Belleville residents divided over new food truck plans

Belleville, Illinois – A controversial proposition to introduce “Food Truck Days” at Shoehorn Brewing in Belleville has sparked debate among local businesses. While Mike Johnson, owner of the brewery, seeks city council approval for the initiative, concerns have been raised regarding potential impacts on established establishments.

Johnson’s proposal envisions hosting a single food truck outside his business every Tuesday evening (5-9 PM) and Sunday (12-9 PM) from March to November. However, this request clashes with Belleville’s current regulations, which generally prohibit food trucks in the Downtown district except with special permits.

Bennie Parr, owner of Bennie’s Pizza and Pub, expressed concerns about the potential consequences of the proposal. Having witnessed the recent growth of Downtown Belleville, Parr fears that allowing food trucks could lead to “uncontrolled” developments. He emphasizes the additional tax levied on Downtown businesses and stresses the need for stricter regulations to safeguard existing ventures if the proposal gains traction.

The city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening will serve as a crucial platform for discussing this proposal. To date, Belleville does not have a significant food truck presence compared to other cities in the area. However, this could change over the next year. The decision made by the council will have significant implications for both the brewery and the broader Downtown business landscape.