Weeniegate Raises Question: Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

The recent imbroglio over the Montague Terrace Hot Dog Dude (aka Weeniegate) has made the fact that it’s illegal for ANY mobile food vendor to set up shop on Montague Street from Court to the Promenade a hot topic.

While we’re sure the regulation was well-thought out by the “olds” backintheday, many things have changed in recent years. We hear that folks in other parts of Brooklyn and NYC get to enjoy something called “Food Trucks.” These vehicles serve up a wide variety of tasty eats. But they, like our Hot Dog Dude friend, are not permitted on Montague Street.

So the regulation not only bans one of the most beloved and delicious New York City traditions from our Main Street, but also denies us some of today’s most exciting lunch options. VOTE IN OUR POLL after the jump.

For those who believe that mobile vendors would hurt Montague’s brick & mortar restaurants, we say that it should make them want to RAISE THEIR GAME. One can only hope these mobile innovators will inspire some of the local eateries currently serving pre-fab dishes to fire up the grill and cook fresh and vibrant food.

Why not allow one food truck and one hot dog vendor on the strip each day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.?

Check out what the main drag of Brooklyn Heights is missing right now:

Calexico: Yes you can get your fix on Pier 1 but who wants to walk that far?

Pizza Moto – Ok, the giant wood burning oven might be a little too much but…

Wafel and Dinges – Seriously superfantastic. AND WE CAN’T HAVE ANY!

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck – Yes you CAN have desert for lunch… unless you want to do that on Montague Street.

Any Red Hook Food Truck vendor – Anyone who has made the “trip” to Red Hook knows that everything there tops our local fare.

There are many more. What are your favorite food trucks?

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  • Jorale-man

    The Rickshaw Truck (dumplings) does park by Trader Joe’s pretty frequently but I’d love to see vendors like the Schnitzel truck or Kimchi Taco truck make an appearance in the hood. As it stands now, there aren’t any Korean BBQ places in the area, so the latter would fill a potential void too.

  • nabeguy

    I’m not partial to food trucks personally…something about food in close proximity to exhaust fumes doesn’t work for me. But my office at Hudson & Houston does seem to be food-truck central…everything from appetizers to desserts within a 2 block radius…Korean, falafel, bistro, pizza, yogurt, fruit smoothies, pastries on a rotating basis, and all side by side with the dirty dogs and kebobs over rice. Bring ’em on.

  • Chris Fohlin

    Calexico is no longer at Pier 1. Supposedly local restaurants complained about their presence, but I can’t confirm that.

    DUMBO regularly enjoys the likes of the Morris Grilled Cheese Truck, Korilla BBQ, Fun Buns NYC, Rickshaw Dumplings, Waffles & Dinges, and Red Hook Lobster Pound.

  • BHWorkerNOTaNanny

    there are already food carts in the neighborhood. They have paid the fees. Food trucks do not. Brooklyn Hieghts is a rich neighborhood and rents are off the hook. Why should food trucks get a free ride? If their food is so good, pay rent and taxes and sell your food. Get a food vendor’s license, fight fior your spot and pay your dues. People flock to Chipolte, Five Guys and Shake Shack in the neighborhood as they serve good food. Working people also frequent the food carts. Any intelligent person can see that people who do not pay taxes or rent or dues do hurt the people that do. Be more considerate of your tax paying neighbors instead of looking for cheap food

  • Andrew Porter

    There is a food cart permanently stationed outside the Henry Street entrance to the Clark Street subway arcade.

  • Mr. Crusty

    I’m pretty sure that food trucks have to pay the same permit fees that the food carts pay and they pay taxes like any other business. What are you talking about BHWorkerNotaNanny?

  • Mr. Crusty

    Great idea Homer to have a poll on the issue. I will be curious to see the results.

  • epc

    The city issues permits for two years for $200 for both food carts and trucks, however most of the food trucks you see have had to buy the permits (or worse, lease them) from permit holders for up to $10,000 / year.

    Don’t worry, DOHAMH is “on it”, expect results in a decade or two.

  • epc

    Also I kind of doubt food trucks would find Montague Street very lucrative except at the Cadman Plaza/Court Street end. The absence of non-retail commercial activities in Brooklyn Heights pretty much guarantees the absence of food trucks.

  • Prom Gal

    You can have just about anything you want; you just might have to get outside your comfort zone by walking, driving or taking a cab.

