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TaKorean Owner Responds to Yesterday’s Incident with MPD

“My name is Mike Lenard and I am the Owner and Operator of TaKorean as well as the Assistant Director of the DC Food Truck Association (DCFTA). I know there has been talk between here and Food Truck Fiesta about some of the events that went down yesterday. I appreciate PoP for giving me the opportunity to explain what happened.

During lunch service yesterday (Tuesday), I was approached by a Metro PD officer who had received a call from someone around to the Metro Center area saying that we were operating without a “site permit.” Currently, food trucks are not required to have site permits under Dept. of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) regulations. The officer was either misled or misinformed about vending regulations and opted to shut me down until he could find an answer to the situation. All of my licenses and paperwork were completely in order and with me the entire time, as they are every time we’re out.

I made a call to the Vending/Special Events coordinator at DCRA, Sam Williams. I contacted him so that he could call the officer’s precinct clarifying the DC regulations concerning food trucks. After that MPD Officer Steinbach, the MPD vending expert, was dispatched to the scene. Once Officer Steinbach arrived, he explained the regulations to the first officer, and we were allowed to re-open without further incident.

Unfortunately, I was not the only truck that experienced this interruption in service yesterday. I later learned that two other food trucks experienced very similar situations in the Farragut Square area. I know that it is frustrating for both the food trucks as well as the law enforcement agencies to see precious resources like time and energy get wasted on these calls.

Both myself and the rest of the DCFTA know this is just one part of a larger, on-going conversation that we’re looking forward to participating in as our industry continues to grow and prosper during the next several months and years.

We’re excited to be a part of such a vibrant metropolitan area, and I can assure you that you’ll be hearing more from those of us at the DC Food Truck Association soon. On behalf of myself and the other food truck vendors that make up the DCFTA, we thank you for your overwhelming support, and appreciate Prince of Petworth for giving me the opportunity to clarify yesterday’s situation at Metro Center.”

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