Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.
It’s Really Hard to Get a Food Truck on the Road in Boston
This will probably come as no surprise to anyone who has operated a food truck in Boston, but it’s apparently the worst city (in a 12-month study of 20 cities across the United States) in which to start a new food truck business, thanks to all of the regulations and restrictions. As the Boston Business Journal reports, there are 32 procedures required to start a new truck in Boston, whereas Denver only has 10. (And for those that do manage to get on the road, let’s not even get into the challenges posed by Boston’s often harsh winters, from mechanical troubles to snow piles taking up designated truck spaces.)
Boston experienced a bit of a food truck boom four or five years back, but the debut of new trucks seems to have drastically slowed over the last couple of years, and some veterans are even coming off the road to focus on their permanent restaurants (see Clover and Mei Mei.) Still, there are plenty of options that do remain on the road in Boston and beyond, and the season really gets into full swing in just a couple of weeks, especially on the Greenway.
Help Fund Art at Bow Market
The forthcoming Bow Market is gearing up to fill Somerville’s Union Square with macarons and chocolates and Filipino food and bar pizza and so much more, and now there’s a crowdfunding campaign on Patronicity aimed at making the space as artsy as possible. The funds will support an Artists in Residence program to let artists of all kinds use the market’s courtyard as a canvas (not to mention a meeting area and event space).
More specifically, funds will go towards “murals and wall infrastructure to support an ongoing public art program,” “a stage — both literal and figurative — for street performers and classical musicians alike,” and more. Unlike all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaigns, this is a flexible funding campaign where Bow Market will receive all funds donated by May 17, regardless of whether the $50,000 goal is met. However, if the goal is met, MassDevelopment will match the $50,000.
Popeyes Is Sneaking Into Codman Square, Whether or Not Residents Want It
Two years ago, Popeyes failed to get permission to open a location in Dorchester’s Codman Square after neighbors — and the Board of Appeals — rejected the fast-food spot when it applied for zoning permission, citing health, traffic, and litter reasons. But wait! It’s opening anyway, sneaking around the need for that zoning permission by changing its permit request to an expansion of an existing restaurant. Worse, that kind of permit has no required notification process for neighbors; residents only realized something was up when they spotted construction happening at the site after the initial Board of Appeals denial.
In an effort to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, City Council President Andrea Campbell has asked the council to hold a hearing in order to discuss notification requirements, making sure that even companies that don’t have to get zoning permission to build have to meet with neighbors before moving forward with a project like this.
Goodbye, Plastic Straws
In an effort to help reduce waste, some local bars are phasing out plastic single-use straws. Eastern Standard announced this week that it will only be using Buswell reusable straws, which are made of polypropylene, and Cocktail Kingdom julep spoon straws, while Artscience Culture Lab & Cafe announced late last year that it would be making the switch to metal, bamboo, and recycled paper straws. A project called the Last Plastic Straw is mapping the trend across the nation.
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