Public has taste for vans

• Craig Mauger, owner of the Bootlegger Coffee Co truck, at Morley’s Crimea Reserve. Photos by Matthew Dwyer.

• Craig Mauger, owner of the Bootlegger Coffee Co truck, at Morley’s Crimea Reserve. Photos by Matthew Dwyer.

A FOOD van trial at Bert Wright Park has gotten off to a good start.

About 250 people fuelled up on street food at Bayswater StrEats’ three-month trial at the park last Friday.

Catherine Ehrhardt, the group’s co-ordinator who organises rosters for street vendors, says it’s promising when two traders sell out on the first night.

“We’re hoping to keep it going,” she says.

Bayswater council has approved the gastronomic venture as part of a 12-month “mobile food vehicle” trial. StrEats’ permit is due for review mid-October.

The group is asking to park on the King William Street verge, closer to foot traffic.

But council says trucks must be parked on the grass near Hamilton Street—further away from a playground and houses, and in a place where they’re less likely to snaffle business from a nearby cafe.

Ms Ehrhardt says they’re not chuffed about being in the “furtherest corner” of the park. “But we’ll take what we’re given,” she says.

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“Our major concern about the indicated area would be that after three months of driving large vehicles over grass, it may leave turf damage, meaning the council might say no to future applications.”

Ben Doyle wryly notes in a comment on the group’s Facebook page, “nothing activates the street like a food truck parked 100m away, over wet grass.”

StrEats also runs in Perth and South Perth, and is soon to start in Subiaco.

Bayswater council’s mobile food trial got off to a slow start with just two vendors—Annie’s Wood Fired Pizza in Bardon Park and a van proposing to sell coffee and biscuits at Wright Park—signing up after four months.

Cool Breeze Cafe co-owner Georgia Johnson says the $1500 yearly permit—nearly double what neighbouring Vincent charges—played a role in the slow take up.

Bert Wright Park’s street food feast is on for dinner every night from 5-8pm (or possibly 9pm, depending on the crowd). They’re also cooking lunch from 11am-2pm on weekends.

The council only allows five trucks at the park, with the roster alternating between seven vendors: Bootlegger Coffee Co, Comida Rica, Miam Miam (A Bite of France), Meast, Greek St Grill, Rancho Sombrero and Uncle Chops Smokehouse.

For more information, visit the Bayswater StrEats Facebook page.

by EMMIE DOWLING

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