MiniBurger, a pioneer of Sacramento's mobile food movement, is about to expand its fleet and also open a brick-and-mortar business. A second MiniBurger truck will debut at the Sacto MoFo 4 mobile food festival on April 21st. MiniBurger owner Davin Vculek spent about $100,000 on this new truck, which he hopes will help his business keep up with increasing demand.
Vculek also plans to open a brick-and-mortar version of his business by early fall. That would make MiniBurger the second local mobile food vendor, following Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen, to also open a stand-alone eatery. Drewski's is currently operating at Republic, a sports bar which recently opened at 15th and J streets in downtown Sacramento.
The final details on Vculek's lease are still being worked out, but Vculek plans to serve an expanded version of his burger-themed menu. The exact location should be announced soon. However, there's one catch. Once its second truck goes online, MiniBurger will begin operating under a different name. Vculek wasn't able to trademark the name "MiniBurger" because it was too general, so the new as-yet-untitled name will have more of a brandable and catchy ring to it.
Vculek's also anxious for mobile food regulation issues in Sacramento to be resolved or at least discussed soon, especially in the wake of a planned food truck hearing at city hall being cancelled in the wake of AB 1678. If current regulations were relaxed, including letting food trucks park for more than 30 minutes, Vculek said he would possibly expand his fleet even more and likes the idea of bringing more sales tax revenue into Sacramento's coffers.
"If the restrictions were lifted (our business) could be doubled," said Vculek. "We'd be looking to the late-night scene to partner with bars and bring a lot of culture to downtown. These trucks are small business incubators. We went with a small truck with two employees to a restaurant that'll have more than 20 employees. That's what small business and entrepreneurship is all about. We can bring more jobs to the city and tax revenue and licensing fees. But, we're continuing to feel like we're the enemy and a criminal."
Chris Macias is the Bee's food and wine writer. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias