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Food Truck Rallies In Little Italy Accused Of Taking Business From Local Restaurants

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Food truck fight.  Some neighbors in Little Italy say they’re not fond of the food truck rallies happening in their backyard.

Meghan McCorkell has more on why.

Those neighbors claim the rallies take away from businesses in Little Italy and clog up parking. But rally organizers say it’s a good thing for the community.

Thousands of people flood Little Italy for a taste of Baltimore’s best food trucks.

“We get people coming down from York, Pa., down from Annapolis. Everybody wants to see the food trucks,” said Damian Bohager, Maryland Mobile Food Vendors.

Rick Willard, who owns a gourmet grilled cheese truck, says the gatherings benefit everyone.

“We bring the community out and get active in the neighborhoods. It’s good for us. And it’s good for local businesses,” said Willard, Grr Che owner.

But some neighbors disagree.

Earlier this week, someone left a fake flier in mailboxes across Little Italy, slamming the event.

The anonymous flier is written as a sarcastic promotion of the rally. In part, it says “please support us instead of your local restaurants. Sincerely, non-property owners/non-renters, non-residents.”

“It almost grows the community from 20 restaurants. Now we have 40 for one night,” said Jiovanna Blattermann, Little Italy Community Association.

Blattermann says the rally creates major parking issues.

“When your valet parking lot is removed it really tends to create a little bit of a problem,” she said.

The gathering is held in Stratford University’s lot, normally used by valets.

“Every once in awhile we have an event,” said Eric Frauwirth, Stratford University. “We let them know that we’re doing an event. It’s our parking lot.”

The university plans to invite the food trucks again to draw more people to the neighborhood.

The organizers of the food truck rally say they have gone around to local business owners and say many of them are pleased that more people are coming into Little Italy.

Part of the proceeds from Friday night’s food truck rally will go to the American Heart Association.

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