SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – New York Racing Association officials say they've banned a food truck from Saratoga Race Course after customers complained that the name of the business was offensive.
Brandon Snooks, the co-owners of the Schenectady-based Wandering Dago, said they were informed Friday night by NYRA officials that they had to remove their truck from the track Saturday morning, a day after it opened for its 40-day season, where they expected to serve thousands of patrons attending the 150th season
"As a small business the lost revenue is damaging, to say the least," said Snooks. "We had to turn down several weddings and a few festivals to make this commitment to the Race Track, not to mention the food product already purchased. It is ridiculous that we are a licensed NYS Corporation, yet we are being blocked from doing business by State officials."
NYRA officials say they received complaints about the use of a word that's considered derogatory to Italian-Americans.
The truck's owners say they're both of Italian descent and consider the term a tribute to their hardworking immigrant ancestors.
Snooks said he cooperated with officials, but returned again Monday morning, where he was again asked to leave. Snnoks said The Wandering Dago Food Truck has a contract with the Saratoga Race Track for the duration of the meet that requires 30 day written notice of cancellation.
The owners had a previous run-in with the state when they were denied a food vendor's license by the Empire State Plaza Vendor Program in downtown Albany. Snooks said to company's name had been approved by the NYS Division of Corporations, the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance and the IRS.
(The Associated Press contributed to the reporting of this story.)