Local restauranteur Taylor Berger and attorney Michael Tauer, business partners in the planned Truck Stop restaurant to be located at Central and Cooper, had hoped to bring food trucks to their site before construction begins on the permanent restaurant structure. But the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Code Enforcement has put the brakes on that plan for now.
The two won approval from the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment for their hybrid food truck/restaurant concept in January. But they're still awaiting permits before they can begin construction of the main building, which will be created using cargo vessels. The waiting process will mean the Truck Stop's building wouldn't be finished and open for business for about a year.
Berger said they had hoped to be approved for this temporary permit to operate food trucks on a concrete slab with a patio while they wait for construction permits.
"Basically, all we are asking permission for is to park [food] trucks on-site while we wait for permits," Berger said. "Hopefully, we will have all our permits in place to start building this winter, but it seems a shame to let that lot stay empty during the [food] truck season."
Berger said they plan to appeal the code enforcement office's decision at a Board of Adjustment meeting on June 25th.
If they win the appeal, the temporary permit would allow them to park food trucks there this summer. If approved, Berger said they plan to run electricity, add seating, and possibly sell beer if permits allow.
Once the Truck Stop's building is constructed, the concept would include one permanent Truck Stop food truck and a rotating cast of other local food trucks that would park on the lot for a few hours at a time.
The original Truck Stop plan drew concerns from some neighbors over issues of parking and traffic congestion. Berger and Tauer held several neighborhood meetings in the Cooper-Young area and tweaked plans to ease some of those concerns. Others had concerns over the restaurant's industrial design.