MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A food fight is underway in Minneapolis as two popular food trucks fight to stay open.
On Saturday morning, Animales Barbeque and Boomin' Barbecue took to social media, claiming the city of Minneapolis is trying to shut them down because their current set-ups violate city code- namely their outdoor smokers.
As the ordinance is written now, nothing is allowed to be outside their trucks, and everything must be contained within it. That includes things like garbage cans and picnic tables.
Dylan Boerboom opened Boomin' Barbecue in northeast Minneapolis last year and calls the current ordinance antiquated, written during a time when food trucks solely operated downtown.
"They are fighting us on the patios. They are fighting us on having garbage cans outside of our trailer. They say food trucks can only operate in a takeout manner in Minneapolis," said Boerboom, who tells Fox 9 city inspectors recently stopped by and told him they would have to make some big changes or close come Oct. 1st.
He also doesn't understand why the two BBQ joints are the only ones being picked on.
"You can drive around anywhere in Minneapolis… taco trucks have a sign that says ‘Tacos’ down by the street, and maybe they have a picnic table next to their truck. Garbage cans… every food truck is breaking this ordinance one way or another which really indicates the ordinance doesn't support small businesses," said Boerboom.
If he can't use the additional smokers outside his truck to feed hungry customers, Boerboom says the food truck would only be able to produce about 15% of what it currently does, and that would make the business unsustainable.
"By...enforcing this ordinance, you are effectively putting us out of business. No business can operate at 15% and maintain what we've been doing," said Boerboom.
Hope may be on the horizon, however.
Fox 9 has learned the City’s health department, Community Planning and Economic Development and the City Attorney are working expediently to find a legal way to operate auxiliary food equipment in a safe manor.
Fox 9 reached out to the Mayor's Office and Mayor Jacob Frey issued the following statement:
"These awesome local joints are putting Minneapolis on the BBQ map, and we will find a way to keep them smoking. We are going to find a legal way to make this work."
City Councilmember Elliot Playne, whose ward covers the part of Northeast Minneapolis where Animales operates, also issued a statement saying that he’s hopeful the city and the food trucks can "find a path forward."