Myrtle Beach council members consider giving food trucks permanent option

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – City of Myrtle Beach council members weighed the idea of allowing food trucks in the city Tuesday afternoon.

This spring, a food truck festival drew thousands to the former site of the Pavilion on Ocean Boulevard, but there is currently no consistent option for the trucks.

Council members had differing views as to whether that should change.

Members discussed the issue after entrepreneur and food truck owner Drew Basilicato brought it to their attention during public comment.

Gourmet stuffed burgers are Basilicato’s specialty, one he wants to sell to Myrtle Beach’s hungry from his truck, The Trojan Cow.

“There’s a huge upside to how trendy it is, how fun it is,” Basilicato said. “You get to go out, you’re outside socializing.”

A nutritionist by trade, Basilicato said his goal is simply to feed people good food, which he does from behind a window. He approached council today with the idea of giving food trucks, like his, a more consistent option.

“I think it’s a huge trend, it’s a lot of fun, it’s more of an experience,” he told News13 after the meeting. “Which I think the city council is aware of. Which is why I think they were in favor of at least talking about.”

Members did talk, but they did not agree.

“I’m just not in favor of that,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes.

Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat countered “they just bring a new element and a new excitement.”

Rhodes said he is concerned that trucks could draw business from brick and mortar restaurants.

“We’re not like other cities we have a numerous amount of restaurants,” he said.

You gotta lot of options here, and I’m sorry, but I’m not gonna be a great advocate to have somebody coming in on a part-time basis taking away from my permanent businesses.”

Basilicato said food trucks can work in tandem with local businesses.

“I don’t think that the capacity of a food truck is gonna be enough to put a financial or a competitive dent on the brick and mortar,” Basilicato said. “These are huge establishments, people have invested a lot of money as the mayor mentioned. It would take a lot of food trucks to really be true competition.”

Jeffcoat shared similar views, saying she just wants the city to be open to new ideas in general.

“In other communities that I’ve seen it’s not either/or; it’s both/and,” Jeffcoat said. “And they can complement each other.”

Both Rhodes and Jeffcoat said they will continue researching the issue.

The city’s planning commission is considering a proposal based on the one that approved food trucks in Horry County two years ago.

If the proposal moves forward, Mayor Rhodes said one possible location for the trucks would be the former site of J Edwards restaurant.

He said he is in favor of allowing food trucks through special events, like April’s festival.