Munch Mondays scrapped

Hundreds in line | Photo John Burgess, PD

Munch Mondays have been scrapped. Special event permits granted by the city of Santa Rosa for mobile food trucks between January 10 and February 28, 2011 will not be renewed after a vocal outcry from downtown brick and mortar restaurants.

Following several weeks of heated discussion between the city’s Economic Development department, which initially granted the event temporary space at the parking lot on E Street between Second and Third Streets, downtown restaurateurs and owners of mobile vendors of the Eat Fleet, it was suggested that the event move to a more distant location on Sonoma and D Streets.

That, along with discussions to move the event to Railroad Square never materialized, leaving the event in temporary limbo until today’s decision by the city.
CalTrans and the Railroad Square Association Restaurants nixed hosting the mobile vendors saying that they would be invited to certain special events in Railroad Square including Summer Nights.

Why the turnaround? According to a press release from the city, as debate about the location grew, so did the concern that managing the issues would continue to be time-consuming. “This being only on e of our many economic development programs, the Munch Mondays discussion began to take up on inordinate amount of staff and restaurateur time,” said David Gouin, Economic Development and Housing Director.

The decision by the city wasn’t completely surprising to Street-Eatz and La Texanita mobile truck co-owner Jillian Dorman, but disappointing nonetheless. “Most of the customers I talked to today are really surprised it isn’t continuing because it was so successful,” she said. “I think its fair to say that we’re going to continue to do what we’re doing and we plan to continue to grow our business,” Dorman added.

As part of the Eat Fleet, a group of mostly local vendors participating in Munch Monday and Rohnert Park’s newly launched Tasty Tuesday, she said that the group continues to receive offers in other towns and locations including Sonoma, Healdsburg and will be at their usual spots around Santa Rosa the rest of the week. “People can check out our Facebook pages or websites to find where we are,” she said.

“It’s been so successful in other cities as an option for eating. I think in time it will be more accepted here,” Dorman concluded.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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144 Comments

  1. I hate to see the Mondays go. I liked the variety. And I think the B&M establishments should’ve stepped up their game, rather than whining. There are sadly very few eateries downtown that I will go out of my way for, and am more likely to hit up places more out of the way like Simply Vietnam or further up 4th like El Patio or SuperBurger in order to feel like I got my money’s worth.

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  2. Sure, Let these trucks park outside the businesses of Downtown Santa Rosa.

    Oh, By the way… I just bought a brand new RV, and I’m going to park it in your culdesac, I will live there, not pay property tax, and send my child to your school, and you’ll have the benefit of looking at my giant ugly RV in your pretty neighborhood for years to come.

    Peace out.

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  3. You are the stupidest group of people. If you want food trucks so bad, go drive to there location… Just like you’d have to do if you were going out to eat…

    And by the way, are these food trucks paying taxes? How much do they actually contribute to our community?

    For example: When I went over for MM, I was talking with the owner of a food truck who said he comes from Napa. While we were speaking i happened to noticed he was holding a big wad of cash, from all his recent transactions… It got me to thinking does this guy actually report every penny of that untraceable cash money to Uncle Sam, which in turn benefits our local community? Then I thought, maybe he’s just getting a free lunch in our community, taking our money back to Napa…

    I also have concerns of health code violations with these trucks, if they’re mobile how and when are they subject to health inspections? Are they reporting to the Sonoma County Health Board or the Napa Health Board…

    Note to the reporter: You are bad at your job, these questions should have been asked by you… Makes me wonder why I pay for the PD when there’s no real investigative journalism going on. Guess I’m just paying your bills. For now.

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    • These are great questions they are the same questions the owner of La Vera Pizza was asking. Yes the trucks/carts do accept cash! they all have business licenses in every city that they operate and do pay taxes.

      Dim Sum Charles has a cash register and I have never seen him or any of his employees walk around with a wad of cash. Forks also has a cash register. We pay our taxes. Dim Sum Charles also has to pay related fees to doing business in Sonoma County.

      We were just inspected by the Sonoma County Health department for our annual inspection. We were also inspect by the health department with an unannounced inspection just last week. We passed with flying colors. We have an inspection in Napa scheduled for today. Trucks and carts are inspected every time they do a major event, as well as paying event fees, fire department fees, necessary business licenses our annual health permit, liability insurance, workers comp, just to name a few. Yes we do pay into our community. The income we generate goes to paying employees and allowing the food cart venders to spend money in the community as well.

      Press Democrat, we all know you are doing a great job at coving the events of Munch Monday as well as the vending trucks and restaurants. Obviously you did your home work and realized there was no story to report regarding health violations.

      Hey, Smarter than you, now you have been enlightened on the subject. You can top hiding behind your alias. We are business people too.

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      • Dear Chicago Style Hotdogs,
        I am glad to hear you are paying your taxes and that you are passing your inspections. I think your food truck(s) can be a valuable asset(s) to the community, especially when you park in areas where there are no B&M restaurants. You provide a valuable service to people who otherwise will have to travel far to find a good meal.
        But my question is simple, why park your truck(s) right next door to 20 or so B&M restaurants. These B&M restaurant owners have invested years of their lives in their stationary locations. They do not have the ability to pick up their bricks and mortar and move down the street when business slows down in their location. By parking your truck(s) within a block of these restaurants you take away their business and risk putting them out of buisness. Parking spaces fill up with people driving downtown to partake of your food trucks. Customers trying to eat at the B&M restaurants cannot find parking and so go elsewhere. We don’t want to have more empty store fronts downtown, but this is what will happen if you take away the business of the B&Ms. There is a place for your food trucks and there is a stationary place for the B&Ms. Do you want the B&M restaurants to fail?

