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On Aug. 7, Beavers Donuts filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against the City of Evanston challenging the constitutionality of the City’s ordinance that allows food trucks in the City only if they are operated by an established restaurant in the City.
Liberty Justice Center (LJC), attorneys for Beavers Donuts, said in a prepared statement that Beavers Donuts has sold freshly made coffee and gourmet donuts from its colorful food truck in Chicago and the surrounding area, but it is not allowed to operate in Evanston because Evanston only allows owners of existing brick and mortar restaurants to operate food trucks in the City.
“Evanston’s food-truck ordinance “exists only to protect established restaurant owners from the legitimate competition that food trucks would bring to the City,” says LJC. “This Evanston rule violates the Illinois Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process under the law because it treats two groups of people – those who own restaurants and those who don’t – differently for no valid reason.”
W. Grant Farrar, corporation counsel for the City, said in a prepared statement that City staff worked for months on the food truck ordinance and it was thoughtfully considered by City Council. Mr. Farrar said the plaintiffs are not “acquainted with the legislative history on this matter” and that the City would aggressively defend its ordinance.