Death of a Falafel Truck?
Gazette reporting popular falafel stand in downtown Bethesda is no longer in operation.
The Gazette is reporting that Ali Baba's Falafel, a food truck on Wisconsin Avenue near the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market, is no longer operating.
The food truck, a lunch staple amongst the downtown Bethesda work crew, didn’t have it’s license renewed because of a health department regulation that requires food trucks to be mobile, according to Susan Scala-Demby, zoning manager for the county.
According to the Gazette report, the truck rents space from the co-op and is permanently located at the site. Scala-Demby said the truck had been using electricity from a nearby socket. “He’s not mobile if he plugs his truck into a wall socket, so the health department couldn’t approve him,” Scala-Demby said. The truck had been operating under a Department of Permitting Services permit, but DPS doesn’t have a similar regulation, Scala-Demby said. Patch couldn’t immediately reach health department officials.
Tuesday, the closed food truck was still located on the site with a posted, hand-written sign that read: “Ali Baba will be closed for good at the end of this month. The county health department will not renew our license unless we move the trailer every day. It is difficult to move the trailer every day due to the way this parking lot is set up.”
Owners of the truck told the Gazette that they would need to wait until 1a.m. – after Bethesda’s nightlife rush – to move the truck, and then return early in the morning before other cars block the space.
The handwritten note included emails of council members, the county executive’s office and health department regulators for patrons to contact to advocate to keep the stand in place.