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      • I’m not sure who you are, and if the owner of La Vera was asking these questions then it’s nice to know someone else out there thinks the way I do.

        As for the food trucks, I don’t care if they’re out there.

        I was just pointing out some obvious flaws in the story, look up my handle on other PD articles, I tend to critique articles as a hobby. I am an advocate of investigative journalism, which seems to be a dyeing bread these days. If you’d like to know who I am, I am a full time student at the santa rosa junior college studding in journalism.

        I personally don’t think that the PD, as well as other news sources, have great investigative journalists. This is due partially to declining sells in news papers, which in turn creates cut backs for journalists in the field. I purpose questions that I would ask if I were the journalist. Call me crazy.

        Thanks for your input, but I’m not sure if you’re a creditable source.

        Best wishes,

        Robert Fisher

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        • <>

          Well I’ve got a masters in journalism, and it sends chills down my spine that you aspire to a career in journalism when you can’t spell dying breed (who wants to buy dyed bread?), and you label yourself a journalism stud (rather than someone studying it). You’re going to have to do better because papers don’t have the copyediting staffs they used to.

          Talk about lack of creditability. A good reporter would check his facts about food inspections before making accusations.

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    • Oh gimme a break! First of all it’s obvious you’re posting under a new name but you’re spouting the same falsehoods that Heather has already responded to fully earlier in this thread.

      Second, Heather is a food writer/blogger, not an investigative reporter. For someone proclaiming his superior intelligence, you’re not showing it here.

      Third, those of us who enjoy the truck food are already driving to the spots they do business, the point of MM was to have all them in one spot.

      Fourth it’s been well documented that the trucks pay taxes, are inspected etc. Again, someone with a superior intellect could ascertain this quite quickly and easily.

      And lastly, the food trucks are a different business model than a B&M restaurant. They are mobile restaurants with limited menus, limited hours and limited reach to potential customers. Yes the entry costs to this market are less than a B&M faces, but so is the profit potential. B&Ms pay more because they are open more days/hours, have a broader menu, can serve more customers, have more square footage etc. The food trucks are no different than the coffee carts one sees, oh horrors! Downtown, where they are going to run the cafes out of business! OMG!! We must eliminate them right away.

      Also no different than all the vendors at the downtown farmers market selling ready-to-eat food. Call in the calvary, they are big meanies who are not playing nice with the B&M restaurants.

      I will await the sure-to-be-coming campaign by the B&M restaurants to eliminate the farmers market downtown.

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      • My apologies, I didn’t read the entire thread, there’s a lot of posts. I was unaware that Heather, who I am guessing wrote the article in the PD had added commentary. I appreciate your input, and am happy that these questions have been addressed by the editor. Take care.

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  4. Kyle you are right let’s be fair to down town businesses they can’t afford to spend that kind of money or time and are asking for this. Look around the country it works!

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    • can someone please explain why the city promoted the food trucks but not all the taco trucks working in the area for years? What is the difference with these food trucks versus the taco trucks?

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  5. I want to open a produce stand in G&G’s parking lot…will you all sign my petition?

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    • That’s private property and G&G owners will probably run you off.

      The MM was on a public property parking lot.

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      • Ok…on the public sidewalk…you couldn’t have missed the point though, unless you’re as closed-minded and those fair and balanced folks on Fox…or are you really that good at fooling yourself?

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        • La Veras has a pizza cart on the public sidewalk…Dude, it’s late, go to bed.

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          • 2 things…I believe that your inability to understand the larger point is genuine on your part and…12:52 pm is the one during the lunch hour…you know, the one with the big bright light in the sky.

  6. I loved Lunch Monday. It was a nice, easy walk from my office. I got great food at a great price. I spent time with friends. I often wandered around downtown after and spent a few dollars on a coffee, a couple books, etc. Get the picture?

    La Vera’s – as a reward for killing this great community service, I will not longer spend my money at your restaurant. Your pizza is greasy anyway.

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    • I forgot – anyone been to downtown Portland recently? There are whole city blocks devoted to lunch carts. Some of the best street food I’ve ever had. And there are B & M restaurants, too.

      It’s about offering lots of different options.

      Thanks Santa Rosa, for stifling variety, creativity, competition, you name it. This is why Santa Rosa will continue to be only a second class, soulless city.

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      • Dunno…perhaps the problem has less to do with the city “stifling” it, than with it implementing it without the necessary preparation and cooperation in the first place…It’s not surprising that the restaurants reacted strongly…it’s their and their employee’s livelihoods at stake…kind of a big deal…look how snotty, self-righteous and petulant some people can be over “lunch”

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        • They should feel threatened. The food trucks offered something different, something the B&M restaurants are so protective of, their menus.

          Change the menu, change the price, offer good food, fast. Maybe you’ll start seeing customers again.

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          • I agree with what you say…in my experience, the downtown fare is lame and takes way too long for lunch…expensive too….many here pretend, though, that the “competition” is fair and that the restaurants were somehow out-of-line to protest. They decry their reaction yet react nastily, and punitively themselves…reading this string makes me embarrassed to be a human being. Beyond closed-minded…beyond childish. There’s only one side to this story and if you aren’t on it you should be punished. Sound like the “god hates you people”. There’s a better use of your intellect than choosing sides and disparaging the “other side” by dismissing their reality….and that’s even though we have a “right” to voice a strongly-held opinion no matter how closed-minded or ignorant we may be…get a grip…we’re talking about lunch, people

          • Ain’t no Grey, u miss a fundamental point. A few restaurants that felt threatened petitioned the city to close another business down and take away what the market wants. Lunch has nothing to do with it. The residents and general public want this but La Vera, Flavour and Mary,s did not because…people were enjoying it! It’s nothing more than understanding that it is downright un-American.

