A Fukuburger owner chimes in on the demand for more regulation

Photo: Beverly Poppe

There’s been some flap lately about food trucks in the Las Vegas Valley, specifically Downtown, and whether they should be allowed to coexist with stand-alone restaurants. Whether more regulations are coming is up to city and county agencies, but at least one local truck operator says adding more bureaucracy to the process is nonsense.

Colin Fukunaga, co-owner of Fukuburger, has been involved in the restaurant industry since 1986. “I believe in the food culture of Las Vegas,” Fukunaga says, explaining he sees his business as a complement to what’s already offered. And if any business owner complains about his truck, Fukunaga says he leaves and never comes back.

But for those businesses that allow him to set up shop, Fukunaga polices his own turf. “We tell our customers, ‘Don’t peel out in your car, start fireworks, start fights or litter. If you believe in this, keep the peace.’” In addition, his truck has undergone 12 health department inspections over the last two months, as it’s required anytime he does a special event. “Everyone needs to understand we’re held to a higher standard,” he says.

And for those who feel more regulation is necessary to keep food trucks away from special events or brick-and-mortar restaurants, Fukunaga says several businesses are starting to stay open later because of the collateral business Fukuburger brings their way. “I firmly believe we bring in more business than would otherwise be there. Most businesses ask us to come to them, because they know it’s good advertising for them.”

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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