Local's Empire Picketed, Vandalized Following Renewed Claims of Discrimination

After negotiations between SF Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and Yaron Milgrom of the Local’s empire broke down, the group held a “Flyering Against Discrimination” protest last night to shed light on allegations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment against the business.

ACCE wrote of the protest:

To the naked eye, Local’s Corner looks like any other overpriced restaurant that’s popped up in the Mission in recent years. But it’s even worse. It has denied service—at least twice—to groups of Mission residents of color who tried to order food. Its owner, Yaron Milgrom, owns three other businesses in the neighborhood: Local’s Eatery, Local’s Market and Local’s Cellar. A server at Local’s Eatery has filed suit for sexual harassment. Join us as we tell Milgrom to respect civil rights, issue a public apology, and give back to the community through local hire, affirmative action and community benefits agreements.

Join us as we pass out and post hundreds of flyers in the neighborhood calling on Mission residents to boycott Local’s businesses.

Also stay tuned for Sunday May 25. We will be picketing one or more “Local’s” establishments during Carnaval, the busiest day of the year in the Mission.

However, as a tipster noted, the awareness campaign spread into vandalism late last night, with at least Local Mission Market having “die” and “get lost!!!” spray painted across the building.

The original claim of discrimination against Sandra Cuadra and her family resulted in Milgrom writing a public apology and promising to review the situation with staff.  The sexual harassment suit was settled out of court shortly after our story on the suit was published.

Photos from outside Local Mission Eatery last night, and Milgrom’s written statement to protesters, after the jump.

Milgrom discussing the situation with a protester as police watch in the background.  There were approximately a dozen and a half protesters in total.

Comments (37)

This is why Kickstarter weirds me out; why donate money to for-profit ventures?

Complete bullshit.

I eat at Locals Corner, the food is great and its several blocks from my apartment.  *shrug*

Frankly, I also shop at Locals Cellar as its really the only place around me that sells wine worth buying.  If I go to Tony’s I’d spend the same on a bottle that’s awful, not to imply that I don’t still love Tony’s as I certainly do. 

I don’t go to Local mission market though, but it’s hard to imply the area around isn’t extremely yuppified.  Hell this whole area is, it’s hard for me to take criticism of price seriously when area rents are 2.5-3k, it seems like this restaurant is a scapegoat for gentrification.  It’s not 1998

I’m going to shop/dine at one of his businesses this weekend. Screw these misguided morons.

What bothers me about the “refused service” allegations is that from what I understand it was a large group that did not have a reservation requesting a table at Local’s Corner.  If you’ve seen the place, you know that they really can’t pull off any tables for parties larger than six.  They said they could not accomodate them and then offered them a large table at Local Mission Eatery on 24th.  I can’t speak to the second refusal of service incident or the sexual harassment allegations, but I am skeptical of the claims…to say the least.



I walk by there all the time and they have a bench w seats that can EASILY accomodate 10 ppl w 10 seats all ready arranged. And besides the ACCE tested their policy w a group of all white ppl and they were seated. if that is a misunderstanding then obviously his whole staff needs to be checked on whats discrimination what isnt 

And I tried to go there with a group of mostly white people and they couldn’t take me. The ACCE isn’t trustworthy; they’re interested in spectacle and driving new business out. They will not compromise. They’re dishonest and not to be trusted. 

Which is just fine. The gentrifiers are going to win. 

And by the way, the group accepted the invitation to eat at Local Mission Eatery, ate dinner there, and then decided to complain. I guess they didn’t like the food…haha.

The details of the allegations are as follows:  Sandra cuadra and her multigenerational family were refused service with no explanation, despite the fact that the place wasempty.  Later, she was told her party of 5 was too large.  Several months later, dying of cancer yet still angry, Sandra led a protest against the establishment with Our Mission No Eviction.  Some months later a group of ccsf students with their teacher Patricia Nunley were seated as a party of 6, again in an empty restaurant. They were served bread and water with a place setting for 8.  Soon after they were all told to leave, as they were apparently too noisy.  The group was comprised of local neighborhood multicultural youth with an African American professor.  Disheartened, they went to locale restaurant, Frutilandia instead.  Milgram states that they were offered, and ate atthis eatery instead.  However, there is a group photo which proves that milgram’s claim is false.  Some months later, a test group of 6 all white people, with a setting for a seventh, we’re seated with great courtesy.  They were deliberately noisy and had no reservation on a Thursday night. Again, ther is a photo of that incident.    Local residents are tired of wealthy newcomers who have no social conscience and who believe they are entitled to take over a place they did notcontribute to or build.  It is disrespectful and infuriating to be treated as an outsider in the neighborhood wher one has grown up.  Wake up, self satisfied yuppies!

No, no.  You don’t understand.  No one could ever be racist and white people aren’t treated better.  You’re just a bunch of haters who don’t like $30 entrees and hip Californian cuisine.

AND WE WILL WIN (Because rich, white people haven’t been winning for the last several hundred years, amirite?)

Not a very clever troll…keep trying, or better yet, curl up and die.

Seriously, this is such a problem.  Why won’t people just let me be at one with my privilege in peace.

I would like to amend my comment above.  I know nothing about the sexual harassment allegations and don’t want to imply they are without merit.  They should be taken seriously (and it sounds like they have been).  However, to roll them the behavior of a manager into a protest about gentrification seems like a stretch.

Well the dude didn’t help his cause by naming his businesses with such daft monikers. I mean, really. Local’s This? Local’s That? With all the changes that have gone on in that are of the Mission and the high number of people who take issue with the changes he thought calling his high-end food boutiques “Local”? I’m not excusing the graffiti but come on. Could he be any more out of touch?