          • John…I address that fundamental point you claim I miss in three other posts…yes, the restaurants were reactionary…their and their employees ability to pay their mortgage and such was threatened. The many people on this blog are reactionary too…their lunch was threatened. If the claim is the “bigger picture” issue of “let the consumer decide”, then WalMart should be able to drive our local grocers out of business and anyone who disagrees should be BOYCOTTED!!! Many people here are being as tribal and one-sided as a Pat Buchanan or Newt Gingrich. This isn’t a high school football game where there are only two sides and it’s all about emotion. There are perhaps intelligent ways to better the food options in SR, but we’re not gonna get to them with all of this fundamentalist vitriol.

    • Such a mean post. Is it that big a deal that a response like this is necessary??

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    • Can I park my taco truck in the parking lot next to La Texinita??

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      • Absolutely, and if the food is better and cheaper at La Texinita the truck will drive away.

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  7. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard to limit individuals opening businesses because they might be successful! This feels like it must be an infringement of the mobile vendors rights. I hope they stand up for themselves and pursue this issue to the end!!!

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  8. If the B&M restaurants had better FOOD, this would have been a win-win for all. More people downtown is a good thing. I don’t generally eat downtown because the food by and large is pricey and not that tasty. Munch Mondays made me wander downtown when I normally wouldn’t, and in fact I would take the opportunity to go to other stores after lunch. Duh.

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  9. Whether or not Munch Monday takes business away from the B&M businesses they were not invited to discuss it. It was an event that was FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED by the city and the restaurant owners were not consulted on the planning. I can see why some of them would be upset.

    I think a better location for a Munch Monday group would be the Empire College/Bank of the Redwoods parking lot. That part of SR has very few quick, quality eateries and there are a lot of people in those buildings serviced by the lot, not only the college and the bank offices but also a large portion of the County Superior Court offices and courtrooms. Many people go in and out of that area all day: jurors, students, administrators, attorneys, customers etc. Just on the other side of the freeway is a whole bunch more County buildings.

    Or what about somewhere on Dutton Ave where there are all those office buildings and no food?

    My point is that they should go where there are a lot of people and not a lot of food vendors. Downtown already has lots of food vendors, delis, and sit-down restaurants and it was unfair of the city to give a free ride to the Munch Monday without first consulting/warning/talking to the surrounding businesses.

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    • Financially supported meaning they gave them permits? I’m not really sure I agree that qualifies as any kind of serious “financial support”. They also ran a joint campaign promoting the downtown restaurants as part of the deal.

      The county just financially supported a huge campaign for restaurant week, which brought a lot of people out to brick and mortars. i don’t hear anyone talking about that.

      I feel like there continues to be a lot of misinformation flying around —
      the trucks DO go to a lot of other locations other than downtown the rest of the week. Please look at their schedules, and you’ll see that they’re in the Executive Center in Roseland, Airport Way, on the west side of SR, in Napa and locations throughout the county. This was ONE stop during the week.

      And the point was that people downtown need choices. I patronize the very awesome 4th St. Deli (the nicest people and some of the best food downtown!), Mr. Pickle’s, an Ausiello’s hamburger, a slice of La Vera pizza or a quick Rueben at Mac’s a lot of days. But I can’t do it EVERY DAY. Most of us don’t have the time or money for longer lunches at sit down spots like Flavor or Rendez Vous, though I patronize them as well when I have a special occasion. I liked having another “quick lunch” option one day a week.

      Like I’ve said a thousand times, I ate more downtown since January because I walked through downtown on Monday to the trucks, saw some tasty grub and came back another day to the brick and mortars. I stopped at the bookstore or I’d get a coffee. I actually went in a couple stores I’d never even been in. That’s my experience. I think others had the same experience. If I now have to drive somewhere else to get my agedashi or La Texanita’s awesome burritos, guess what? I’m not going to be anywhere near downtown. Who does that benefit?

      There was a lot of reaction to the first couple of weeks when the trucks were a novelty. That novelty would have worn off, and the trucks would have kept a solid crowd, but i don’t think to a significant detriment of the b+Ms. Maybe i’m wrong. That’s just my feeling on this.

      MY goal is to try and talk to some of the restaurants and see if there isn’t some way to find a solution that would bring the trucks back — maybe once a month or something — in a coordinated effort. I’m not sure they’ll listen. But I hope we can continue a dialogue for the betterment of eaters in santa rosa.

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      • No! How dare you insinuate that there be some sort or “reasoned” approach to this?!
        The downtown restaurants are evil and we should band together to destroy their’ and their’ employees livelihoods. The fact that these restaurants expenses don’t allow them to compete is as irrelevant as Olivers or Pacific Markets’ inability to compete with WalMart…It’s unreasonable to think that I should care about the community more than I do about my Dim Sum

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      • can we stop calling it agedashi?? It’s agedashi tofu, please. Thank you.

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      • sure is easy to spew mean posts when none of you are restaurant owners trying to make rent payments in this city that is broke. It’s not like the downtown restaurants are making a bundle of cash and thriving.

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        • If you’re implying that we should put ourselves in your shoes and recognize facts that are inconsistent with our feelings, I’m afraid you’re wasting your breath…my feelings are far more valid than any of your facts.

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      • I would like to know what the actual goal of the MM is/was. What are they REALLY trying to accomplish? Is it to bring business downtown? Is it mainly to provide food?

