Push-cart food vendors worry their closing-time sales outside clubs could be outlawed in Denver

DENVER - Push-cart food vendors in Denver are concerned they may soon be pushed out of business because of an old Denver ordinance.

"It's food, not alcohol so what's the problem," asked a vendor who didn't want to be identified.

The problem surrounds a 1985 ordinance that states push-cart vendors can't sell food after midnight. Vendors often sell everything from ribs to hot dogs out of the carts outside popular bars and nightclubs in downtown Denver.

A vendor told 7NEWS he makes a large majority of his money around the time clubs are closing.

"I've calculated it to be 70 or 80 percent of our money comes between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. -- just when the most people are out there on the street," the vendor said.

Public works employees have been issuing warnings in recent weeks to vendors who sell food after midnight. 7NEWS went to the department for answers.

"I can absolutely understand their concerns," said Ann Williams, spokeswoman for Denver Public Works.

Williams said the department is aware of vendor concerns and that it's up to the city council to change the wording of the ordinance. Until the council decides to change or keep the restriction, the department will only issue warnings to vendors.

"As far as the time restrictions go, they should go ahead and continue with what they had been doing, knowing that we aren't going to cite them for a time restriction violation right now until we get this resolved," Williams said.

There's no clear timeline of how long it will take the council to decide on changing or keeping the ordinance.