Beaver Donuts v. City of Evanston challenged city code that prohibited all food trucks in Evanston, except those operated by owners of existing brick-and-mortar establishments. The Liberty Justice Center challenged the city code on the grounds that it did not protect health, safety or welfare, but instead protected brick-and-mortar establishments from competition.
The excerpt below is from an article by Brian L. Cox that appeared August 8, 2012, in the Chicago Tribune.
James Nuccio and Gabriel Wiesen want to sell gourmet doughnuts and coffee from their colorful food truck on the streets of Evanston. But a 2010 ordinance only allows businesses that have “bricks and mortar” restaurants in Evanston to venture onto city streets with a food truck.
Nuccio and Wiesen, the owners of Chicago-based Beavers Coffee & Donuts, announced Tuesday that they have filed a lawsuit they hope will force the city to allow them to roll into Evanston. A city official said the law was crafted so that existing restaurants would not be harmed by mobile vendors swooping in to gobble up customers.
The Liberty Justice Center filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, asking the court to strike down the ordinance as anti-competitive and unconstitutional, according to Jacob Huebert, associate counsel with the Chicago-based organization.
“I believe we’re on the side of what’s right and what’s just,” Wiesen said during a news conference Tuesday morning beside his food truck, parked in the 600 block of Davis Street in downtown Evanston. “We have a tremendous amount of people that want us to come, particularly around (Northwestern) University.”
“We were dismayed to find that Evanston won’t give us the chance to serve the people here who want our products just because we don’t own a restaurant,” Wiesen said.
Huebert said the truck meets or exceeds all state and county health and safety standards, and the only thing keeping the truck off the streets of Evanston is the ordinance.
“They have fans in Evanston who would love to buy their coffee and doughnuts if only they were allowed do to so,” Huebert said. “Jim and Gabriel have everything they need to succeed in Evanston except government permission.”
Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.