Dojo Dog, one of the three food trucks forced to vacate their operations at the intersection of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue last December because of construction on campus, opened at a new location at Bancroft Way and College Avenue Thursday.
Dojo Dog owners Michael Koh, a UC Berkeley alumnus, and Jason Chou said they felt comfortable opening at the new location following a July 24 report by the Berkeley city manager stating that all three vendors may reapply for permits for their original locations once construction concludes.
“Just having that chance, instead of being shut out completely, we felt like we got what we wanted, so we just thought we would open up,” Chou said.
Although the report says that all three vendors can reapply for their old locations, it states that reconstruction of the MLK Jr. Student Union and the AC Transit stop at the intersection will cause major changes to pedestrian traffic, requiring city staff members to re-evaluate the area before they make any final food truck decisions.
Dojo Dog has also lowered its prices since moving, but Chou said that was something they were planning on doing prior to being shut down.
“Definitely, being shut down impacted us negatively, with eight months of having to still pay a bulk of our costs just to stay legal,” Chou said. “We still had to pay a commissary fee, we still had to pay insurance, we had to throw out all our inventory.”
Chou said that while the new location does not seem to have as much foot traffic as the old location, he is excited for the school year to begin and more people to be on campus so they can enjoy delicious food at a fair price.
“We got into this business because we love this community, and a lot of our staff are part of this school community in particular,” Chou said. “We wanted to start this kind of a food truck because we thought it was something that would bring a lot of joy to people.”