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Restaurants want food trucks to back off

Restaurants want food trucks to back off

By Drew Karedes. CREATED Mar 13, 2012

 Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a food fight that has some local restaurants saying "back off"!

The stationary businesses say the new fad of food trucks is starting to take some of their bacon.

Some restaurants want the city to step in and create a buffer zone, that would force these rolling restaurants to keep a certain distance away.

The issue passed through Tuesday night's planning commission, but it will ultimately be up to Las Vegas City Council to decide.

"When the trucks come in, our business just dies, completely dies," said Maria Calvino, owner of Mamitas Mexican and Cuban restaurant on Fremont Street. "I hope the city will do something to help us."

Twelve years in business at their current Fremont Street location and Maria and Josemil Calvino have seen their ups and downs.

The Calvinos say the recent prescence of food trucks parking in their loading zone has been luring away much needed customers.

They fear the trucks could eventually force them to shut their doors.

"If they would come when it's not busy then it'd be different, but they come when it's real busy. We wait until the weekend. That's when we make our money," added Maria Calvino.

However, food truck owners say this argument shouldn't be one sided.

"If a food truck comes around for 4 hours out of one day and that's killing your business, then you need to take a look a look at what you're doing," said Jon Yoffee, owner of Snow Ono Shave Ice.

Jon Yoffee is among the food truck owners in attendance at Tuesday's planning comission meeting.

Yoffee and his wife started up Snow Ono Shave Ice about a year ago, after employment with the construction industry fizzled.

He believes competition is what drives the industry.

"To sit around and wait for a job or collect unemployment, didn't make any sense. We took our life savings. We invested in this business. We put all of our time in it," he explained.

Whatever is decided, Yoffee says his grab-and-go business will subscribe to it as long as the rules are fair for both sides.

The issue will now head to the city recommending team.

This buffer zone is being defined as trucks staying at least 1300 feet away from restaurants.