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Food Wagon Owner Given Just a Taste

Craig Mengeling can use an historic farmhouse to prepare food for his food wagons, but can't store the wagons on the property. At least not yet.

An historic farmhouse at the corner of Morgan and Forest Home avenues will only house a food preparation kitchen and serve as living quarters for a local businessman.

But Craig Mengeling is holding out hope that’s just temporary.

The Common Council voted Tuesday, 4-1, to approve Mengeling’s special use requests to use the farmhouse to prepare food for his food wagons. He and his wife can also live in the house, and run an antique and refurbishing shop at the location as well.

But Mengeling cannot store either of his two food wagons on the property. The city and some neighbors were concerned about how the wagons would look on the property.

“We do anticipate coming back to you and asking for sufficient screening permit to allow the trailer to be parked there because without that, the project might not be successful,” Mengeling said.

Mayor Michael Neitzke said it’s the first time in nearly three decades the farmhouse will be lived it. Over the last several years, it has served as a commercial property only.

Alderperson Karl Kastner, who voted against the proposal, said he was afraid of what could become of the historical property and its value, but Alderperson Linda Lubotsky said she’d rather see someone occupy the building instead of it being destroyed, a move that was discussed in recent years.

“Our intention is to maintain the integrity of the building,” Mengeling said. “That’s why we’re interested. Would other buildings in other municipalities work better? Yes, absolutely. No question.”

Lee October 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I thought food prep kitchens had to be commercial in nature and certified? I know of a few home kitchens I would be afraid to eat from. Am I missing something here?

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