Local coffee drinker (and former Xpress staffer) Ayana Dusenberry tweeted a sad photo this morning: Greg & Andi’s Curbside Coffee, the coffee truck operated by Asheville Coffee Roasters‘s owners, Andi O’Gorman and Greg Bounds, has closed.
The truck, which has been based in the back of the HomeSource parking lot (172 Charlotte St.) since early this year, was on a 180-day permit issued by the city of Asheville.
“We assumed we could renew it every 180 days,” says Bounds. “We walked in [to the permitting offices] last Monday to renew and they said, ‘You can’t renew that. It’s only good for 180 days per year.’”
Bounds, who was the original owner of the Double Decker Bus coffee shop at 41 Biltmore Ave. (now Double D’s Coffee and Desserts), and who arranged for the permits for the two-story bus-turned-cafe, says that had he been made aware the 180-day permit was non-renewable, he would never have agreed to it. “For one, we couldn’t make any money in just six months,” he says. “Two, we now have two employees who no longer have a job. And three, we wouldn’t have opened in January and February.”
Bounds says that he asked the city for the same permit he had when he owned the Double Decker Bus; currently he and O’Gorman are waiting to hear from the city manager’s office before they take their next steps.
Xpress reached Phil Kleisler, the city’s business services manager, who said that he had just finished drafting and sending a letter to Bounds and O’Gorman. Kleisler says that he and Assistant City Manager Jeff Richardson sat down with the couple on Monday “to see how we could make it better.” He adds that it took awhile to get all of the information together regarding the Greg & Andi’s Curbside Coffee permit as well as the permit history of the Double Decker Bus.
Kleisler says that Bounds and O’Gorman had the same $25 temporary-use permit issued to food trucks by the Development Services department. “It’s a 180-day permit for a specific site,” he says. “What food-vending trucks need to do is get the property owner’s consent.” Kleisler continues that, for Greg & Andi’s Curbside Coffee to remain on the HomeSource lot, options include applying for an upgrade to a Level 1 permit, which would likely be pricey. Bounds and O’Gorman do have the option to move to another location, which can be as close as the next parcel over from their current setup
“We’re coming on the one-year anniversary of the food trucks,” says Kleisler. In the fall or late fall, City Council will receive an update on how the food truck permitting is going, including a report on “any unanticipated consequences [from] this ordinance,” says Kleisler. “This would certainly be a situation that would be considered in that policy discussion. Should they be temporary? Should there be options for people to stay permanently?”
Hopefully Bounds and O’Gorman will be able to work out their permit with the city and get back to providing caffeine to the masses. Says Bounds, “Greg and Andi don’t go away so easy.” The couple’s coffee products can be purchased at their Asheville Coffee Roasters location at 85 Weaverville Highway.