Local’s Corner Protest Postponed, Talks Ensue

Flier advertising protest of Local's Corner and other businesses owned by Yaron Milgrom.

Flier advertising protest of Local's Corner and other businesses owned by Yaron Milgrom.

 

 

In response to allegations of racial discrimination and a recently filed sexual harassment lawsuit at Local Mission Eatery and Local’s Corner, community organizers had plans to host a “Local’s Walk of Shame” on Thursday to call attention to allegations levied against these businesses and others owned by Yaron Milgrom. But those protests are called off—for now.

In a message on the event’s Facebook page posted earlier today, the San Francisco chapter of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) announced that the protest will be postponed until May 8th because the group is actively involved in negotiations with Milgrom.

“While there have been meetings before without significant changes, as a sign of good faith, we are postponing the march to allow for negotiations to take place,” noted the post from ACCE. “We will be prepared to march again on the 8th if the community’s demands are not met.”

The group’s demands include that Milgrom’s businesses, which also includes Local Mission Market and newly-opened Local’s Cellar, “respect civil rights, issue a public apology, and give back to the community through local hire, affirmative action and community benefits agreements.”

Local’s Corner was first accused of racial discrimination in April of last year, when an employee allegedly refused service to longtime Mission resident Sandra Cuadra and her family. Since then, Local’s Corner has been vandalized twice. Local’s Corner engendered renewed ire, and accusations of racial discrimination, when CCSF professor Patricia Nunley—like Cuadra, a woman of color—and seven or her students were allegedly denied service.

Milgrom has stated previously that the incident involving Cuadra was a misunderstanding. And yesterday, he took to the protest’s Facebook page to state that he had indeed been in talks with ACCE and that the most recent allegations are false. Milgrom says that Local’s Corner, which has only 28 seats and doesn’t serve parties of eight, could not serve Nunley and her seven students but they were sent to Local Mission Eatery instead, which has a larger dining room.

“Dr. Nunley and her students were not denied service,” wrote Milgrom. “The staff did as they should and reserved a table at our larger restaurant with a suitable table. And Dr Nunley and her students ate, what I hope was, a delicious dinner at Local Mission Eatery.”

Milgrom also describes previous efforts to engage with community groups and a concerted effort to hire neighborhood residents and Latinos. He states that Local Mission Market currently has two job placements at Local Mission Market for the SFUSD transitional program for developmentally handicapped young adults and that all his businesses donate food for local school fundraisers and events. Milgrom also notes that 25% of the staff at his businesses are Latino, which include “a chef de cuisine, head baker, baker, cashiers, greeter, line cook, and dishwashers.”

ACCE has said that if their demands are met through negotiations with Milgrom, they will hold a community celebration in place of a protest against his businesses. Mission Local will continue to follow the talks as they develop and attempt to get more thoughts from the parties involved. Neither protest organizers nor the business owner being protested could be reached for additional comment.

53 Comments

  1. Matt

    It’s called extortion.

    • My Take

      YOU are called a typical old fat white Republican who should move to Russia.

      • Matt

        Your “Take” makes no sense. Try a class in critical thinking. I make my home in the Mission and live it every day. I try and call it like it is without bias. I happen to be half Lebanese with immigrant family roots that assimilated into this country and who would be laughing at your “struggle”. You’ve never had it so good.

  2. pete

    The scumbag Mission Mafia hard at work.

  3. pete

    Looks like Julien Ball is trying his hand at extortion. Stay strong, Milgrom, and don’t cower to these racist thugs.

  4. poor.ass.millionaire

    They can hold their “community celebration” at his eatery. God knows they have cost him business with their utter bullshit.

  5. economist

    And your real name is ________?

    Hints:

    Multiple OMI evictions.
    At least one Ellis Act eviction.
    Lives in western part of Mission, used to live in eastern part of Mission.

    Who will uncover the identity of “John”?

    • John

      Wow, do I have my first ever stalker? How exciting.

      But why do you care about my identity? Is fighting racism really that rare?

      You might want to consider a less weird hobby.

  6. Scott

    unreal. when is there going to be a Walk of Shame to call attention to this nonsense?

  7. pete

    So is Missionlocal indiscriminately deleting comments now?

    • Pete: As we have explained in our policy, we are trying to keep commenters to one comment and one reply. We are not always successful because patrolling the comments is time intensive and we don’t have a full-time staff. We have, however, gotten a lot of complaints about the comments not being monitored more closely. So, we try to oblige. Do we make mistakes? Yes.

  8. Missy District

    Why isn’t the spokesperson for ACCE identified in the story? Why isn’t that person asked by Mission Local for a response to Mr. Milgrom’s comments about accommodating Dr. Nunley’s party and about his donations of food to the community, job postings for developmentally disabled people and Latino staff?
    I’m strongly against racial profiling but this keeps feeling more and more like mob rule, not constructive community engagement.

    • tiritiritran tran tran

      I agree with you.

