Local's Corner Accused of Refusing to Seat Latino Family

Local's Corner was vandalized days later—potentially out of retribution—reading “Keep Mission Brown.” [Photo by Meesha]

We've heard little positive about Yaron Milgrom over the years.  To say the owner of Local: Mission Eatery, Local's Corner, and the forthcoming Local Mission Market is controversial would be putting it lightly: we've heard him called nearly every foul epithet in the book.  Many businesses along 24th seem to see his restaurants as a unwelcome intrusion—a Trojan Horse of wealth and whiteness set to spoil the Latino vibe of the corridor.  The vitriol is of such acidity that when he once set out to build a parklet on 24th, he was shut down almost instantaneously, many feeling it was a plot to make street safe for his clientele.

The criticism always seemed a bit overblown—like people were just wound-up and took their energy out on him.  The few, brief times we've interacted with him and his businesses, nothing ever seemed amiss.  And plenty of other like-businesses, from Wise Sons and Pig & Pie, seem to get a pass from neighbors.

However, the recent experience of longtime Mission resident and community leader Sandra Cuadra tells a different story:

In the midst of the Cesar Chavez Day celebration on April 20, Cuadra and her family of 5 approached Local’s Corner restaurant at 23rd and Bryant streets expecting to be seated with ease. However, they were denied service by a waiter at the establishment who told the family that he was unable to accommodate them without further explanation.

Shocked and disheartened, Cuadra wrote a formal report to District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who confirmed via email that he is taking the matter seriously, and has since sent the report to the Human Right’s Charter for further investigation.

Cuadra emailed over 50 community members about the experience, writing, “we did not want to think that we were turned away because we are all Latino but there was no reason why we were turned away.”

That email resulted in an explosion of outrage, “frustrations about gentrification,” and stories of similar encounters of discrimination.  According to Cuadra, “the emails that were sent around show me that these types of incidents keep happening.”

Milgrom met with Cuadra and her family, assuring her they were not denied service because of racial discrimination.  However, no reason for the refused service has been publicly stated.

[El Tecolote]

Comments (75)

Wow, no reason given for them not being seated?? This staff member still has a job?? Makes me wonder what really happened here….

Enquiring minds want to know…

His business, his decision.

He wants to turn away business?

Go elsewhere to eat.

Just because you want to do business with me does NOT require me to do business with you.

I won’t eat at this place based on the name alone. From the day it opened it just seemed like a big “F-U” to the neighborhood. It’s a shame because the food actually looks pretty good.

I’ve been there once before, and the food definitely is good.

This is a whole new twist on the brunch table wars.

I wonder why it is ok to refer Yaron Milgrom’s business by his race.

Jewish is not a race. It’s an ethnicity.

Jewish is not an ethnicity. It’s a religion.

An ethnicity, or ethnic group, is a social group of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience.

So, yes, Jewish an enthnicity.

But thanks for playing, we will send you home with a fabulous consolation prize.

Jews make the rules up as they go along then because that definitely does not apply to us Muslims

“ancestral, social, cultural, or national experience”

ancestry implies origin such as race, Muslims are very diverse

social implies societal similarities, I have very little in common with NY Arabs

cultural implies way of life, Afghan culture is WAY different than Malaysian culture

common national experience? I have no idea what life is like in the former Soviet Republic for Muslims

anyhow, common sense tells me Jew=Jewish which is a religious affiliation and not necessarily a common bloodline, social group, or way of life.

long story short, hold on to the consolation prize



I read this story in the freebie paper while waiting for a bagel to toast at a corner cafe. It struck me as lacking a lot of detail. I set the paper down thinking it really didn’t happen. It seems so contrived. It seems fishy. Right now there is only one side of the story circulating. I haven’t seen Local Corner’s take on it. Suppose they were turned away, there could be a legitimate reasons. They could have been fully booked and not able to seat a party of 6 for instance.

He responded and apologized for the incident, which I linked to in the last sentence. Although, he himself offered very little explanation.

He has to. So Kevmo when did you stop beating your wife?

Ain’t married, but lovely try.

And jeez, you guys have the same trust of Latinos as bros have of rape victims.

Yeah, for everything I’ve read about this I still haven’t a clue why Sandra & Co were denied seating. Does someone know what the excuse was?