        If it’s main goal is to BRING BUSINESS downtown, or keep people from leaving, I think it might have done a small amount of that, based on some of the comments. It may have also taken some customers away from the restaurants, also based on some of the comments, but both are hard to gauge. Perhaps if this was the main goal a once a month would be better than every week and on a different day. On Mondays there are already people downtown during the day. A better day to “draw” people downtown would be a day when there are traditionally fewer people coming to downtown, like Sunday afternoon, when several of the restaurants are closed anyway.

        If its MAIN goal is to PROVIDE FOOD I don’t think it is a good setting because of the high density and variety of eating establishments already in place. A much better location would be a business park or light industrial area (Empire College or Dutton Ave business parks) where there is a large amount of daytime workers that would normally have driven away from their jobs for food.

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    • What are you saying? Does the city have to run public policy by the restaurant cartel before they can make a decision that serves the interest of the greatest number of people? What an entiteled bunch of whiners. Maybe if the city passes a law that forces citizens to eat their over-priced slop they will finally quit sniveling.

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  10. I want what I want when I want it!!! I don’t care what anyone else thinks the facts are. i dismiss anyone else’ opinion as irrelevant if they don’t agree with me. I distrust their motives and wish them ill fortune. This way of looking at things has served me well since I was a toddler and I’m not about to change it. I am right…ALWAYS…if you don’t agree with me you are not only wrong, but your intentions are evil.

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  11. The Santa Rosa City Council is corrupt. They shouldn’t allow the vendors to operate for free. They don’t have to pay for parking and I do WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWTTTTTTTTTTTTTTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

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    • Let the consumer decide. Look at the photos. Lots of people there. They decide where to spend their money. Moving it will not benifit the consumers.

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  12. canceling munch monday makes me sad bc i LOVED going here with my friend & our four littles a few weeks ago when our children had a school day off. the good food + good prices + good people and the space for our littles to have the freedom to play instead of bothering other diners while we waited for our food was wonderful.

    i would also like to add that we as a family support financially over four regular restaurants downtown on a monthly basis, sometimes dining there 2-3 times each. so to say we personally wouldn’t visit b&m’s bc of munch monday isn’t true.

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  13. I think its a sad state of affairs when affordable, good food is not welcomed in this economy! If the brick and mortar eateries are that threatened maybe they should buy their own truck or lower their sit down, eat in prices! Finally Santa Rosa was doing something to boost the economy and foot traffic in the downtown area and went running scared when this idea was met with controversy. Shame on you!

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    • Shame is right…it’s just like those awful people who want to keep Walmart from selling food cheaper than Olivers and Pacific Market…it’s just “competition” right? The playing field is “level” if it works for me because I’m the center of the universe… Olivers and such should just lower their prices…right?

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  14. As a downtown resident I have to say it is a shame to take away the food trucks. I never ate lunch at the downtown restaurants anyway. too expensive, too time consuming. I do sometimes have dinner though.
    I tell you what I am not going to eat downtown until the trucks are back. It is only one day a week during lunch. It brings people downtown, and a little competition is good. I love walking to the trucks with my kids, I for one will miss them.

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  15. Once again, the “usual suspects” that run this town have struck out at the little guys who work hard, takes risks and are creative. Same type of sham that happened to the Rialto. I say boycott down town and the so-called “Summerfield Theaters”.

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  16. The recent food forum highlighted the need for people to work together on issues like these.
    The success of combining the food trucks with a farmers market in RP is a good example.
    While it wouldn’t be Munch Monday — Santa Rosa has a Wednesday farmers market at the Vets Bldg
    The market is already considering extending hours – you can already get a great lunch at the market from
    Mi Fiesta, Lata’s and Mateo Ganados…
    One could get an inexpensive lunch prepared from local ingredients and shop for dinner at the same time.

    perhaps something can be worked out there

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  17. I loved Munch Monday the one time I went. I have alternate Mondays off and it was nice to drive in and get a different lunch, then browse the 4th street shops and spend money. I also eat at the downtown B&Ms on occasion and that pattern didn’t change for me. Frequently, my staff would walk over from their Mendocino office site, getting some exercise as well as a fun lunch experience.

    That said, the lack of tables and amenities did make it a little inconvenient. I agree with posters who have said there are other business neighborhoods in Santa Rosa that could benefit from this great idea. I also discovered, as a result of Munch Monday, that several of the food trucks are on the internet and I can find them wherever they are. That is good for them; not so good for the health of people or the state of the air as downtowners will now need to get in a car and drive rather than walk to this festival-like lunch destination.

    I think the people of Santa Rosa, local food champions and the food truck owners will find a way to turn this experiment into a success. City councils aren’t what make cities successful after all; citizens are.

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    • “City councils aren’t what make cities successful after all; citizens are.”

      Well said.

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  18. The pizza place downtown, La Vera next to Marys was one of the bigger complainers. Oddly, they have a pizza cart on the street! How is it that they are allowed to do this? More import, why didn’t they participate to see if it would help their business? Maybe they saw the food trucks as a way to vent about their own declining business? But why, pray tell, could they not contribute…they have a pizza cart? Doesn’t the city find that, and the “work” they had to put in servicing their complaint odd? Im shocked that they stubbornly refused to be a part of something that was clearly successful, the people wanted…I for one will never eat there again.

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    • The issue is that they were not invited. None of the downtown businesses were. The city chose to pay out of town venders instead of asking local businesses, who would have done it for free. Get your facts straight.

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      • Peter that is incorrect they were asked to be involved, in-fact were with the cities promotion.

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      • Peter, This is not the case. They refused to be a part of it.

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    • I don’t like how La Vera’s cart and extended sidewalk dining intrudes on the flow of the sidewalk.

      Time to complain about that.

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    • If I’m a taco truck owner I’m mad because the city never promoted my truck. why??

