ZURIK: French Quarter vendor ordinance changed following FOX 8 investigations

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:55 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council on Thursday (Nov. 16) took action to end one company’s near-exclusive deal to sell food from pushcarts in the French Quarter, following a series of FOX 8 investigations.

The council voted unanimously to change an ordinance that’s been in place since 1972. That ordinance says the only way to obtain a permit to sell food from pushcarts in the French Quarter is to have continuously operated the same business in the French Quarter for eight or more years prior to January 1, 1972. At the time, essentially only one company qualified, Lucky Dogs.

Lucky Dogs has enjoyed near-exclusive rights to sell from pushcarts on French Quarter streets since. However, Thursday’s vote will change that.

Now, five additional pushcart vendors who are already allowed to sell in other parts of the city will be allowed to sell in the French Quarter as well.

The efforts were headed by New Orleans City Council member Freddie King, whose district includes the French Quarter. Some spoke in favor of the change before today’s vote.

“Thank you council and representative King and your staff for not only continuing to work to end historically unfair licensing and monopoly practices but building a pathway towards equity for local small food and beverage vendors. ” Eric Rothschild said, who spoke on behalf of the Food Policy Advisory Council.

King says his push isn’t over. He plans to ask for a vote at the next council meeting to allow 14 additional businesses to legally vend in the french quarter.

FOX 8 reached out to State Senator Kirk Talbot, who is a co-owner of Lucky Dogs. He told us in a statement that he voluntarily agreed to relinquish permits for seven carts, in order to have the city redistribute them as part of a lottery.

Talbot went on to say, “We respect what they want to do, we’re going to follow whatever ordinances they want to do.”

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