Sidewalk laws prevent food cart vendors on Lower Broad

Sidewalk laws prevent food cart vendors on Lower Broad (Image 1)

Visitors to Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville will soon notice the lack of food cart vendors.

The city told Nashville's News 2 they are enforcing sidewalk laws which say carts must be a certain distance from the nearest building and nearest fire hydrant, among other stipulations.

Due to the laws, there are basically no legal spots for vendors, such a Brandon Cooper, to set up shop.

“They don't realize that [food carts] bring a lot of spunk to the city, as well as we make money doing it,” he said.

Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesman Butch Spyridon told Nashville's News 2 he is conflicted on the issue, but in the end sides with long time businesses who do not want customers opting for cheaper food sold at food carts instead of sit down meals.

“If we don't have Rippy's and Tootsies and Legends, then we don't have customers so at the end of the day I've got to err with the guys paying rent, insurance [and] hiring 50 or so employees, but I think there's a way to get to a solution,” he said.

One solution is to lump all the vendors together in another area. However, Cooper told Nashville's News 2 that is not a solution since cart vendors are already competing for space.

“It's a lot of us. [We] are jockeying for corners, positions and stuff. We're just trying to make it,” Cooper said.

Some vendors have already set up in private parking lots, while others such as Cooper have moved off lower Broad and closer to the new convention center.

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