Judge sides with Evanston in food truck dispute
January 31, 2013
A judge has dismissed the suit between a Chicago-based food truck and the city of Evanston.
The five-month case between Beavers Coffee and Donuts and Evanston, however, might continue. The food truck has 60 days to file an amended complaint, an opportunity that co-owner Gabriel Wiesen said the company would definitely take.
Beavers filed a suit with the Cook County Circuit Court against the city in August to challenge Evanston’s mobile food vehicle vendors ordinance. The law requires all such vendors to apply for a license before operating within the city, and licenses can only be granted to vendors that have a physical restaurant within city limits.
Beavers Coffee and Donuts recently opened a permanent storefront in Chicago, although it has no affiliated restaurant in Evanston. Beaver’s argues the policy is unconstitutional because it is discriminatory toward certain businesses.
In an email to Evanston media, city attorney Grant Farrar announced Judge Mary Anne Mason had granted Evanston’s motion to dismiss the case Tuesday.
“Judge Mason immediately agreed with the City’s arguments that Plaintiffs’ lawsuit is not ripe for the Court’s review,” Farrar wrote.
The city argued in its dismissal motion that Beaver’s never submitted an application for an operating license, Wiesen said, adding that Beaver’s did not submit the application for a reason.
“We met with the health inspector with an application in hand, and he told us there was no point in applying,” he said.
Beavers will now apply for a license, Wiesen said, and then file an amended complaint if the city does not grant them the license.
Jacob Huebert, the attorney for Beavers with the Liberty Justice Center, said they are considering their next steps and maintain the city ordinance is discriminatory.
Evanston’s law department “will continue to aggressively defend the city” in the event that Beaver’s files an amended complaint, Farrar said in the email.
Beavers has operated at several Northwestern events in the past, including Dillo Day. The doughnut truck is scheduled to attend this Saturday’s Associated Student Government and Dance Marathon Food Truck Festival.