Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Vendors discuss new locations

For many University of Wisconsin students, late-night walks in pursuit of food vendors might change.

The Vending Oversight Committee gathered with street vendors Wednesday night to discuss plans about the possible relocation of their late-night food businesses.

An ongoing pattern of noise complaints has forced vendors to seek locations farther away from residential areas.


Ald. Cindy Thomas, District 20, said the possible relocation of vendors is intended to solve issues with existing locations, not to inflict vendors with more problems.

“We need to put vendors where business can continue to thrive,” Thomas said.

The committee considered the possibility of moving several food venders, including Jin’s Chicken and Fish, Dat Gut Gud and Silky’s Dogs and Brats to the 400 block of North Frances Street, the 400 block of North Broom Street and the 100-300 blocks of West Johnson Street.

Jin’s Chicken and Fish operator Jeff Okafo said the relocation to Library Mall, though removed from residential areas, would not be advantageous.

“I’ve scouted out these locations. Library Mall is out of the way for a lot of my [Langdon Street] customers,” Okafo said. “[L]ibrary Mall is like the twilight zone. There is nobody down there late at night.”

Okafo said his business is not the direct reason for noise complaints among the Langdon Street neighborhood. Noise would continue to plague the area despite the absence of his business, he added.

“Langdon is not a quiet street. It is by nature a loud residential area, and there is nothing surprising about the noise that occurs there,” Okafo said. “The noise problem already exists there.”

Okafo said he wants to continue serving the Langdon Street neighborhood, and he thinks business would decline away from Langdon Street.

Citizen member of the committee Rosemary Lee said she expects loyal customers to follow the business regardless of its location.

“I wouldn’t expect the client loss to be that great,” Lee said.

Despite Okafo’s arguments, the committee still proposed to test out different locations for late-night food vendors.

Though larger vending carts like Okafo’s would have to deal with legal parking arrangements and access to electricity, smaller and more mobile carts may experience an easier move.

Austin McClendon, operator of Silky’s Dogs and Brats, located at the corner of West Gilman and North Henry streets, said he would face a more manageable move.

“My situation is much different since my business is only a push cart,” McClendon said.

The committee presented McClendon with the possibility of moving closer to State Street, giving him favorable mall concourse access.

“This would actually be a good move for me,” McClendon said. “I operate pretty close to the street, and they’re only presenting me with the possibility of moving one block.”

Despite the general lack of enthusiasm about moving to Library Mall, the committee still plans to test the location, according to Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.

Suitable parking for larger street vendors will be further considered at the committee’s next meeting before plans are presented to the City Council next month.

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