I also agree that something is missing in the story. I was not there so I do not know what really happened. It seems like all the butt hurt Latino guy had to do was write some letters and scream racism because he did not get a stupid table and the next thing you know, everyone has a knee jerk reaction and takes the guys word as gospel and go on a modern day witch hunt with their pitch forks and torches. It’s hard to believe someone who opens up a business in the heart of the Mission would be racist and not want to profit from this local Hispanic community.

This is a pretty cavalier accusation. A family was refused service at a restaurant. Could it have been because of race? Possibly, but no evidence of that is given or even hinted at. Does the mere fact that someone does something bad to you give rise to an inference that it is because of race? Why not age? Sex? Or the fact that it’s hard to seat a table of five in a busy restaurant? There is simply not enough evidence here for anyone to conclude anything.

How would someone working there even remember this happening a month ago?

Normally i’d be up in arms about something like this but i’m a middle eastern male (not exactly the easiest race to be these days) and have been to Local’s Corner with no issues. Its hard to believe that in this day and age in the Mission district there’d be this level of racism. A serious chunk of the story is missing here.

But do you look hip?

exactly, if hip looking, then you aren’t really a “mission native” and are classified by hipsters and gentrifiers as so. And aren’t subject to said “racism.” this is about discrimination towards Latinos in the mission, not middle easterners.

This reeks of bullshit and muckraking.

A Mission “community leader” just happens to be turned away from a restaurant that knows damn well it’s still under a microscope following its controversial planning and opening. The Fox News-ish accusation in the negative is especially delightful: “I’m not saying I was denied a table because I’m Latino, but… that’s what I’m saying.”

How about if the author of this article (KM) invites both parties to reply on this blog?

This is simply anti-Semitism by a few very vocal activists who simply hate Yaron for no tangible reason. They can’t name one thing he’s done to harm anyone. They want to turn this screw-up into some kind anti-hipster race war. Don’t buy into it.

Yaron apologized profusely, explained that they should have been treated better and that that they didn’t seat parties of 6 at that time.
He had the family to his house and invited them for dinner with his family.

Everyone needs to be cool and respectful to each other. Don’t play into the agenda of these anti-white anti-Semitic clowns.

Oh! So who’s making unfounded accusations of racism now!

Hopefully this was all an unfortunate misunderstanding. But, where did you get the information you posted?

“This is simply anti-Semitism”

I was waiting for this as soon as I saw the restauranteur’s name. Thank you for not letting me down.

We need a Godwin’s type law for scaling the inevitability that someone will base their entire argument on a knee-jerk unfounded claim of anti-Semitism anytime the party presented negatively in an article/discussion could be, or is, Jewish. Yaron is, but it is rather irrelevant. It seems that his restaurant, and by extension he, has a problem with brown folk. Sadly an all too common perspective in our community.

FWIW Chinese, Koreans, Blacks, Africans and Latinos are generally regarded amongst older and/or more conservative Jews as deficient and deserving of shitty treatment. Sad, but true.

BTW I think Lloyd Blankfein, Shelley Rubin, and Mark Zuckerberg are all complete fucking assholes for what they do and how they act. Does that make me a self hating anti-Semite in your world?

Please enlighten me.

your conclusions are so deep, you should run for supervisor.

I was trying to type a response, but neurons are no longer firing from each synapse in my brain because my head exploded while attempting to aggregate and deal with all of the absurdly laughable stupidity in your comment. Somehow, I was able to write this though.

when are you on the ballot?

Who are they? The Family?

Your right you DON“T THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE. Yaron was invited to OUR home and No he had no explanation. But He did have a nice dinner That Sandy Cooked for him. Get your Fact straight!

I failed to get a photo but someone smashed their window last week as well.

Perhaps this is all a publicity stunt. Local’s Corner hasn’t been busy lately, the cool kids heading down to all the new places on 20th instead. Controversy could get it some needed attention.

Jeeesus people. They refuse me service all the time “Sorry we’re full!” and I’M WHITE. “Come back when we’re less busy”. I know what they really mean.

Did you read the story of the family? They didn’t say sorry or offer a reason not to seat them or other alternatives! The owner did not give an explanation why that person did that to them.

I’m more like him than her, so he wins according the comment tally. No further explanations needed.

I think it’s racist of the vandals to insist on “keep mission brown”. I’m not brown but live and a contributing member of the neighborhood.

You’re not contributing to the community, you’re depriving it

The Mission was traditionally an Irish neighborhood and changed over the years, as it continues and will continue just like any other neighborhood in any city. 