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  19. Competition is great, but you’re playing with the livelihood of Peoples business’s downtown. Maybe the Press should do an article on how some of these rolling infestations deal with the waste and cleaning of these mobile facilities.
    I have one that parks next to one of my rentals, our tenants and their neighbors have reported rodents and insect populations growing from these trucks being parked close by. Our exterminator service commented that they have also had additional problems where these trucks have been stored. If they are creating such a problem parked overnight I wonder how safe the food really can be.

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    • Playing with the livelihood of people downtown? Ummmm what about La Vera? They were one of the chief complainers! Any reason they refused to try out and participate to see if it would help their business before blindly screaming at the city to shut it down? They have their own pizza cart on the street! Michael, it’s obvious your one of those restaurants that have complained…nice try with you “infestations” and such…be real, your just trying to make them out into something they are not…which restaurant do you own…what a poser! Nice try!

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    • Michael, your obviously one of those restaurants that have a problem with it. Rather than creating a fake alias to say things that are not true, why don’t you just discuss your point of view openly. It’s really bad form and very unethical to do what your doing here.

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  20. I usually don’t read all of these kind of comments, and rarely write one, but since I did read these I must chime in. First, it’s clear that only a few restauranteurs raised a stink about the added competition, and that caused the city to cancel the Monday lunch munch. I like Bill’s take on the trucks. He’s even open to trying their fare himself. Good on him. As for the restaurants that ranted, you probably didn’t lose any customers, the folks that went to Munch Mondays were not “your” customers, just adjust your menu on Monday and compete. Read the writing on the wall, times are changing, change with them or be a part of history.

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    • Agreed! I’ll post the names of the restaurants that complained and the public can judge for themselves. After all, what the few restaurants who did complain want, is NOT to be made known…shameful. Well change that. Stand by..

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  21. Just when I had a reason to going downtown again, the city takes away another good thing.

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  22. Very disappointed the trucks aren’t being welcomed with open arms anymore. I agree that the event brought people to the downtown area to rediscover some stores and even restaurants. How is Munch Monday that different from the Wednesday Night Market? Some restaurants sell food and local food booths are everywhere too. Why didn’t the restaurants complain about this also? I loved the idea of being able to get a great meal for under $10- I can’t get a great meal for under that downtown. Boo on downtown restaurants- you have become too elitist for me.

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  23. The restaurants downtown are a breath of fresh air for Santa Rosa. When I walk or drive downtown I see a thriving restaurant culture that has blossomed compared to what it was 15 years ago. The fact that this blog has been dominated by a highly organized vocal group of people who speak with such vulgar disregard towards the good people who have invested several years of their lives in downtown Santa Rosa makes me think that the food trucks really must be kept out of the downtown area. Let them go where they will not injure people who have invested so much in providing steady jobs and a wonderful environment for having a nice lunch or dinner downtown. Those who say they see nothing good in the downtown restaurants obviously don’t know or frequent the restaurants and shops downtown and thus it is no loss if they stay away from the downtown. Leave those parking spaces open for the people who want to support and enjoy all the wonderful downtown B&M businesses.

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  24. This is nothing more then an ‘ol fashion turf war. It’s rather typical of downtown businesses to do something like this. I lost respect for them years ago. I don’t even go down there anymore.

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  25. thank you all for the support. Tasty Tuesday is a great event in Rohnert Park and we are working on a similar event in Sebastopol, most likely to take place on Thursdays as early as the end of this month. For all those who do not know, running a truck is costly, we pay all the fees,sales tax, insurances, including permit fees. We all bought fire permits,etc, for Munch Monday. This one was an experiment sponsored by the city for their sit down and stand up campaign and, if well received, we were to pay any permit fees required for our 2 1/2 hours a week stint. Not being well received, we will move on and find another space. I applaud the city for giving it a go, they worked hard (thanks Raissa) and I know are not happy with this outcome. They also work hard to bring events to Santa Rosa to promote the area restaurants (Tour of CA, etc) As far as trash, we removed all our trash and more, we also personally talked up area businesses. It was neat to see the excitement and we are not going away, just moving to where we can work together in a forward thinking mindset. We will miss you all but know this will continue elsewhere, and soon! Peace..Peace!!!

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  26. Perhaps the problem for Munch Monday was not having the backing of the bicycle coalition. The Humboldt bike boulevard “experiment” kept getting extended, for 18 months, at a huge cost to the city in staff time and dollars, but the city can’t extend Munch Monday past eight weeks, because it is too time-consuming for staff?

    That’s messed up.

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  27. I do not go to downtown due to traffic and paid parking. I’m glad that the food trucks are now out of downtown and possibly go to a place where I go — Santa Rosa Vet’s parking lot is not so bad.

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  28. There are an awful lot of vacant storefronts in downtown Santa Rosa so it’s hard to understand why anyone would oppose something that attracts people to the often ghost-town like atmosphere that downtown has acquired.

    SR is suppose to be one of the food capitals in the country and something as simple as a one-a-week food event was turned into the plague by a few restaurateurs. MAKE SOME NOISE people or we’re going to see more vacancies in our out-dated downtown food scene.

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  29. As a Santa Rosa resident and a person that eats out alot, I find it sad that there were a small group of restaurants that opposed this great opportunity and had the power to shut it down before it really even got started. As all of us know, we need to bring new experiences to our community and this was a great one. Friendly people enjoying a meal together, more downtown shopping because “hey, were here, lets walk around” and commeraderie for 1 lunch time period a week.

