(UPDATE) Boston announces food trucks participating in late-night program
On April 1, patrons can stop by BBQ Lamb Brothers, Bon Me, Chicken and Rice Guys, Cookie Monstah, Frozen Hoagies Meng’s Kitchen and more will be open until midnight.
Last week, Metro first reported that the city would test out later hours for food trucks near Copley Square, Boston University and Northeastern University, and today city officials announced which trucks will participate in the one-year program.
On April 1, patrons can stop by Boston food truck standbys BBQ Lamb Brothers, Bon Me, Chicken and Rice Guys, Cookie Monstah, Frozen Hoagies and Meng’s Kitchen until midnight.
Additionally, four trucks new to Boston were picked to take part in the program: Mediterranean Home Cooking, Stoked Pizza, Tea Station and The Bacon Truck.
In September, Metro reported that long-time pals Sam Williams and J.J. Frost, both 24, were working to launch their dream: a food truck that specialized in the divine art of frying bacon.
"I think ideally we’d want it to go even later, as the T is running until 2:30 a.m., and there's a proposal to extend bar hours, but I think it’s a great start, and a step in the right direction for food trucks," said Williams.
Trucks will be stationed on Boylston Street near the Boston Public Library, on Commonwealth Avenue in front of Morse Auditorium and at Opera Place near Northeastern University.
“Food truck owners and customers have been asking for later hours for food trucks, and we've been listening," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who today also announced that late-night MBTA service would kick off on March 28. "We’ll be looking at this pilot to see if it's something we can expand to more sites."
Currently, food trucks in Boston’s residential areas may only remain open until 9 p.m., while trucks in more urban areas are allowed to serve until 11 p.m.
The time period is a bustling one for night-loving Bostonians, which is why law enforcement has hesitated to give their blessing for late-night hours.
“It’s that time period when people are out and have had a good amount to drink, and there is the possibility of them engaging in an argument,” said Edith Murnane, director of Boston’s Office of Food Initiatives.
“With food trucks being outdoors, it could be a natural magnet for that, so they don’t want to see the trucks become a spot where something like that might happen,” said Murnane.
But if Bostonians can behave themselves over the next year, they could be rewarded with an expansion of the late-night hours.
The pilot program comes as a local Boston food blogger is petitioning for more food trucks in Boston.
Last month, Steven Leibowitz created a Change.org petition asking Mayor Martin Walsh to broaden the city’s food truck program. More than 380 people have signed it so far.
Some spots that deserve food trucks include Downtown Crossing, Fenway and TD Garden, Leibowitz said, and although not impossible, Murnane said the inclusion of food trucks in those areas would require a lot of hashing out.
The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, the Red Sox and TD Garden as well as law enforcement would have a place at the table when it comes to making those decisions, she said.
“It’s a slightly more complex issue than just putting a food truck in those areas,” Murnane said. “But one of the best things about Boston is its civic engagement. I love getting these [petitions]. The more people that give input, the better I’m able to go to the TD Garden or the Red Sox and say, ‘How do we go about getting a food truck in this area?’”
“One of the nice things about the launch of the food truck season is that it reminds people to get outside. Some of our best times here in Boston are the times that we spend living in the public space," she said.
Boston is quickly turning into a late-night haven. Earlier this month, Walsh said he wanted Boston bars to remain open until 3:30 a.m.
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