You mean like it changed when the Spanish showed up and enslaved the indians? That sure was neat! Too bad you couldn’t have been there to reassure them with your brilliant observations and sage advice. “Hey, relax you slaves! Change is the natural course of things.” 

Isn’t this the same “journalist” or whatever Kevin claims to be, that totally got the Mission & 17th eviction story WRONG?

Kevin has proven he does not do any fact checking before posting.

El Tecolote and Mission Local both reported on it, the owner of the restaurant acknowledged that they were refused service and apologized (despite not specifying why they were denied service), and I clearly specified the restaurant was “accused” of this. That word is critical.

Sorry if you are too foolish to comprehend what’s in front of you.

(Also, it’s adorable that you posted two separate comments to give your criticism an false sense of legitimacy. Is this troll astroturfing?)

There’s something weird going on, but I’m not sure it’s the business’ fault.

I was there a few weeks ago and witnessed this older gentleman pull up in a classic looking car, park it on top of the fire lane markings and then attempt… Well it sure as hell sounded like some sort of shake down. It was damn odd.

I have no clue if it was connected, but it does make me suspicious.

Seems like this guy has made few friends in the neighborhood. He must be doing something wrong and should take responsibility.
You don’t need a trial to see this guy has pissed off people or else this would not be happening.

I grew up in a Hispanic family, in a Hispanic neighborhood, and I can say one thing with certainty: We think we’re gentry, too.

are you fucking serious

””“
Local Figure is known locally for severe controvery. Local figure has done many Local things, which have been known by much reknown. Some people dislike these things, for reasons!

Recently, Local Figure’s establishment performed discriminatory action. Isn’t that unusual?? Here is an article referencing it in a similar amount of detail. Hope you like speculating!
 “”“

Haha “Keep the Mission Brown” !?!?! Yeah, let’s burn that place down and put the shitty liquor store back there…it had way much to offer the community…

Yes, it really did. The owner had been there for many many years and was part of the community and was a humble and kind man, respected and loved. Did not bother anyone and served everyone.

It was a very clean corner . No graffiti, no one hanging out, no noise. It was a place for the neighborhood and all could afford it. Does this place do that now? To expensive for everyone, a lot more noise, not welcoming, not loved and not part of the community. Give me the liquor/grocery store anytime.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that the current establishment on that corner is a farce and does little to serve the community that surrounds it. But the former establishment was a little more than a incense-infused, sparsely stocked corner store with little more that malt liquor and cigarettes. King’s Market is cheaper anyway.

Yes but loved and part of the community and affordable.

That’s not a good enough reason, as the drug dealers on the corner of 16th and Mission also are loved by their neighbors and are said to be rather affordable.

Let’s make it white and bring in swanky high priced restaurants and a Bevmo instead of that “liquor store” that no one in the “community can afford, bringing I more whites pretending to be poor and price them out of there neighborhood oh it’s already done. I love “diversity” though all my friends look just like me- typical hypster.

Burn the Google bus!

Google has made my life easier.
This restaurant never has. Plus too many of the poster supporting the restaurant guy seemed biased against the Latinos. More info would be helpful, but as is, I like Google, and trending against the restaurant guy.

I know the family. They told me that the server did not offer any explanation. They asked him twice, and only 2 other folks were in the restaurant. The owner did not respond until a week later. He then said they do not seat more then 4 after a certain time in the morning. The server did not explain that to the Cuadra Family which had a party of six.

Why no explanation to the family? Why no signs indicating that? Why wait a week to respond? He only responded after pressure from the community.

Discrimination does happen even here in San Francisco. Its not the first time and it won’t be the last….

It was due to them not having a large enough seating group in the restaurant from what I heard. The server told them to go to Mission Local Eatery as they had big tables for 6. If they were racist they wouldn’t have recommended their other restaurant. I’m, Mexican and have never had a problem there.

You’re a creep.

As a server and a host, I know what the word “accommodate” can mean. Local’s Corner DOES accept reservations via Open Table, so it is possible that a table for 5, as a walk in, was unable to be accommodated, as the tables were reserved prior for guests who made arrangements. Configuring tables for 5 could likely not be done. As for the work load, it is also possible that the server couldnt accommodate more customers at that time, because he or she may be the only person serving a floor that can seat 25 people+. While an explanation would be good, he or she isnt required to give the family one.
What I found more offensive and disgusting is that the family automatically assumes, out of their own frustration of gentrification, that they were denied because of their ethnic background. Who are they kidding? This is San Francisco. If that was the case, the entire Mission would be devoid of all latinos and would be a white only neighborhood. Simply not the case. When people play the race card, my red flags go up and I know instantly this family is out to get something.

