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.