Pensacola’s food truck scene flourishes 2020 despite COVID-19 pandemic

This story has been updated to correct a mistake that appeared in the original version. The name of the Greek’s Catering and Events food truck co-owner is Stelios Peterson.

Food trucks were a bit taboo in Pensacola five years ago. Now, they’re everywhere in the city in 2021, representative of a shift in the restaurant industry, at least temporarily.

Today, you’ll find food trucks morning, noon and night serving customers at neighborhood subdivisions and apartment complexes and in the parking lots of bars, breweries and other businesses all across Northwest Florida.

But in 2015 and 2016, food trucks were so foreign to the city’s ecosystem that their regulation was constantly in question and their very existence was contentiously debated by some local businesses

Cook Demitrius Arnold, left, and owner Kendrick Hobbs plate a mac and cheese burger melt July 13 at the new Melt food truck in Pensacola.

“The restaurants were all up in arms against them and everything, and food truck ordinances were being passed around and passed on by City Council over and over again,” recalled Randy Russell, who opened his Nomadic Eats truck in 2015 and is one of the forces that launched Pensacola’s food truck scene. “It is kind of crazy to see how it’s turned around now.” 

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