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Food trucks prep for Venice Beach turf wars

January 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Food trucks were back in Venice Friday, and not to the delight of some area businesses and residents. They've always been a staple of the "First Fridays" events, but then the streets got too crowded.Pulling into a prime parking spot, the crew working the Vesuvio food truck in Venice prepared for battle as the food fight between some business owners and these rolling restaurants filling Abbot Kinney Blvd. heats up.

"We follow the rules, we're completely licensed, my registration is current," said Vince Giangrande, Vesuvio truck manager. "This is a public parking spot and I'm allowed to vend here by state law."

Last year, food trucks turned out by the dozens for Venice's First Friday celebration each month. Forty to 50 trucks lined the boulevard, taking up all the parking and creating crowds of pedestrians.

"Well, I think they need to find a space where they can be so that people can park on the streets because the shopkeepers on Friday nights, the first Friday of every month is for people to come out and shop, and if they can't park, they go on and they leave," said Venice resident Laurie Dolan.

Last month the Abbot Kinney Merchant Association got a no-parking permit blocking everyone from the street, food trucks and customers. This year, the trucks are back and the battle is back on. Both sides agree the situation has gotten out of control and they hope they can reach a compromise.

"I think really what needs to be done is that the food truck owners need to work with the merchants on it as well as the L.A. City Council needs to do something to regulate the situation," said Janet Gervers, AbbotKinney1stFridays.com.

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