You can see my reply to Naytattoos about the facebook posts.

  • the truth

    In the 3 months that I have been attending Tasty Tuesdays with my friends, we have patronized all of the bars in the area, as well as noticed that the only parking lot that’s been blocked off completely (starting in the past month or so) has been the one where the old Drop Shop building, Milk Bar, and Etoile reside.  

    The only problem I see with both the parking in the spots behind Sportstown as well as Sandwich Bar and Space Bar is that you can only safely leave in one direction (which is to the right towards the airport.)

    When was the driveway for Sportstown blocked where there was no entry and exit?

  • the truth

    I think that when you say something like “Let’s all be ADULTS” and then post with the moniker of “get the life, jerk” you may be undermining your own statement, don’t you think?

    I think that most of the uproar is due to the fact that instead of Sportstown just hashing out any issues they had with the event with the people organizing it, they called code enforcement and got all of the trucks fined and sent along without being able to complete the orders that were already taken.

    I COMPLETELY AGREE that code enforcement was in the right to make everyone stop what they were doing and go get themselves licensed appropriately and that if Sportstown’s parking lot was actually blocked that they had every right to call them in.

    The only problem I have with that information is that in the past three months I’ve been attending and enjoying Tasty Tuesdays and all the bars available, I have only seen that it is nigh impossible to take a left turn out of any of the parking lots that the event surrounds without there being significant danger, while taking a right is just fine.

  • Frequent Milker

    If the trucks can operate in the parking lot behind and beside the buildings, what’s the problem?

    Sounds like it’s solved to me.

  • Fixie

    I’ve driven down Robinson many times on my way home from work and seen the trucks lined up and down the street.  They didn’t have any barricades, lights, or other indications that they were parked.  That road is too narrow for cars to be going 35 mph inches away from a line of hungry hipsters.  The City has a permitting system for things like this.  Food trucks are great, but if you want to block an entire lane of traffic, play by the rules.

  • the truth

    False.  The entire time that I’ve been going (roughly three months), there are cones and a blinking barricade on the street in front of the trucks.  However, I agree that if the rules weren’t followed, that they should be required to get themselves licensed correctly.

    It also shows exactly what kind of person you are to label people so easily.

  • the truth

    I think it’s mostly a visibility thing.  I think now that it’s so well established that it won’t matter if it’s in front or in the parking lots behind the businesses.

  • Fixie

     I just liked the alliteration of “hungry hipsters.”  I”m probably a hipster myself, so no offense intended.  I have seen one dirty cone behind the last truck.  It seemed to be protecting a card table and chairs.  Not sure that I’d want that booth.

  • hahahaha

    Never judge a book by its cover. “The truth” my name was somewhat of a joke, but you obviously didn’t get the memo. because you don’t know me….that was actually comment from a food truck owners if you must know. Anyways…undermining. Interesting. :)

  • hahahaha

    You can never judge a book by it’s cover..inside joke is why name is what it is…ok ‘truth”…..undermining. and it’s “get A life, jerk”..if you want to criticize me, at least get my name right.

  • get a life, jerk

    And it’s “get A life, jerk”..if you want to criticize me, at least get my name right. truth….you should change your name to ‘Mrs. Fixit’ since you seem to have all the answers and know everything .

  • get a life, jerk

    Truth….you know everything. :) they just started putting barricades and cones up about a month ago. fact……and you’re probably asking yourself how I would know something like that? well that simply because I’m there every tuesday night also! I think you should be a little more observant of your surroundings dear…

  • Local

     In all of the times I attended the event, I’ve never seen the Sportstown driveway blocked.

  • Local

     Exactly, like I said in the post above – I’ve never seen it blocked off. Someone is creating a big fib.

  • Local

    Wrong – they have ALWAYS put up codes. I have been going since the first Tasty Tuesdays last year.

  • Local