Evanston Law Spurs Food Fight

Two food truck owners are suing the City of Evanston for not allowing them to operate in the area

By Alexandria Fisher
|  Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012  |  Updated 2:46 PM CDT
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Mobile restaurant owners have hit a road block in Evanston.

Instead of putting on the breaks, two mobile food truck owners are heading full force into a political food fight as the Liberty Justice Center, a public interest litigation center, sues the City of Evanston for not allowing the truck to vend in the area.

Food truck entrepreneurs James Nuccio and Gabriel Wiesen opened their driving donut diner earlier this year, attempting to take advantage of a cheap startup and the trending culinary venture around Chicago.

Chicagoans welcomed the hot coffee and donut truck dubbed Beavers Donuts as the city softened some regulations regarding the industry. But the entrepreneurs' expansive hopes were quickly red lighted in Evanston, where the city code states that “a mobile food vehicle must be owned and operated by the owner or agent of a licensed food establishment in the city.”

The lawsuit, announced Tuesday, challenges the constitutionality of the ordinance arguing it “violates the Illinois Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process under the law.”

“Evanston isn’t treating people equally,” Jacob Huebert, associate counsel at the Liberty Justice Center, said in a statement. “The City is giving restaurant owners a special right that it won’t give to everyone else, for no legitimate reason.”

The suit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

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