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Decatur Green-Lights Three Food Carts, Including King of Pops and Buenos Dias Cafe

Buenos Dias Cafe, Icing on the Cake, and King of Pops begin operating food carts around Decatur August 1, part of a new mobile food vendor program

King of Pops
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for over 12 years.

Buenos Dias Cafe, Icing on the Cake, and King of Pops officially begin operating food carts around Decatur Tuesday, August 1, part of a new mobile food vendor program created by the city in partnership with the Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

Up to eight carts are allowed to operate for one year in four locations on Decatur Square, with two additional locations in Harmony Park and one each along East and West Ponce de Leon avenues. The food cart program is meant to offer more grab-and-go food options for residents and visitors of Decatur and provide affordable opportunities for small food businesses.

This is the first mobile venture for Ken and Jeannette Katz, the owners of former downtown Atlanta Salvadorian restaurant Buenos Dias Cafe and restaurant pop-up the Window and La Bodega at the Met in Adair Park. A portion of the menu from Buenos Dias Cafe is offered at La Bodega on Atlanta’s west side, including its popular pupusas and guava pastries paired with coffee and fresh-pressed juices. Look for the Buenos Dias Cafe food cart at Harmony Park in the Oakhurst neighborhood.

Dessert cart Icing on the Cake will serve cupcakes and slices of pie and cheesecake along West Ponce de Leon Avenue near Truist Bank, while popsicle purveyor King of Pops will set up its colorful cart marked by the signature rainbow umbrella on the sidewalk near East Court Square.

The establishment of a permanent mobile food vendor program also ushers in the return of King of Pops to the city, a regular vendor in Decatur Square prior to the pandemic and the kerfuffle caused by a food cart pilot program launched by Decatur in 2019. The pilot program allowed food carts in the square and Harmony Park, but no longer allowed vendors like King of Pops to operate in either location if the business was in direct competition with similar nearby businesses, which at the time included Steel City Pops in downtown Decatur.

An investigation by Decaturish later revealed the city took steps to show favoritism toward Steel City Pops, freezing out King of Pops. The report included the review of more than 400 public records highlighting how the city appeared to promote Steel City over King of Pops. Records from the city date back to 2017, the year Steel City opened in Decatur. Steel City Pops closed a few months before the start of the pandemic.

Food cart operating hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.