Rule #1 of Vendor Fight Club is You Don’t Talk About Vendor Fight Club


Just because so much has been written about street vendors verbally threatening other street vendors doesn’t mean that people should get the impression that it never gets physical. In fact earlier today two ice cream vendors got into a fist fight over the corner of 6th Ave and 50th Street. The cops were already on scene when I walked up, and an ambulance showed up shortly thereafter (although it looked like only one vendor was hurt, and it was just a black eye.) I’m not sure exactly what happened because both the Police sergeant and the vendors pretty much refused to talk to me- but it looked like the vendors were given the opportunity to press charges and both get arrested, or make up with each other and just receive tickets. It looked to me like they both chose citations (natch), and the ice cream truck left pretty soon thereafter.

As contentious as you normally hear the relationship is between cops and vendors, this interaction looked pretty civil. I guess the cops mind less when the vendors are beating up each other.

One thing everybody involved can agree on is this: Don’t say anything to the short fat guy with a camera asking questions.

Lucky for us Lunch’er Rich was on the scene when the fight broke out and emailed in a first hand report…

“Hey Zach,

Your blog has been a lifesaver for me… at least at lunchtime :)  Anyway, I just wanted to tell you, since I know you write about stuff like this from time to time, that a fight broke out between a mr. softee driver and the vendor who runs the Haagen Dazs cart on 50th and 6th. The softee guy started it, and was physically attacking the cart vendor. No idea what it was actually about.


Midtown Snapshots: Cop vs. Ice Cream
Tripie Crepe Cart Becomes Latest to Get Moved by the Police
Pret a Manger & Bistro Milano Call Cops on New Street Sweets Truck


  • I guess Mr Softee is a misnomer.

  • Awesome! Fisticuffs!!!!!! Over ice cream!

  • talk about food fight.

  • Where’s the Good Humor Man when you need him?

  • oh, street drama!! why we gotta fight over the cream, I still don’t know. but I should point out that the truck involved was not a real mister softee. remember the am article on how to spot a fake? the big red stripe at the bottom is a dead giveaway! now, those two should really have been sent to timeout for being such big meanie fat-heads to each other!!

    <3 miss softee

  • Bootlegged Mr. Softee trucks stirring up trouble again? Seriously, they should all just get out of the way for more useful trucks.

  • @miss_softee – you and Mandi need to fix your Twitter links on the Queen Frostine page.

  • thanks for the heads up!! I’m on Twitter @miss_softee in case you wanted to follow ;)

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    There’s a faux Mr Softee that parks on 51st off sixth every day. I wonder if it’s the same guy? Kinda looks like it. If so, he’s got no beef, if he ever had one. That’s not even his regular spot.

    Plus the guy on 51st is so annoying: at 6 PM when I leave he always parks his truck as close to the crosswalk as possible and mass of people walking up sixth crossing 51 have to squeeze right to avoid his bumper. Jerk.

  • Those Mr Softee guys are so angry… They are awful.

  • looks like the first word of the truck is soft…wonder what the second word is…

  • I don’t think that’s a Mr. Softee brand truck.

  • I actually heard from a vendor that Mister Softee the brand is meaningless. Most of the ice cream trucks in Midtown are rented from the same company, and that company owns all sorts of trucks with all sorts of names on them (including Mister Softee)

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Zach: I don’t think the Mister Softee brand is meaningless at all. Check out their website:

  • @NYCguy – And I’m telling you that there are people who own (and lease out to drivers) both Mister Softee Trucks and those fake Mister Softee Trucks. They might be breaking their franchise agreement with Mister Softee, but it’s done.

    From what I hear it matters less the brand on the truck, as it does the person who actually serves the ice cream. How well the put together the mix, and how often the mix is changed seem to big the big factors in determining quality…

  • Zach – that’s really interesting and explains a lot. One of the funniest (but not at the time) moments back in the day came when I was crossing 4th Ave, walking towards St. Mark’s Place. You know where Mud Truck parks now (or used to?), there usually is/was a Mr. Softee truck there. As I walked towards Mr. Softee, I heard someone yell out in passing “That Mr. Softee gives you the runs!” and I thought to myself, “What? It’s a Mr. Softee, aren’t they all the same?” and proceeded to purchase a cone for myself anyway. And sure enough, I got sick.

    Now I stick to the ones in Queens that randomly drive around the neighborhood. I’m positive one of the two I buy from also sells drugs because he is ALWAYS stoned and ALWAYS out of something basic, like chocolate sprinkles, sometimes out of soft serve (only has the packaged stuff) but he doesn’t get me sick so I don’t care.

  • @Yvo: I was at Miss Softee’s truck on Monday. It was excellent and worth the visit.

  • Yvo
    Maybe he was selling budsicles! Check it!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    The truck in question pictured above is not a Mister Softee truck. You will note that the truck is red and white NOT blue and white nor does it have the name or logo.
    Second point to Zach: We have over 700 trucks operated by more than 385 franchisees in 18 states and two foreign countries. We just opened new franchises in Virginia, Texas and Arizona. Apparently someone sees value in our brand.
    Since so many of the people on this site are customers of street vendors, please feel free to report any improper behavior and include a plate number. There is an email link on our website.

    James Conway
    mister Softee Inc.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.