There is a new food truck in town called Shorty’s Food Truck. What’s on the menu? Sandwiches, but not just your normal sandwich. Allen Ruesch, owner and operator of Shorty’s, is redefining sandwiches with his creations.
Ruesch explained his dream began back when he was 20 years old, noting he always had this dream of owning his own food truck, and creating something different, unique for the people in Ely.
Ruesch said he is taking what he learned from attending culinary school at the Snow College in Richfield, Utah, his 15 years of experience working in commercial kitchens to make his dream become a reality.
Shorty’s has a variety of sandwiches, Ruesch said. “I’ll be taking classic flavors and paralleling them with unique flavors.”
He is also going to have a rotational menu, so there will be different sandwiches on the menu. Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten free are other options that Ruesch is going to be providing down the road as well.
For right now he has created a few sandwiches such as the Brutus, a chicken schnitzel with candied pecans, sharp white cheddar, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and dijon mustard, or the Double Dub, a whiskey and worchestershire, black pepper cream sauce, over marinated flank steak, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, melted fontini cheese, panini style.
And all sandwiches are served with a different soup each day.
Shorty’s is located at 1095 E. Aultman St., and hours of operation are 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
For Shorty’s first day of business he was already running into issues with law enforcement. The sheriff’s office was contacted with a complaint of the Shorty’s Food truck being in the same location for four hours, per the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 446.742.
A sheriff deputy gave a warning to Ruesch saying he was in one location for too long. In the definition of NAC 446.742 is states that a mobile unit must not be operated from a specific fixed location, for more than four hours. Shorty’s hours of operation are from 11-3pm.
And although there are other mobile food units in Ely that have been in operation for more than a year now, the city council has now put on the agenda for this weeks meeting a item that could potentially shut down mobile food units. This would include Jr.’s Tacos, and Ely Sno just to name a few.
Councilman Sam Hanson is sponsoring an agenda item for discussion and possible action, for the approval of Resolution 2018-05. A resolution instituting a moratorium on mobile vending units, mobile kitchens, or other mobile food vending mediums, and recalling business licenses for the same, absent a Special Event license issued.
The resolution states that the city recognizes the benefit of the brick and mortar businesses and the tax revenues generated from those businesses and the city of ely has experienced an increase in mobile vending units within the incorporated City of Ely.
The resolution goes on to explain the City of Ely does not have a business license category for mobile vending units, but recognizes that the State of Nevada does. The City of Ely does not have an ordinance allowing or not allowing mobile vending units and the rules and regulations affecting them.
In the resolution, it is also explained that the City of Ely desires to encourage businesses in the city, however, with the number of vacant business locations mobile vending units may be contrary to the goal of filling those vacant buildings and until an appropriate ordinance can be passed for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the members of the public, and it’s recommended that there should be a moratorium on mobile vending units within the City of Ely until such an ordinance is passed.
So why did this food truck become an issue as soon as it opened? Is it competition to other business owners in the food industry? Couldn’t the city create an ordinance? Mobile food truck units have to abide by Nevada’s State regulations that include licensing, and inspections by the health inspector.
Is it personal? Are other business owners in the food industry concerned about competition? That isn’t the case for Racks Bar & Grill located two blocks from Shorty’s food truck’s location. Owner, Steve Stork,said he has no issues with the food truck. “Allen is licensed by all applicable agencies, insured and is obviously filling an available niche in our local market,” he said.
Stork notes that business breeds business. “This is the reason you see many restaurants or fast food places located near one another,” he said. “…The more there are, the more business is drawn to a location. Competition influences you to do your best and your competitor to do better…the consumer benefits by the drive to provide quality meals and service at an affordable price.”
Elko has a number of food trucks and most likely more restaurants per capita than Ely, Stork said. “I noticed this past summer that there were more people downtown due to Ely Sno, one of the other mobile food units that serves sno-cone treats…the music events at sculpture park…there was more activity, the more people get out, the better business is for everyone.”
Ruesch doesn’t understand why his food truck has suddenly become an issue with the City Council. “I have been a customer at every business in this town, and I utilized all local business when I was creating my food truck.”
The city council will decide Thursday whether food trucks will continue to operate in Ely, or not.
Ruesch said he will be there with his family and his friends for the meeting to see how the city votes. Stork said, “If the city feels they need to regulate food trucks then regulate them, don’t outlaw them.”