Remember a year ago, when we told you about the Doc’s of the Bay food truck that was seeking a permit to set up on Divisadero outside Thai Place II? And remember how some neighbors launched an ultimately-successful effort to have the truck’s permit denied?
Well tonight, Doc’s is finally gonna be doing biz on Divis. Sort of.
The truck will be parked at the corner of Oak and Divisadero outside Vinyl, a spot which has already hosted a series of food trucks including Chairman Bao, Bacon Bacon, and Hapa SF. Doc’s debuted in the location last week, and will be reappearing every Wednesday night.
Given the obstacles Doc’s encountered trying to set up on Divisadero last year, we asked why they were deciding to make a return to the area. Owner Zak Silverman enlightened us thusly:
“Last year’s process was a real education. Since we were one of the first trucks to apply for permitting in the city through the new system, we were the first to find out that the city was still figuring out how to implement its own regulations, and what opening the door to the street food industry would mean. There was a lot of pushback from restaurant owners and neighborhood groups spouting a lot of misinformation about the effect a food truck would have on local business and the community — ‘empty storefronts, vagrants, trash, bad smells’. All of these groups had their own motives, but primarily it was fear of the unknown. The DPW and the people enacting the regulations had the best intentions, but I don’t think they were prepared to provide a level playing field for the trucks against the volume of opposition we faced. So in the end we were a little frustrated that the time, money, and political energy we invested in the process under the auspices of the city didn’t pay off like we hoped it would. We felt a bit misled at the time.”
The ordeal wasn’t a total waste for Doc’s, however.
“We were awarded three of the seven permits we applied for and have started using them. The food truck industry, and our truck in particular, got a lot of exposure from the process, and I think people in San Francisco have become a lot more comfortable seeing food trucks on the street, even just in the last several months.”
As for sticking with this specific neighborhood, Zak says the area still has plenty of appeal.
“We think the Lower Haight will be a great market for us. People are hip to good food and willing to track it down; you guys are our archetypal customers. We’re really looking forward to being a part of the neighborhood.”
Doc’s of the Bay will be at Vinyl tonight from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. They’ll be selling classic and black bean burgers, “crabcake sandies,” fries, chocolate cookies, and the like. For more info, and to view their full menu, check out their website here.