A family has had to go to court for the right to sell burgers and barbecue on their own property. Selling burgers is a crime in Gibraltar, Wisconsin, since it’s only legal to grill and sell burgers in a brick and mortar kitchen.
When Hadraba tried grilling burgers and barbecuing in a trailer on a parking lot he owns next to his shop; the White Cottage Red Door, the town board, said no. Hadraba was forced to file a lawsuit against the town in order to operate a legal business on his property.
“White Cottage Red Door just wants to sell burgers and barbecue on its own property from a state and county-approved food truck,” crusading attorney Milad Emam said. Emam contends the town is trying to protect the monopoly of local brick and mortar restaurants by enforcing county zoning regulations.
Man Faces $500 a Day Fine for Selling Burgers from Licensed Food Truck
Even though Hadraba paid for a Wisconsin state mobile restaurant license and a county zoning permit, he faces a $500 a dollar fine every time he fires up the grill because for him… selling burgers is a crime.
On the first day, Hadraba tried selling burgers the town constable shut him down -even though he had the licenses. When the Gibraltar Town Board found out that Hadraba was not violating zoning regulations, it passed an ordinance banning all food truck sales.
“The ordinance has one purpose: economic protectionism,” Andrew Wimer, the Assistant Director of Communications at the Institute for Justice wrote. “The board’s chairman; who voted for the ordinance, owns a restaurant just 2 miles down the road. Also, the former board member who pushed the county to revoke White Cottage – Red Door’s zoning permit last fall works at another local restaurant in town.”
The Institute is a non-profit legal group that has taken Hadraba’s case. Emam works for the Institute.
Selling Burgers Is A Crime If Your Competition Is On The Town Board
“The only real thing stopping it is the Gibraltar town board, whose members passed an ordinance to protect special interests,” Emam said. “That’s not just wrong, it’s also unconstitutional. The Wisconsin Constitution clearly prohibits governments from picking winners and losers, which is why we’re putting the board officially on notice: either repeal this unjust law or face a lawsuit.”
The Institute has filed a lawsuit on Hadraba’s behalf. The organization has filed similar litigation against anti-food truck ordinances in Chicago, San Antonio, El Paso, Louisville (Kentucky), and Baltimore. The Institute for Justice has launched a National Street Vending Initiative to protect entrepreneurs from local government overreach.