Rochester — gasp! — won't allow food trucks downtown

Food trucks line up in downtown Minneapolis, but not in downtown Rochester.

Food trucks line up in downtown Minneapolis, but not in downtown Rochester.

Food trucks have become an integral part of downtown Minneapolis workers' lives. At lunchtime, collared shirts scurry out of skyscrapers for a brief, delicious respite. Not so much in Rochester, though.

Until this month, food trucks were kept away from the city's downtown. Regulations prevented them from parking in public spaces. But one four-wheeled pizzeria found a workaround.

Jason Brehmer and Tom Boxrud, owners of BB's Pizzeria, cut a deal with a downtown church to park in its driveway in exchange for a slice (terrible pun intended) of its profits. The Cavalry Episcopal Church, which is near a Mayo Clinic building, would donate some of the money to local food shelves and charities.

“So I think everyone (in the congregation) understands we're trying to do this for good. It's kind of food for food,” Rev. Nick Mezacapa told the Post Bulletin.

Clearly God and Twitter users wanted food trucks downtown.

But a week into the divine lunch plan, BB's got the boot. The city fielded a number of complaints (presumably from nearby restaurants) and did a little digging. It turned out that the driveway technically isn't on the church's property, but part of a public street. Thus, The Man shooed BB's away.

“We thought it would be a good marriage,” Boxrud told Rochester's paper of record. “We thought this was going to be really good for us and for the community.”

City Council President Randy Staver said the city does not plan to reevaluate its food truck rules. However, they are allowed in other parts of town.

Of course, downtown Minneapolis restaurants had similar beef when food trucks started swarming. But ultimately the mobile eateries prevailed.

Sorry, Rochester lunchers. We'll pound a Bangkok Burrito in your honor.

Send news tips to Michael Rietmulder.