Money Watchers: Pawtucket aims to be more food truck friendly

Food trucks have proven to be a popular draw in many cities and towns.

Regulations in Providence have been allowing trucks like Portu-Galo, mobile Portuguese cuisine, and Rocket, fine street food, to do business in the city.

"Food trucks can really help draw a crowd," said Patricia Natter, of Rocket.

"I think it's good news for any city to open up their regulations for a food truck," said Levi Medino, of Portu-Galo.

But moving to other cities has been a bit more difficult.

Pawtucket is now revising its rules on food trucks to become more competitive with other cities.

Right now, the Portu-Galo and Rocket food trucks couldn't sell in Pawtucket on any given day unless they have a special permit for a specific event because they don't own a business or a home in the city.

"It's all about activity and getting people. And if you don't have reason to stay in one place, you leave. So if you can come and have an event under the bridge and have five food trucks, you don't need to leave to get something to eat and you can stay," said Dylan Zelazo, who works for the mayor's office.

It has proven to be a problem in areas looking to grow and build community, like Pawtucket. But the city is trying to change that.

For the past few years, food trucks have been in high demand in Kennedy Plaza. But will there be the same sort of demand in Pawtucket?

"We're a Portuguese food truck and there are a lot of Portuguese people in Pawtucket. So I think it would be a good market for us to check it out," Medino said.

"We get a lot of requests to do events in Pawtucket, even small events like art gallery openings, but we have to say no because we're not permitted in Pawtucket, which is kind of a shame," Natter said.

Natter said she'd be more likely to come to Pawtucket with the changing rules.