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Will other Buffalo food trucks follow Lloyd's lead?

Reporting today's story about how two guys from Kenmore started Lloyd, Buffalo's only taco truck, made me wonder if there's others like them in town.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where Lloyd parks during lunchtime Thursday, would like to see more trucks. (What are those poor people supposed to eat the other four days?) They're creating a place in the center of their 8,500 daily workers where such trucks would be lined up. Maybe that will get some cooks thinking about plans for spring.

Peter Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo, the Lloyd partners, said that getting their kitchen and truck inspected by the health department was not a big problem. Selling locations was the main hurdle. Cimino said he's seeing if he can help convince the city to adopt regulations permitting streetside sales. But for now, it's clear that no business plan that counts on street sales makes sense in Buffalo.

Besides the Medical Campus, Lloyd has permission from Buffalo Place, the downtown affairs organization, to sell at Main and Mohawk. Anyone who has walked along the rail tracks on Main Street downtown knows how much empty space there is there, devoid of street level commercial activity.

In August, Morgan Smith, Buffalo Place manager of public spaces, told Buffalo Business First that he "hopes the successful track record of new vendors such as Cimino and [beef on weck vendor Merl] Rabb will encourage others to bring new and different menu items to the pedestrian mall."

Buffalo Place, in conjunction with the City of Buffalo, issues street-vending permits for the bulk of downtown Buffalo.

Smith said he would like to see Buffalo offer the same culinary buffet of street vendors seen in other cities, such as Toronto and Portland, Ore.

“These new places can serve as encouragement to others,” [Smith] said. “We can now point to them and say here is some tangible proof that it can be done.”

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Food and Drink
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