Store owner on West Fourth Ave. sends Vij’s Railway Express food cart packing

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I want more food carts in Kits. Do you? It’s not going to happen if West Fourth store owners keep up their hostile antics. Vij’s Railway Express, the newest venture by renowned chef Vikram Vij, was getting ready to serve lunch on West 4th Ave. when a local store owner told Vij and partner Jason Apple to get lost.

As reported by Huffington Post: “The shop owner came out, and he wasn’t happy. He basically said to ‘take off’ that those were his parking spaces, those were his parking meters,” said Apple.

It isn’t the first time this store owner has done it, and he promised to do it again, claiming it was illegal for them to use the space. Although the store owner is wrong and it is legal for food trucks to park on West Fourth Ave., Vij’s Railway Express left because of the conflict. They wouldn’t identify the store owner for the reporter.

If the city follows through on plans to increase Vancouver food trucks from 103 to 133 by 2014, it’s likely that disagreements among brick and mortar stores/restos and food trucks will only increase.

Are food carts really a threat to store and restaurant owners? Would you like to see more food carts in Kits? Weigh in below.

Photo credit: Vij’s Railway Express

Last modified: September 18, 2012

12 Responses to " Store owner on West Fourth Ave. sends Vij’s Railway Express food cart packing "

  1. Scott says:

    You’d think as retail stores fight to keep their doors open in an increasingly online marketplace they’d want increased foot traffic outside their location? How else are they driving traffic?

    In 5 years I bet that store goes out of business but Vij’s railway is making a tidy profit.

  2. Shannon says:

    No, I do not want to see any food trucks on West 4th. They are an eye sore, they cause congestion on the sidewalks, they block sun/views, they cause increased piles of garbage/litter in the area,they take up parking and they bring an aroma to their area. I understand it in downtown for lunch rushes and a different experience where they fit into the esthetics but everything is so much more quaint on 4th that they just ruin the atmosphere and cheapen the experience for me. They should put them in the big parking lot at kits beach if they want to be in the area.

  3. Courtney Smith says:

    As a former restaurant owner, I understand completely why having a food cart/truck parked out front is damaging to business. In this city taxes on retail stores and restaurants is outrageous. Allowing food trucks to setup in front of restaurants is not right and ties one hand behind the back of the property tax paying restauranteur.

    Food trucks downtown, in parks etc….great…more the merrier…but not on streets like 4th Avenue, Broadway, Davie, Denman, Robson where there are a host of good restaurants.

  4. Alyson says:

    I’m all for food carts on 4th, and I don’t think they will take away from the restaurants. If I want to eat at a great restaurant on 4th I will, but if I don’t have the time or $ to do so on a particular day, it would be super to have a food cart as an alternative. It may even bring people into the neighbourhood. Maybe a great food cart would even take me up to 4th on a day I wouldn’t normally go, and I’ll pop into some of the shops while I am there. I’m all for this and I for one hope Vij comes back.

  5. Larry says:

    As a nearby resident and frequent walker/shopper on 4th Ave, I’m all for food carts — I assure you, they only serve to bring me to 4th Ave more often, and wouldn’t keep me from going to one of the many great restaurants or other stores I patronize there. I walked by Vij’s on Sunday and was *thrilled* to see it there, and sad that I already had other lunch plans.

    I’d like to know the name of the shop that made them leave, so I can avoid patronizing that store.

    Aside: On Farmer’s Market day, I’d rather see it closer to the FM, but mostly because I’m there anyway and hungry. But other days, 4th Ave would be great.

  6. Dee says:

    Alyson has it right. I live walking distance to West 4th and barely ever walk up and down it anymore leisurely. If I go to it now it’s only for a reason and the sit down restaurants located there are never that reason. I would however go spend an afternoon window shopping there if I knew there was a new food truck to check out while I was there.

    Also, don’t most of the food trucks in Vancouver pack up just before dinner? Restaurants should want the increased food traffic infront of their restaurants during the day so someone enjoying one will possibly see them and read their menu board and think “Hey, I should come check this place out for dinner”. Foot traffic of any sort is always a plus. Most patrons do not want the sort of sit down restaurants that have saturated West 4th for a quick lunch.

  7. Bill Barilko says:

    Vij runs a clip joint and his absence means little-we have enough of them on 4th as is.

    http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/vijs-railway-express

  8. KitsResident says:

    I spoke with the Vij’s truck team this past weekend and they said it was NOT a restaurant that was angry, but they didn’t want to say which store(s) it was.

    These guys were good sports, the food was delicious, and service was great. Good on them and I hope they stay.

  9. Vancouver2012 says:

    Bill Barilko’s comment is selfish and typical of the NIMBY attitude on the West side. Shut up and go away.

  10. Bill Barilko says:

    Dearest 2012-I have lived in Kitsilano since before you were born and intend to die here-you’re SOL.

  11. KitsFood says:

    Bill is looking at the wrong restaurant review website. Go look at http://www.yelp.ca/biz/vijs-railway-express-vancouver . 22 postive reviews on Yelp vs only 3 negative reviews on Dinehere.ca They are only in Kitsilano on weekends.

  12. Bill Barliko says:

    Consarn it, you rotten kids – get off my lawn! (shakes fist in air)