    I would like to suggest opening up discussion again in regards to this opportunity and see if there isn’t another solution to keep Munch Mondays in Santa Rosa. The Veterans Building is an excellent idea with all the great parking as is over on the huge open parking area at Administration Drive and Mendocino. All those people in those building need to get in a car and drive to lunch…not a very good “small footprint” approach.

    This CAN work. I encourage the businesses that were making people happy the first time around, just give it another try. It’s a win/win for everyone.

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  30. Way to go downtown restaurants. I work right on Third Street and the downtown restaurants do not offer anything new or different and haven’t for the 10 years I’ve worked there. All of the restaurants are relics of the past and have brought nothing new to the downtown lunch crowd in years. Munch Mondays offered a quick, take-away meal for less than $10, a service that cannot be found elsewhere. Dim Sum Charlies for example, Ting-Hao is no competition. It wasn’t taking money away from you, I wasn’t going to spend it at your place anyway!

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    • Amen!!! Our customers tell us they come just for munch monday, but then go into downtown and spend there money. While there they are reminded of the many restaurants and go there when they are interested in a sit down meal. Revitalize not monopolize!

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      • I agree there is room for both, and now people will not spend money after Munch Monday’s, so sad to see it gone!

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  31. I know of a perfect spot for the lunch trucks. There is a hugh unused parking lot in Roseland where Albertsons and the bowling alley used to be. This would far enough away from downtown to not have much effect on the restuarants that pay rent in buildings. Plus there are already existing carts there.

    Also, if you travel further down Sebastopol road towards Fulton, there is a brand new center with about 50 vacant store fronts. Why don’t the lunch truck people get together and negotiate a cheap rent down there?

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    • all the folks who keep proposing alternate locations like the vets hall, roseland, etc.? they’re missing the point. the downtown spot makes sense because of the high number of folks who are already downtown for other business–or will stay for other business; the walkability factor is key. having to drive to a location just for lunch totally defeats the purpose.

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      • Totally agree…… driving to far out for most business people located downtown SR just wont happen. And their not going to sit down at a restaurant downtown and wait for service spend more money and go back to work. SR has to wake up and start moving in a direction that the public rallies for.. These Food trucks are storming the US from NY to LA to SF…and more!!

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  32. Seems the downtown shops have succeeded in cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Munch Mondays was a wonderful opportunity for people to come downtown, grab a quick bite and explore everything else the area has to offer. Perhaps even seeing an interesting looking restaurant and deciding to come back and give it a try on another day… Fear of change does strange things to people.

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  33. BOYCOTT THE DOWNTOWN PLACES THAT LEAD TO THIS. CRYING BABIES.

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  34. Why is everybody so upset? These mobile food trucks were given a chance, the response was positive and they will find a site in the future on neutral ground. As far as boycotting downtown restaurants. Come on you folks who threaten never ate at them to begin with. There’s room for everybody if things are done correctly this time.

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  35. I think I whall be too busy to eat downtown for the next couple months. I shall be elsewhere, anywhere else.

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  36. There it will is your empty parking lot! Let’s be clear it is not the city they fought a good fight for the trucks. Thank you Riasa for trying. We are not gone Chicago Style hot dogs is still down town http://www.chicagostylehotdogs.com and we will be starting some off the hook events like food truck Friday in napa check it out great dinning and fin for all!

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  37. I think I shall be much too busy to eat lunch downtown for the next month or so. Have to be elsewhere… any where else.

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  38. Let’s change it to brown bag Monday!

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    • There you go, let’s all brown bag our lunch on mondays and gather at the same parking lot!

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      • That’d be great…I trust you folks will bring the whine

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      • I love you guys:}

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  39. I can understand some of the points the downtown business have made against this. However, they should get innovative and launch their own brand. I can’t understand why they could not simply offer them a location that would not create a problem. To shut it down completely is lame.

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  40. It isn’t a loss.

    Ugly place to eat lunch.

    Food that’s impossible to eat without being seated at a table.

    No place to wash your hands.

    Excessive amounts of trash.

    It’s a fad and it’s over.

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    • your funny

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  41. So that’s La Vera, Rendezvous, La Bufa, and Flavor that we can avoid. Can we get a list of those restaurants that were opposed to the trucks and start opposing them?

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    • You should try running a business in these hard times! Lots of business areas in S.R. don’t have restaurants and that is where these mobile food trucks should be. I’m just saying let’s be fair to established downtown businesses.

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    • what do you do for a living?? why all these malicious posts about downtown restaurants. They barely make it thru the winter season. None of you even support the restaurants downtown to begin with being that you’re too cheap.

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    • “Join it if you’re not against competition, innovation, good food, and great prices.”

      Fair enough…

      I want to live in a tent in your neighborhood park and use the bathroom in your house…join my webpage if you’re not against fair-housing, competition with housebuilders, freedom of choice in lifestyle and reducing our carbon footprint.

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      • BTW…that bathroom of yours’ better be ADA compliant or we’ll throw you out of your house until you spend the money to bring it into compliance

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  42. I completely applaud the City of Santa Rosa for not supporting interesting affordable food. Besides, what this city needs is a pretentious, overpriced burger bar. I think Third Street between Mendocino and D would be the perfect location.

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    • Oh no you didn’t

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  43. I find the Fact that the City does not have time for this?
    It’s time we find a City that has time for the people!
    Not worrying about how soon they can get back home!

    I loved the ease of eating while meeting with the public.
    And I must say I loved the food and air!
    But yet another good treat goes to the ! We don’t have time folks.
    Your not that important, we have to get home you know!

    Maybe we will remember them when voting time comes!
    Sorry I just don’t have time for you right now.

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    • The City was FOR the event, genius, but there aren’t staff exclusively for Munch Mondays. Blame the restaurant owners who made a stink, not the City staff who fought to keep it. Yes, please do go away.

