If you live in, or are just visiting, the Los Angeles or San Francisco areas and are looking to dine somewhere unique, you can now dine in the unique of the unique. Already touted as a trend, fad or a sub-culture by many owners of brick and mortar restaurants, the world of gourmet food trucks is getting its very own sub-culture. Diners in these two California cities now have another option, The Bustaurant.
Not only are the tables bussed, but the diners are as well
Instead of the typical standing at a curb, ordering and eating, the customers of these new eateries are given the option to step on board and be seated at tables inside the bus. Although these buses are outfitted with state of the art kitchens the ordinances that regulate them prohibit kitchen operation whilst moving. Because of this, most of the food is prepared off site or it prepared in the kitchen, but only while they stopped and in a designated parking area. According to Blake Tally, Le Truck co-owner, “People stigmatize the roach coach, we are a broach coach. People are easily going to be sitting there eating and forgetting that they are in a bus.”
One of the biggest differences between the bustaurant and its land locked restaurant brethren is that if you get seated with a bad view, just wait a few minutes, you may have the chance to have a better one shortly. Kai Schoenhals co-owner of Diamond Lil, who was inspired to build his bustaurant by Napa Valley’s Wine Train, stated, “We go wherever the grades, curves and overhanging objects allow.”
Even though this new idea is starting to gain momentum, bustaurants are required to follow the same regulations as standard food trucks, and are getting the same pushback from restaurateurs that other food truck operators face. These complaints stem from the feeling that the mobile vendors have an unfair business advantage and are stealing their customers.
World Fare – The countries first opened its doors in March of 2010.
The Fox Pizza Truck – Plans to open before the end of the year.
Diamond Lil – Opened in April of 2010
Le Truc – Opened in September of 2010
Although new to the United States, this idea actually came from overseas. From the same country who introduced the world todouble decker buses, it should be no surprise that entrepreneurs in London brought us the very first bustaurant. The Root Master bus has been bringing Londoners vegan delicacies since it opened its doors in 2006.
The wave has formed and is gathering speed. Only time will tell if this new breed of food vending will stay around or be slowed down by protests or state and county legislation.