Thursday afternoon, Door County Judge D. Todd Ehlers ruled that the Town of Gibraltar’s vending ordinances were unconstitutional. In 2017, the owners of the White Cottage Red Door opened a food truck in the parking lot of their Fish Creek store. This resulted in the town board banning food trucks within the municipality. Judge Ehlers stated that different additional food truck ordinances from 2018 and 2019 violated the state constitution, representing the use of public power to suppress competition from one entity for another special interest’s financial benefit. He also went on to state that these ordinances were enacted in an effort to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants in downtown Fish Creek from competition from mobile food trucks or establishments, and that the ordinances were “nothing less than illegal and unconstitutional economic protectionism”.
This ruling frees White Cottage Red Door to commence vending food once again. Owner Chris Hadraba said, “I’m so excited about this victory, which has been years in the making.” He is glad that this court decision will allow him to feed his customers yet again.