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  44. Boycotting downtown restaurants ABSOLUTELY IS NOT FAIR.

    I know exactly who raised the biggest stinks, and there were only a handful of them. Others were swept up in the heat of the issue (understandably concerned) and a number that were never involved at all.

    I urge people to continue to patronize downtown restaurants that deserve your patronage and I fully agree that the free market will decide. There are some great values downtown and very deserving and wonderful owners who need your help more than ever. There are also some squirrels that don’t. Use your fork to make that vote.

    The trucks will survive despite this. Yes, I’m bummed too that they aren’t staying. I personally feel that if given time to shake out, their presence would have been a boon to the downtown merchants and restaurants. And please also don’t direct all your anger toward the city. I was there at the beginning, and I believe that Econ Dev acted on good faith, hoping to bring fresh new ideas downtown. Things could have been handled better in the communication department on all sides and mistakes were made. But you know what? WE TRIED! And I give everyone credit for that.

    In the end, we need to be on the side of good eating. Not reactionaries. That is what BiteClubbers do.

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    • It’s hard to eat when a few bad apples spoil the bunch.

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    • I understand where your coming from Heather but you also have to be unbiased & political due to your job. I’ve been in the food business since i was 11 & I’ve learned a lot about what people say in your position, public “and” private. Your entitled to your opinion as am i & understand why you would need to be political with your opinion. You could loose your job.

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      • I don’t have to be unbiased. In fact, my job is all about having an opinion about the local food scene.

        I am not approaching this from a hard news angle nor am I writing about this subject for the news side of the paper. I’m a blogger. It would be problematic, say, if I had an economic stake in the question or was being paid to represent sides. I’m not. And if you read what I’ve said all along, my only “politics” are for the edible future of Santa Rosa. I’m not for or against restaurant or truck. Both sides have valid points and have made mistakes. I am passionate and I make no apologies about feeling that the decision to shut the event down was done a bit hastily and concede that maybe the event was approved too hastily.

        I am the most apolitical person on the planet. But I’m paid to have opinions and to voice them. Trust me, my boss is reading everything that happens here.

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  45. Once again they prove themselves “Santa Rosa — the City Designed for YESTERDAY’s Living”.

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  46. This issue is extremely simple…just like the planet’s climate. My side is right and those people’s side is wrong…their concerns are invalid…only my opinion matters, because it’s so obviously right…to me…and that’s all that matters. I may sound self-righteous, but my self-righteousness is not the same as those other people’s self-righteousness…because my side is right. You can’t tell me anything!

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  47. boo, Santa Rosa. boooo. I never came into town for lunch, so none of the b&m restaurants “lost” my business. But the food trucks brought me (and my mom) into town two times. and during that time I went to the bookstore, bought coffee and paid for parking… and now you’ve lost that business. Good job Santa Rosa, good job.

    Hey Rohnert Park, I’ll see you on Tuesdays, instead.

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    • Agree…..I’m off on Mondays, drove and met my daughter there, who also drove in. We parked paid for our spot and walked around afterwards. If I had Tuesday off I would go to RP….I’m near Napa on Fridays….will go there and the city of Napa will get my money.

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  48. LAME. Santa Rosa just bends to the whining downtown reataurants. One Lunchtime a week, REALLY? WOW, very selfish. I WILL NEVER be going to downtown restaurants again, BOYCOTT! How come all the other cities, big and small, don’t have a problem with these wonderful food trucks. Santa Rosa is behind the times. Thanks to our local d——bag politicians for giving in :0(

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  49. The B&M buildings really didn’t stand out anyway. As far as my count goes, 4th street alone has 3 places that sell pizza & 1 more on 3rd. As far as i know, 4th street has 3 Italian eateries as well. GET CREATIVE B&M buildings!!! I am SOOOO glad i moved to Healdsburg on Jan 1st to specifically get out of this crappy town! And you charge for parking EVERYWHERE! Sad thing as well is your parking garages operate 24/7 now. No wonder why the food trucks were such an awesome & novel idea. Great food fast, very little to pay as far as parking & much more variety packed into a small place. Good riddance B&M’s

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  50. I disagree with most of the respondents. There are a number of good restaurants with reasonable prices and good service. All the restaurants want is a level playing field. When someone comes in (and in some cases from out of the county) and is subsidized by the city by receiving free space and not required to pay for a permit then that’s not fair for the established business. I do agree with the respondent that suggested go to areas where there are few if any resturants, but htey should have to
    pay for the proper permits and get the permisson of the property owner to park their trucks. I just don’t understand why hurting business that have invested in downtown isn’t wrong.

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    • Name them.

      Only one food truck was from out of the county (Charlie’s). The rest were from here.

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    • Is one lunch day a week really hurting the B&M’s? Really?

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    • Nice try, but you might just as well be a Liberal on the Fox Network, Buddy

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  51. What is this? Is it about vengeance now? Talking about single out restaurants that opposed the idea to boycotting them? This the US of A people and yes it is a free market that some of you have pointed out. I actually applaud the B&M for fighting and taking back their turf. Wouldn’t you if you were them? Move on people! It was a bad execution on the part of the city for putting it in that location. If they have put it by the Prince memorial gateway, Veteran memorial building or the county center on Mendocino and Administration drive vacant lot then it would not have been an issue. Instead it was “in your face” to the downtown B&M.

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    • I would change my restaurant to cater to those who are working downtown: Fast service, lower prices, good food for lunch. The B&M restaurants make most of their $ during dinner.

      If the whiny restaurant can’t take competition, it’s time for them to pack up and get out. Let another restaurateur who can take the heat move in. Again, free market rules.

