Langdon Street residents may soon find themselves walking to Library Mall instead of out their front doors for bar-time snacks.
At a Vending Oversight Committee meeting Wednesday, a proposal was discussed to move late-night food vendors like Jin’s Chicken and Fish out of residential areas and into Library Mall, turning it into a late-night vending area.
Hawk Schenkel, owner of Hawk’s on State Street, said detailed plans must be laid out before the Vending Oversight Committee can approve the proposal.
“We talked about having designated areas for them,” Schenkel said. “A place that’s still close by so they could do business, but not near residential areas.”
Late-night vendors on streets such as Langdon, Henry and North Frances would no longer be allowed to plug into apartments and houses for electricity if the proposal is passed.
The proposal would affect Jin’s Chicken and Fish, Dat Gud Gud, Silky’s, The Underdogs and Mango Man Latin Soul Food.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said a subcommittee has been created to discuss the future of the five late-night vendors. A meeting in early November will be held to discuss the proposal with input from the owners of the vendors.
“I did talk to one late-night food vendor who was excited about Library Mall,” Verveer said.
The move to library mall would allow the vendors to hook up to light poles for electricity, Verveer said, instead of running long cords through trees and into houses and apartments like some do in residential areas.
Madisonians, specifically students, living in residential areas would no longer be disturbed by loud music and drunk patrons, and litter would also be reduced in the area, he added.
Langdon resident Ali Gemgnani said she believes food carts are popular at bar time because they are so close to many sororities, fraternities and apartments.
“Although vendors attract a noisy crowd, they provide patrons with a safe late night food option,” Gemgnani said. “Without them, people might drive drunk to satisfy their cravings.”
Verveer said daytime vendors in Library Mall are judged by certain criteria that earn them designated spots on the mall. Thai House, Athenian Garden and The Fruit Stand currently hold the top three rankings. The nighttime vendors would follow a similar ranking system to earn their place at Library Mall, Verveer said.
If the food vendors do not approve the current proposal, the committee might look into other locations for late-night vending, such as Peace Park on State Street, he said.