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Access issue rousts Bare Bones from downtown Clarksville location
SoVaNow.com / August 13, 2014Fans of Bare Bones, Clarksville’s popular gourmet food truck, have been saddened to see it no longer parked across from the Dollar General store lot at the intersection of Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue in Clarksville. Its owner, Robert Obst, is seeking a new home.
On Monday, August 4, Obst shut down the truck and removed it from its Seventh Street home after learning that town officials would no longer allow him to park his truck near Rugged Country Outfitters.
The problem began, explained Town Manager Jeff Jones, after a town survey revealed that the truck was parked not on private property as originally believed, but on a town right of way. While the town offices had received a couple of verbal complaints about the truck’s location, Jones said he received no written petitions or letters objecting to Bare Bones or its location.
The parking spaces that abut the Rugged Country store are also located in the right of way. To date, Jones said the town has made no decision about the future of those parking spots.
After learning of the right of way issue, Jones said he approached Bare Bones’ landlord hoping to find a suitable alternative location for the truck. Before a solution was found, Obst said he made the decision to remove the truck.
Jones emphasized that the town took no formal action against either the landowner or Bare Bones, since his office had just begun its review of the relevant town ordinances and state code provisions, and were seeking clarification of the ownership of the area in question.
He promised to work with the landowner and Bare Bones “to see if there are any alternative options for the operation of the business at its existing landowner’s location.”
Since then, the discussion about the “disappearance” of the Bare Bones food truck from downtown Clarksville has played out on Facebook. Loyal customers from Clarksville to South Hill suggested new locations to park the truck, from the old Burger King site on College Street, to the front yard of Century 21 on Virginia Avenue, to the old car wash on Fifth Street. One customer, Karen Jeffress Garner implored, “Please be close to cville!!!”
Jones stressed that the town does not want Obst to move his Bare Bones business out of Clarksville, and hopes to find a solution within the next thirty days. “We need to keep and promote new, younger business owners here” for this town to remain vibrant and to draw in visitors, said Jones.
In a recent Facebook post, Obst wrote, “While we greatly appreciate the overwhelming support of our loyal patrons, it was not the intent of Bare Bones to facilitate negative input regarding Clarksville, Virginia. Our sole intention of making the initial post was to notify customers that we were relocating.” He continued, “The Clarksville Lake Country Chamber is in no way affiliated with this issue and we greatly appreciate their support and enthusiasm regarding our business. We will be sure to update everyone on where we will be going and when we will be open as soon as a decision is made. Thank you!!!”
The best outcome for this matter, was expressed by by Dianne Austin Rust, who after speaking with Jones and Obst, said, “I believe after listening to both sides that the Town of Clarksville and Bare Bones both want the same thing......Opportunity for growth, prosperity and an enjoyable safe place for everyone to enjoy.”
For now, Obst is staying optimistic about a future in Clarksville as he continues his search for a new home for his food truck.
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