By JOHN T. WARD
Vegan chef and Cinnamon Snail owner Adam Sobel tells redbankgreen‘s PieHole that town officials threw up bureaucratic requirements Friday that would be impossible to satisfy in time for the truck to operate in the Monmouth Street parking lot of Teak restaurant, as planned.
An unidentified borough employee told a Snail employee that the truck would need a peddler’s permit, the type of license issued to roving ice-cream trucks, Sobel said Saturday afternoon.
“It seems bizarre that we would have to do that just to operate on a different piece of property,” Sobel said. “It’s silliness.”
The Snail, which does the bulk of its business in Hoboken, Manhattan and Brooklyn, spends Sundays from Mother’s Day through Thanksgiving in its home town of Red Bank, where Sobel resides and keeps a commercial kitchen for food prep on the West Side. The Sunday stay is as part of the Farmers’ Market at the Galleria complex.
On Thursday, after Sobel put out a Facebook message looking for a place in Red Bank to do business on Sundays, PieHole brokered a deal with the Lyristis brothers, who own Teak, to allow the truck to park there from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., provided that no private parties were booked at the restaurant.
But the plan fell apart when the truck employee contacted the town just to be sure it wouldn’t violate any laws, Sobel said.
The truck, and the kitchen, are fully licensed, he said. But the truck’s peddler’s license lapsed several years ago after borough officials closed loopholes that would have allowed it to operate on just a few streets in town. It would take weeks to obtain a renewal, he said, and in any event would still require the truck to move every 10 minutes, he said.
Town officials also raised the prospect that Teak might have to seek borough approval for a new use for its parking lot, Sobel said.
Sobel was reluctant to see this article published because, he said, he didn’t want to be seen as itching for a fight with the town.
“This town is pretty anti-food truck,” he said. “It’s very shortsighted” because of the large number of vegan food fans and other visitors the truck draws, he said.
Sobel is in the process of building a kitchen in Brooklyn and a second truck, and plans to return to the Farmers’ Market in the spring, “but now we’ll be commuting to Red Bank instead of from Red Bank,” he said.