Food Truck is ‘Fired Up’ in Lakewood
New gourmet taco truck is ready to begin... But the owners will have to leave the city's boundaries to do business.
Clarification: A city ordinance prohibits food trucks from operating on public streets, but they are allowed in private commercial parking lots.
The Fired Up Taco Truck may be coming to a neighborhood near you.
But maybe not Lakewood, though, because food trucks are not permitted to set up shop on public streets.
Co-owner Brian Finks said he and his partner, Gavin Rupert, would like to change that.
The pair — both professional chefs, whose resumes include Pier W and Lola — bought a retired Cleveland SWAT vehicle and transformed it into a taqueria on four wheels.
Fired Up Taco Truck's stainless steel kitchen — as clean and relatively as spacious as any gourmet kitchen — only needs some food to stock its shelves.
More than $30,000 and a couple months later, Finks and Rupert are ready to begin.
The food truck — serving tacos, empanadas and Cuban sandwiches — is set to open (appropriately) at the Cleveland Indians opening day on April 9 in downtown Cleveland.
At least in the beginning, they will have to leave the city’s boundaries to do business.
“We don’t want to take away from other businesses,” said Finks, who was trained at the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts. “But we’ve got to be able to break through.”
“There’s still the public property option,” added Rupert. “Maybe Lakewood Park.”
Dru Siley, the city's director of planning and development, said that Fired Up Taco Trucks — and other food trucks — are allowed to set up in private commercial parking lots with permission of the owner.
"They could potentialy apply to be a part of special events as a vendor," he said, adding that there were food trucks at the LightUp Lakewood event last year.
Finks said when they take the truck out around town, people take notice.
“People want this in Lakewood,” he said. “We’re exactly what Lakewood is: hip, trendy and coming up.”