“When people play the race card, my red flags go up and I know instantly”

So every time someone claims to be the victim of racism you know instantly that they are “out to get something”. That would mean that there is no racism, ever. Thanks for the good news, moron.

This reminds me of the case in the Palo Alto sports bar Old Pro where the White waitress refereed some of the Asians in a group waiting to be seated as “Ching-Chongs.” Ironically, the owners of the bar is an Asian girl who’s interracially married that chooses her maiden name but used her actual last name for this case. Sick. Hopefully this makes it on the news because many Latins are already disgrunted enough with the gentrifications/evictions of the neighborhood’s culture they’ve innovated. This is just another slap in the face. In the meantime, there’s Yelp. 

Just saw the story on SFGate that Locals Market has been spray-painted with “Get Lost!” and “Die!”  Whether the claims of discrimination turn out to be true or not … graffiti hate speech is so not okay.  People seriously need to get a grip.  Living in this neighborhood with so many amazing places to eat, my SO and I NEVER make reservations and always just take our chances, realizing that popular spots may not be able to seat us when we show up.  There is always another place to try … which is what I suggest people do if they feel they are not treated fairly at a neighborhood establishment.  No need to hate-monger … just take your business elsewhere.  The first few times we tried to eat at Locals Corner we, too were turned away when it appeared there were open tables (BTW, we’re white).  Turns out they close between 3pm and 5pm on weekends in order to change over from brunch to dinner (that was the culprit the first time), and a few other times they were just booked up with reservations.

P.S. The “$4 toast” is pretty damn amazing (home-made, thick-cut, grilled - not toasted - and served with fresh sweet cream butter, kosher salt, and homemeade preserves).  You could eat just that for breakfast and be full.  But instead, people hear “$4 toast,” and think in their heads “Wonder Bread and Smuckers,” and decide to be outraged.

Well, that sure didn’t sound like a torrent of public relations bullshit at all. 

Hey folks! My SO and i NEVER pass up a chance to lap up puddles of hand crafted vomit, (home-made, thick-pooled, congealed - not toasted - and served with fresh sour cream bile, sweat salt, and homemeade premature ejaculate). You could eat just that for breakfast and be full.

These protestors are idiots, just the same as those opposing the google buses.  Modern day luddites and knee-jerk reactionists.  I’m going to stop by this Local Market for my next shopping trip to support them.

Do you even know what a Luddite is or are you just spouting catchphrase nonsense?

I too am intending to stop by this (fill in the blank) for my next (fill in the blank) to support them.

Take that all you quaaludes and knee-jerk reanimators!

I’ve been deined seating in empty san francisco restaurants on many occasions; I’m white, and I belive I was denied seating because I had children with me.

Possibly this woman with her family also had children with her.

I think SF restaurants discriminate against families with children – regardless of their ethnicity.  It’s a very family unfriendly town. 

David Campos is a complete joke. I have endured two terms of his progressive “spend money on everything”, and “let’s pass referendums on other countries versus running San Francisco better” agenda. I reached out on several occasions to ask for his support and share my views on issues happening in our district and my emails went unanswered because I don’t share his politics. Campos votes progressive 100% of the time - serious. He always backs any pro-union proposal or measure and guess what - they always back him. He voted to let Russ M, our convicted spousal abuser sheriff, off the hook (a fellow progressive). He never makes a tough decision, rather, he just votes along progressive lines and spends, spends, spends. He is also good at raising taxes too. Do we really want a clown like this guy representing us in Sacramento? We already have too many career politicians, maybe it’s time for Dave get off the public servant dole and start working for a living? Vote for Chiu if you want what’s best for SF!

“I reached out on several occasions to ask for his support and share my views on issues happening in our district and my emails went unanswered”

Whoa! Don’t get too specific there. Have you considered the possibility that your views were so generalized as to be 100% pointless? Or that he was elected by a large group of people that do not share your conservative bullshit politics? Or that he might not have time to personally answer emails from assholes that are never going to be satisfied with him because he’s not a conservative like Chiu who sucks up to the moneyed and the powerful while pretending to be finding common ground?

Do we really want a clown like you giving us voting advice based on vague assertions borne on the wind of your blasts of your own rich anal gas?

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