Frank Pedulla runs Peppers Cafe in downtown Peoria. He's unhappy about a proposed ordinance that would allow food trucks to within city limits and near his restaurant.
"Will it give something more to the downtown community? I don't think so," said Pedulla. "I think what it's going to be taking out of the downtown community. What's going to happen is there's going to be fewer restaurants."
Pedulla referenced the lack of downtown restaurants. His registers are already taking hits because of local food carts and he can't imagine adding food trucks to the mix.
"Their lines usually are here,' Pedulla said referencing downtown food carts. "Six months of the year those folks are here in our restaurant. Our business drops thirty percent when the carts open. Now you're talking abuot bringing food trucks in on top of that."
The city of Peoria hosted a public meeting Wednesday to hear concerns. Some restaurant owners think mobile food trucks would have an unfair advantage. The city says it took that into consideration.
"So one of the things we put into the ordinance is the food truck can't operate within 100 feet of existing licensed restaurants," said Chris Setti, Peoria's special projects manager.
If approved, mobile food trucks would also be prohibited from operating within 25 feet of licensed food carts.
Pedulla says that's not enough to protect his cafe. And he says it certainly won't draw future restaurants.
"How do you attract hospitality operators into the downtown community if you're gonna tell them , 'oh by the way, we have food trucks and carts and they get to operate on a whole different basis?"
If the food truck ordinance passes, Pedulla says he won't be happy. But he's not going to make any drastic changes to attract new customers. Another public hearing is scheduled for next Monday.
Peoria city council will vote on the food truck ordinance on May 8th.