      Without competition, we’d all still have only one phone company, AT&T, wait…

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    • For the first time in ages, downtown became a food destination because of Munch Mondays. Some B+Ms said this once a week event (on the slowest day) was unfair. The city said it was too much work. Next Monday, I’ll get in my car and have lunch in Sebastopol or RP, where both the restaurants and civic leaders are less dickish.

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  52. Good for Bill, he is right on in his statements, if your B&M business is hurting there is probably a good reason. If you make food I enjoy, I visit and no food truck will take it’s place

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  53. This shortsightedness on the part of Downtown B&M restaurants has sealed the deal for me on my lack of interest in ever supporting them. 

    Lack of business in these downtown establishments is just as likely caused by the revolving door of staff and arrogant Restauranteurs. 

    This is very reminiscent of local grocery stores squeezing out the much loved truck farmers that used to be common in Santa Rosa in the late 70s and early 80s. 

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    • I agree 100%,the lunch trucks should be allowed,they give diversity to the lunch crowd.what is wrong with you Santa Rosa.!!!! ??????

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  54. If I owned a restaurant in the area, I would have opposed it, too.

    Why not move the venue to Coddingtown parking lot, or somewhere near the JC? How about Sutter Hosptial or Kaiser? To be successful they just need parking and hungry people, and minimal brick and mortar restaurants.

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    • The food trucks were successful right where they were. The ones who are made are the B&M restaurants.

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  55. Disappointed. Now I will never get the chance to try the food. Probably much better than some of the other overpriced places in town.

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  56. I own Superburger downtown and I liked the trucks coming downtown. I like to eat out and pick up some new menu ideas from some free-thinking chefs that are not afraid to take some chances and explore. I’ll bet that if someone took a real poll of brick and mortar restaurant owners that most don’t really care. I know that I don’t and these trucks are competing directly in my restaurant category. My guess is that a vocal minority of downtown restaurant owners that aren’t doing well are the biggest spoilers of this food party. I always believe that if your restaurant isn’t doing well that you need to look at your food and service. Look in the mirror It’s that simple. Competition has always been around, what makes some fun food trucks downtown different?

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    • Absolutly,Its only one day a week,& for lunch time only,sooo.. what is the BIG deal????.Its not going to break the resturants,they are doing a fine job all on thier own.

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      • Not only that but whatever happened to there’s enough business for everyone. If the stationary businesses have good food and good service they shouldn’t have to worry about it.

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  57. Very unfortunate, I hadn’t yet gone and was planning on it next week – anyone know if Tasty Tuesday is still happening in Rhonert Park?

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    • We will be out in full force, rain or shine. Rohnert Park Expressway and Snyder, 11am to 3pm. Also has a farmers market. Hope to see you there.

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  58. Does anyone at the city have any you know whats to stand up to the controversy? Seriously! Get it together people! This is the most embarrassing thing for Santa Rosa! I hope no other cities hear about this. Let’s keep it quiet…….

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  59. Santa Rosa is so behind the times, the food truck craze appears to be taking off from coast to coast, leave it the Santa Rosa powers that be to throw another good idea onto the trash heap,,FAIL

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  60. The city should have just left it and let the restaurants deal with it. Munch Mondays was a good thing for Santa Rosa, for the economy we are in, for the citizens of Santa Rosa. Just because a little competition came in and took customers away they cried like babies, do they know what economy we are in? I say everyone pack a lunch until Much Mondays comes back! I agree with W above where is the free market oh wait nothing is free because a dozen restaurant owners have to ruin it for everyone else that works downtown, thanks again. What makes them greater than I?

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  61. That is such a shame. I for one was looking forward to trying the Munch Monday delights. I can see how the local restuarants would feel threatened so I think that there is a real simple solution to the problem..re-locate Munch Monday. A central location, every Monday with plenty of parking. I think the Santa Rosa Veterans Building would be ideal. Let’s try to find a way to keep Munch Mondays alive!!!

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  62. Yep, the far-sighted vision of Santa Rosa shoots down another good thing. Yes, the food industry has suffered greatly in Portland with their huge food cart influx. Well, bye-bye downtown lunches !

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  63. Extremely disappointed by this short-sighted decision. Fortunately, I was able to check out Munch Monday once and it was really fun and a great, once-a-week alternative to the regular (and boring) options. Although I live downtown and love walking to local spots, the brick and mortars negative and petty response to the food trucks has left a sour taste in my mouth. I will be reconsidering my choices for meals out in the future.

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  64. What a way to shut down innovation. Happy now, B&M restaurants? Why don’t you innovate and change instead of being stuck in a protectionism state of mind? Hey, welcome to the FREE MARKET.

    Which restaurants were they that opposed this fresh, new idea, so we can boycott?

    Did you feel entitled because you paid rent and had a “prime” downtown SR location? Didn’t get a cut of the action?

    Parking problems? That’s a BS answer. There are almost a dozen city owned parking lots, none of them near capacity. Then there’s the Plaza’s massive lots.

    Other cities, such as San Francisco, have a vibrant food truck community. Off The Grid, for example, is the best pilot program I’ve ever seen.

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    • You said: “Which restaurants were they that opposed this fresh, new idea, so we can boycott?”

      I say, why not just boycott them all? It’s not like any of them are any good – the places that have tolerable food have terrible service or they’re overpriced. They are all too slow for a half-hour lunch break so I never went for lunch anyway. Food trucks are so much better – a nice variety, tasty food, cheap, and fast. Give me a roach coach any day!

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      • mobile food? wow. no thank you. i’d rather hit up jack in the box at 4 in the morning..better quality..less gasoline ..what happened to “going local” ?

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