Chicago: two steps forward, one step back on food carts.

The government giveth

On Sept. 24, City Council registered a historic vote to establish a legal path to food-cart vending for Chicagoans.

For decades, Chicago’s food-cart vendors struggled to earn a living in a city that banned their trade. Now, hardworking food entrepreneurs can make an honest living without the fear of expensive fines and police harassment.

…and the government attempteth to take away.

Chicago food cart vendors who have operated in the legal shadows for many decades soon will have the option of going legit under a new ordinance that won City Council approval Thursday, even as two aldermen took the first steps toward banning them on some of the city’s tonier streets.


But if Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, and Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, have their way, the carts won’t get to operate in some potentially lucrative locations.

To mangle the David Gerrold quote: fickle, fickle government.

Moe Lane

PS: Why those two aldermen? Well, how do I put this politely? …The food cart vendors sell Latino food, and the aldermen in question want to keep them out of upscale (read: ‘white’) districts and away from Wrigley Field (because restaurants charge a Cubs tax, that’s why).  So, yeah, there’s not really a polite way of putting it, huh?