    Brooklyn Heights is unique in that the entire neighborhood is a National Historical Landmarked District. I feel we all have an obligation, responsibility, and interest in respecting that unique status, and not trying to make an end run around the letter and spirit if the Landmarks designation.

  • Heighti

    Yes, very sad that Calexico is no longer at Pier 1!! Would love them to be closer by than Red Hook.

  • BklynJace

    Vaguely related: The aforementioned food truck at Clark Street Station has standard fare at best, but the guy who runs it is super-nice, for which I give him extra credit considering how many drunk college kids he must have to deal with. My nine-year-old loves visiting him.

  • Gerry

    I would not think of food from a vendor on a truck as a “nice thing” I would think of a meal served at Heights Cafe or Teresa’s Restaurant as a nice thing not a hot dog from a truck.

    In the 1980s Su Su’s Yum Yum had a truck AND a restaurant in the North Heights that truck was parked on the street and not on a sidewalk in front of 195 Montague Street which is not Brooklyn Heights and not residential it is north of Clinton Street outside of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

    @ Nabeguy I agree food on a truck with engine fumes, etc. turns me off.

  • Mr. Crusty

    Oh PromGal stop with this National Historical Landmarked District blather. It’s a food truck we’re talking about not a strip club for Pete’s sake. The did eat in the 1800’s right?

    The readers of this blog seem to disagree with you by a 3 to 1 margin.

  • She’s Crafty

    Prom Gal strikes again. Personally, I wouldn’t mind food trucks on Cadman (outside that old AT&T space) but I think Montague is way too crowded for them.

  • travy

    it can’t be just one vendor. it will be many and that’s the problem. anyone been to court street lately? because that’s what it would become and then this place would really go nuts.

    i mean, can you imagine the outrage if suddenly there were sidewalk vendors on montague? a loose coalition of rent control seniors, wealthy stay at home mom’s, no life perma-bachelors and divorced first wife cougars would take to the streets (from 11am – 3pm only, natch) in an ‘occupy montague’ movement until order and sanity could be returned to our formerly quiet street.

    it starts with one lousy hot dog cart, people. you have been warned

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    Prom Gal: Thank you for your post. i totally agree with you!

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    Barbara Shernoff,

  • AEB

    Again: BH should feel part of the city in which it’s located, which means sharing at least some of its vitality–a rare thing.

    Set pieces can be pretty but are usually pulseless.

  • JR

    i agree with Prom Gal also.

  • Bloomy

    Really? Lets see if we can just beat this dead horse a little more.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    I was thinking exactly the same thing.
    As if over 100+ comments on this subject wasn’t enough???

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Can we have a PromGal/Gerry vs. Everyone else poll? Those are results I’d love to see!

  • Mr. Crusty

    Still 3 to 1 in favor with over 100 participating in the poll

  • lori

    Food trucks need permits to be at a SPECIFIC location. The ice cream truck that parks by the playground pays BIG BUCKS for that location. Trucks parked by the Metropolitan Museum of Art pay BIG BUCKS to the city for that specific location. So, food trucks can’t just plop down anywhere they like.

  • Neighbor Hood

    Bloomy, WillowStreetNeighbor- was thinking the same too…
    Dear Editor-Can we just change the name of the BHB officially to:
    Brooklyn Hotdog Blog so we don’t have any stray non food cart related topics cluttering the site?

  • Gerry

    @ travy – you are funny!

  • 5thfloorwalkuper

    My concern with food trucks on Montague Street is twofold: there is already a lack of parking spots which will become even more limited once the bikes are brought in, and the traffic jams (resulting in lots of honking horns) when drivers double park to pick up or discharge passengers, or worse, to make deliveries. Currently, cars try to squeeze by the double parkers, but I believe the food trucks may be wider than the average car, leaving that much less space.

    I’m also not in favor of sidewalk vendors for the same reason – it’s already hard enough to walk on our crowded sidewalks.

  • Promenade Princess

    Bring on the vendors, Homer! Let’s allow our neighborhood to indulge in all that New Yorkers enjoy. Meanwhile, perhaps all the detractors could form a private, exclusive enclave at the end of Pier 6 on the outskirts of One Brooklyn Bridge Park, with an iron gate to keep that “disgusting” hot dog smell far far away.

  • Mr. Crusty

    It looks like the readers of this blog agree with you Promenade Princess by a margin of nearly 3 to 1. Well, not about locking up the detractors on Pier 6. We haven’t had a poll on that as of yet.