The place is a big fat target for anti-gentrifcation activists.  Ridiculous pricing, snotty attitudes, forbidding security.  And I’m supposed to feel sorry for them that they got vandalized?  They can more than cover the costs of repainting by selling some of that overly marked up asparagus.

It’s really irresponsible for you to encourage vandalism. Why would anyone want you as part of their community?

It IS so irresponsible to encourage vandalism.  What next, encouraging people to buy $500 hand held computers that are made by Chinese children?

Yea, or something else irrelevant to the point!

If you’re ok with destroying a business maybe I should have one of my rich friends Ellis you out of your place. 

Totally, but why haven’t they already Ellised?  Can’t wait around on the bottom line.  Sounds like your “rich friend” (aka you amirite) isn’t going to be so rich for long. 

Ridiculous and misguided. I was the manager at Blowfish Sushi in the previous heyday of the dot com drama and we dealt with similar issues (not nearly as extreme). Everyone working there is just trying to eek out an existance in this town and to threaten a business owner and staffs personal safety is more than out of line. 

This is blackmail, pure & simple. I plan to eat more often at locals just so I can piss off these vandals.

I dont know many locals who regularly shop/dine at these 3 establisents and I stopped supporting them after trying Locals Corner once, only to be overcharged for mediocre food.  They’re an easy target yes, just as google buses are, for the fight against gentrification - but it isn’t unwarranted. If you’re going to position yourself as a LOCAL establishment, you should be sure you’re fairly embracing/serving/representing all people in that community. Rather than harassing, discriminating and displacing them. 

They do serve and embrace the community.  This is utter nonsense and completely over the top.  You’d think he actually killed Cuadra by this reaction…oh wait….just maybe….

Actually there were more than 18 protesters.

Also on the sexual harassment suit one of milgroms supporters disclosed to me a claim that she filed the suit IN SPITE of the business because “she knew she was going to be fired”. I was taken aback by that claim. It was really insensitive to the girl and her case.

this situation is so complicated but if there is one thing i learned its u cant mess with the real mission locals, they will stand up for themselves no matter what! 

The lawsuit was dismissed in December. There may have been some kind of settlement, but unless someone has documented information, people really should stop talking about this without saying the suit has been dismissed. 

Who do you think “the real mission locals” are? Part of this whole mess is people saying someone is more real (and entitled) than someone else. The conversation about this needs a thorough soaking in inclusiveness and the real meaning of community. 

Seriously!  If we have money and we want to use it to pay to live somewhere THAT MEANS WE ARE LOCALS.  Can’t you people understand that wealth allows us the freedom to be whoever we want to be?  Can you PLEASE stop oppressing us so we can just buy our condos and eat our expensive food in peace?  God, this shit is SO out of control.

Legally speaking, yes, having the money that a person wants to charge you to buy/rent a place is enough to live there and be considered a resident. You have a problem with this? You think it’s better that we structure society such that, say, neighbors get to forbid people from living in a neighborhood because they don’t like who they are? Because they don’t think they’re “cool” enough? Because they don’t look like the Right Kind Of People? Because you definitely won’t like many of the inevitable consequences of that approach, dear sarcastic anonymous poster.

who decides who and what is local at this point?  Milgrom and his family live across from Local’s Corner; his kids were born here, go to school here, you can see him in his stores every day of the week, and with his kids at the playground.  Go into La Palma and ask to talk to an owner – they will tell you that the owners are only in the store 1x/mo. because they moved away and own lots of businesses elsewhere.   Not a knock on La palma  - I shop at both.    

This makes me want to eat at his restaurant in solidarity and buy up as much property in the mission as I can. 

theres no compromising or or finding common ground with these protestors. They treat Wells Fargo and a small business owner the same way. They do not want to coexist. They just want to wage war. 

Thing is, they’re waging war against people with money. So while the graffiti and the destruction might be temporarily annoying, we all know rich people ultimately win. 

This isnt about money you jerk its a out racism and sexism. How is this even an argument! How can you all be so blind! These protester. Are fighting for people who were RACIALLY DISCRIMINATED against. How can anyone defend that??! The facts are there! How is any of this excusable to anyone who ares avout gentrification or “local” culture?! These people felt targeted and everybody has turned this into. Stupid argument about the times and aocial class. on ots not the 50’s anore people this time of shit is unacceptable! Grow up everybody amd face the god damned facts all ready RACISM and SEXISM still exist amd you cant just blame it on some people being poor rich from sf or not. It is fucking inexcusable! 

Milgrom is not a racist, you fool. He just doesn’t give a shit about you whining, west coast losers.

his facts seem at least as reliable as the other side’s facts. have you read both sides of the story?

Yeah!  Money wins you fuckers!  Doesn’t matter how you make it or where you get it.  And remember, everything lasts forever.  The tech boom will be here forever.  We will be here forever and nothing will ever change.  We are going to own everything and everyone forever!  (This message paid for by the exploitation of countless billions, a general disregard for nature and how it impacts the health of humans, etc. etc.)

Yea yea, probably don’t need to make your sarcastic point this many times in the same thread

This isnt about money you jerk its about racism and sexism. How is this even an argument! How can you all be so blind! These protester. Are fighting for people who were RACIALLY DISCRIMINATEDagainst. How can anyone defend that??! The facts are there! How is any of this defendable?? Tis isnt suppose to be about gentrification or “local” culture. These people felt targeted and everybody has turned this into A Stupid argument about the times and social class. its not the 50’s anymore people this type of shit is unacceptable! Grow up everybody and face the god damned facts all ready- RACISM and SEXISM still exist amd you cant just blame it on some people being poor rich from sf or not. It is fucking inexcusable!