By Tim Kowols
The owners of White Cottage Red Door are moving forward with their lawsuit against the Town of Gibraltar regarding their food truck. The Institute for Justice along with business owners Chris and Jessica Hadraba and Lisa and Kevin Howard filed the suit in Door County Circuit Court Tuesday after formally warning the Town of Gibraltar of the possibility in May. It charges the town with unconstitutionally banning the Fish Creek business from operating a food truck in favor of bricks-and-mortar restaurants despite getting proper approval from the state and county. The town board did not respond to the written warning until August 27 when it chose to deny the claim. Attorney Millad Emam says the town’s stance also has a conflict of interest with Town chairperson Dick Skare and former supervisor Brian Hackbarth having ties to local restaurants.
Institute for Justice has won similar cases in favor of food truck owners in San Antonio, El Paso, and Louisville. Emam says even though the owners of White Cottage Red Door sold their food truck rather face $500 a day fines for operating, they would love a chance to still do it if the courts rule in their favor. Skare could not be reached for comment for this story. Hackbarth abstained from the discussion and the final vote when the Gibraltar Town Board chose to amend its current ordinance on January 10th.