Vernon BC: we need more food carts in the Okanagan

Vernon needs a place for food carts

Downtown Vernon doesn’t really have a take-out food scene. Want a slice of pizza? You’re out of luck. Gourmet hot dog? Sorry.

You can order “to go” from some of the local restaurants, but there’s nothing like the food cart culture that’s developed in Portland, Oregon.

The opportunity

Since March, the Vernon Art Gallery has been running a pop-up exhibition on the corner of 31st Avenue & 31st Street downtown Vernon, BC. It features large shipping containers for the gallery, and a little square in front with benches.

It’s a great corner. It’s on the plaza that links the downtown bus stop and City Hall, and has a great walking path that goes right by it.

My friend Andrew at Ratio Coffee has a specialty coffee cart set-up there, and he’s just starting to get traction.

The bad news? When the exhibition is done, the shipping containers are being given away, and Andrew will have to move.

But this site has tremendous potential. Once the gallery is gone, why couldn’t the City of Vernon convert it into a plaza for food carts? The shipping containers could remain, and provide vendors with night-time storage (or even seating when the weather gets bad).

Food carts have been an economic boost for Portland: tourists from around the world are attracted to the city because of it’s vibrant food culture.

Right now, there’s a great opportunity to do something similar in Vernon. Out for a walk downtown? Now you have a place where it’d be easy to grab a quick bite.

What do you think of a “Food Cart Square” in Vernon, BC?

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