New Berkeley home found for displaced food trucks

Ann Vu and her daughter Sandy in front of the Heavenly Foods truck.

Ann Vu and her daughter Sandy in front of the Healthy Heavenly Foods trailer. Photo: David N

Three food truck vendors who were displaced by UC Berkeley’s construction at Sproul Plaza have been found a new location at the corner of Bancroft and College. According to an announcement from Mayor Tom Bates, the vendors will be able to renew their permits to operate in the new location for an additional two years.

Michael Koh, owner of Dojo Dog, Ann Vu, owner of Healthy Heavenly Foods, and Jack Huynh, owner of Kettle Corn Star, were forced to vacate their previous location near the intersection of Telegraph and Bancroft in December, when construction started.

Koh spoke at the Telegraph Avenue brainstorming convened by the mayor last month, and local councilmember Kriss Worthington had asked the city manager to assist in the relocation. Worthington’s referral is on the City Council’s action agenda for tonight’s meeting.

Worthington’s referral points out that, although the Lower Sproul project construction has been planned for years, the food vendors were given just two days’ notice to vacate their locations. 

Vu, owner of Healthy Heavenly Foods, was involved in a previous dispute with the university some years ago when she and other small family-run businesses lost their leases in the Bear’s Lair food court, to be replaced by Subway, Tully’s Coffee and other chain food stores.

“We heard loud and clear at our Telegraph Avenue community brainstorming meeting, three weeks ago, that our vendor community was in need of a solution,” said Mayor Bates in today’s announcement. “I am incredibly happy that city and UC staff have been able to work out a solution for our vendors and feel that this is one in a series of steps towards helping to revitalize the Telegraph area.”

Tackling Telegraph Avenue: Is this time different? [03.01.13]
New building proposed for Sequoia site on Telegraph [02.27.13]
New Sproul design ideas provide optimism for Telegraph [11.29.12]
Can Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue get it mojo back? [04.18.12]
Telegraph site owner plans for temporary resurrection [02.06.12]
Imagining a future for Telegraph Avenue without blinders [04.11.12]
Urban think tank: Student visions for blighted Telegraph lot [10.03.11]

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  • Berkeley Resident

    Very happy to see this outcome. I remember, back in the 70’s, there were many food trucks both at Bancroft and College and at Bancroft and Telegraph as well as traveling sandwich carts that were placed around campus. Congrats to these vendors for their persistence and thanks to all at City Hall and UCB. A positive outcome for Town and Gown.

  • Berkeley Resident

    Did the City of Berkeley and UCB consider the people that already work at food establishments on this corner before rushing to this decision? Doesn’t seem like it.

  • Gabriel

    Seems like a back room deal that didn’t consider the brick and mortar establishments, some who have been in business over 25 years within a stones throw of the new neighbors. Did they happen take a stroll around the area before they assigned these carts their new homes? Some of these places that are open for lunch house over 40 employees. Why didn’t the parties involved actually get ALL parties involved.

  • Gabriel

    This isn’t the 70’s anymore. There are plenty of established restaurants within 30 feet of the new proposed area that are going to be affected by this. It’s more terrible planning by the Bezerkeley city council.

  • Berkeley Resident

    The addition of the food carts actually increases foot traffic and business in the immediate area. Back in the 70″s when numerous food carts were in the area, business was great, for both the food trucks as well as local businesses.

  • Berkeley Resident

    Not a back room deal. The addition of the food trucks will increase foot traffic therefore business to both the trucks and the local businesses, as happened in the 70’s.

  • Berkeley Resident

    And there were many established businesses close by in the 70’s. The addition of the food carts at Bancroft and College will increase business for all involved.

  • berkeleykev

    It’s been a while since I hung out at Strada, so maybe things have changed there, but I don’t remember ANY restaurants within 30′ of Bancroft & College (unless you count Strada or the cafe in Wurster). What am I missing?

  • guest


  • guest

    new cafe across from Strada; I -house has a fine cafe, and Cafe Zeb’s @ Boalt.

  • guest


  • Another Berkeley Resident

    It seems to me that the kind of sit-down food available on that corner is totally different in style and price range than the food carts (Asian food vs. burgers and fries), so having them there won’t decrease the established corner on the market.

  • Elmwood_Neighbor

    How is it different at this location than for all the food establishments that were in proximity to Telegraph and Bancroft location they lost?

  • gabriel

    That’s bs. You haven’t followed the sf drama have you?

  • gabriel

    BS. Restaurant owners were not involved in the discussion. You haven’t followed the sf food truck drama at all. This area doesn’t need increased foot traffic. It’s directly across the street from the university…ugh.

  • denny

    You are delusional. They area is replete with students. You must be a shill for food trucks.

  • dishtip