Food trucks, carts get Portland park spots

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PORTLAND — Six of seven city park spots available to food truck and cart owners were filled last week.

City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Grondin released the results from bids received earlier this spring.

Small Axe Food Trucks will continue to operate in Congress Square Park, and will be joined by Urban Sugar & Mobile Cafe. South Portland-based Taco Trio will operate a food truck on the Western Prom and push carts on Western Prom and in Lincoln Park.

Biddeford-based Perry’s Sidewalk Cafe will operate a push cart on East End Beach. South Portland-based Ana’s Mobile Gourmet will serve El Salvadorian food from a truck at Deering Oaks Park, and the Wicked Good Food Truck will operate at Back Cove.

Taco Trio was the most active vendor in the process, submitting a bid to operate a food truck in Congress Square Park along with the three bids that were accepted. Aside from the Taco Trio bid for Congress Square, the only bid rejected by the city was from Mainely Meatballs, to operate a food truck at Back Cove. There were no bids for the Kiwanis Pool cart and truck sites off St. James Street.

Bids were opened May 21 and scored by valuing bid prices and experience at 25 percent each, with 50 percent for the business plan. Taco Trio was the highest bidder, with $3,000 for the Lincoln Park push cart and $2,100 each for the Western Prom truck and push-cart operations. The company also bid $3,000 to operate in Congress Square Park.

Small Axe Food Trucks bid $300 for its Congress Square Park spot, and Urban Sugar & Mobile Cafe bid $1,000.

Perry’s Sidewalk Cafe bid $100 for its East End Beach spot, Ana’s Mobile Gourmet did not bid to work in Deering Oaks, but made a $100 deposit. The Wicked Good Truck bid $500 to work at Back Cove.

All operators must also acquire licenses and pay fees of $500 per truck or $295 per cart, along with $35 fees to apply for a new license or $25 to renew an existing license. Operators must also carry $400,000 in liability insurance and pay a $110 base inspection fee for their truck or cart.

City land open for use by food trucks and push carts was expanded Monday night, when city councilors unanimously approved allowing them in Compass Park at the Maine State Pier. Operators will be required to submit bids for the site.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.