    • Missy District

      In response to allegations of racial discrimination and a recently filed sexual harassment lawsuit at Local Mission Eatery and Local’s Corner [businesses identified by name], community organizers [who are they? Identify them] had plans to host a “Local’s Walk of Shame” on Thursday to call attention to allegations levied against these businesses and others owned by Yaron Milgrom [business owner identified by name]. But those protests are called off—for now.
      In a message on the event’s Facebook page posted earlier today, the San Francisco chapter of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) announced [WHO?? Identify the human beings posting this page and making this announcement] that the protest will be postponed until May 8th because the group is actively involved in negotiations [WHO is involved with the negotiations? Name the person or persons] with Milgrom [business owner identified by name again].
      “While there have been meetings before without significant changes, as a sign of good faith, we are postponing the march to allow for negotiations to take place,” noted the post from ACCE. [WHO wrote this post? Identify the writer.] “We will be prepared to march again on the 8th if the community’s demands [WHO is “the community” and WHO is stating the demands?] are not met.”
      The group’s demands [WHOSE demands? Identify the person or persons comprising the group and making the demands.] include that Milgrom’s [business owner identified by name again] businesses, which also includes Local Mission Market and newly-opened Local’s Cellar, [businesses identified by name again] “respect civil rights, issue a public apology, and give back to the community through local hire, affirmative action and community benefits agreements.”
      Local’s Corner [business identified by name again] was first accused of racial discrimination in April of last year, when an employee allegedly refused service to longtime Mission resident Sandra Cuadra and her family. Since then, Local’s Corner [business identified by name again] has been vandalized twice. Local’s Corner [again] engendered renewed ire, and accusations [by whom?] of racial discrimination, when CCSF professor Patricia Nunley—like Cuadra, a woman of color—and seven or her students were allegedly denied service. [why isn’t Prof. Nunley interviewed for this article?]
      Milgrom [owner named again] has stated previously that the incident involving Cuadra was a misunderstanding. And yesterday, he took to the protest’s Facebook page to state that he had indeed been in talks with ACCE and that the most recent allegations are false. Milgrom [again] says that Local’s Corner, which has only 28 seats and doesn’t serve parties of eight, could not serve Nunley and her seven students but they were sent to Local Mission Eatery instead, which has a larger dining room. [Why didn’t Mission Loc@l interview ANY of these people, including Prof. Nunley?]
      “Dr. Nunley and her students were not denied service,” wrote Milgrom. “The staff did as they should and reserved a table at our larger restaurant with a suitable table. And Dr Nunley and her students ate, what I hope was, a delicious dinner at Local Mission Eatery.” [Mr. Milgrom, quoted, on the record]
      Milgrom also describes previous efforts to engage with community groups and a concerted effort to hire neighborhood residents and Latinos. He states that Local Mission Market currently has two job placements at Local Mission Market for the SFUSD transitional program for developmentally handicapped young adults and that all his businesses donate food for local school fundraisers and events. Milgrom also notes that 25% of the staff at his businesses are Latino, which include “a chef de cuisine, head baker, baker, cashiers, greeter, line cook, and dishwashers.”
      ACCE has said [WHO???? ACCE isn’t a human being. NAME the person or persons who said the things you attribute to an acronym] that if their demands are met through negotiations with Milgrom [named again], they [WHO WHO WHO??] will hold a community celebration in place of a protest against his businesses. Mission Local will continue to follow the talks as they develop and attempt to get more thoughts from the parties involved. Neither protest organizers [WHO WHO WHO are they?? You have not named a single one] nor the business owner being protested could be reached for additional comment. [You are saying that you reached someone at some point. NAME THAT PERSON OR THOSE PERSONS in order to give some credibility to your anonymous-accuser pseudo-journalism.]

      • BabaBooey

        Yes! And what exactly does ‘community benefits agreements’ mean? Are the ACCE looking for a handout (extortion?)

  9. Missy District

    This is a request for a reply from Mission Local —

    Why isn’t the spokesperson for ACCE identified in the story? Why isn’t that person asked by Mission Local for a response to Mr. Milgrom’s comments about accommodating Dr. Nunley’s party and about his donations of food to the community, job postings for developmentally disabled people and Latino staff?
    I’m strongly against racial profiling but this keeps feeling more and more like mob rule, not constructive community engagement.

  10. ThatGuy

    Shame on you MissionLocal. What is up with this FoxNews-type pandering? Why promote this mafia/terrorist bullshit?

    SHAME ON YOU

    • ThatGuy: When the two parties enter into negotiations and post publicly on the issue, it is a story. Maybe you have some advice on how to handle this. Best, Lydia

      • John

        I think a legitimate question is raised here though. Almost everyone I speak to thinks this “war on Local” thing is an unfounded, unjustified piece of identity politics run amuck.

        By choosing to cover it as if it is a story of significance, you make a conscious decision not only to elevate the complaints to the level of reasonableness, but also to imply that you take the side of the complainants.

        A vibrant local business is under assault from a group of politically-motivated ideologs and I think that you should either defend Local against this slander or at least stay neutral and not give the race terrorists the oxygen of publicity.

        On the other hand, I understand that envy sells copy and attracts eyeballs. And that presents you with a dilemma. Do you make cheap plays for eyeballs or do you do the right thing and dismiss such poisoned rhetoric and racialist pandering?

        Perhaps now that you have been cut loose from UCB and have to pay your way in the world, that constraint will act as a powerful moderator and dissuade ML from cheap pandering of the ideologs.

        That remains to be seen. But since you clearly love good food and the restaurant scene of the New Mission, I continue to hope that you aspire to objectivity and dispassionate coverage in this regard.

        • economist

          You clearly do not agree with the campaign. Your comical name calling shows that. “Racialist?” Channeling George Wallace, are you? Probably one of your heroes.

          You are, however, ignoring the fact that actual instances of employee harassment and refusal of service happened at these restaurants which is what is fueling the protest/negotiations.

          Restauranteurs have opened plenty of new places recently in the Mission, most aimed at well-heeled customers. Only Milgrom has faced such opposition. Don’t you wonder why? No one is marching outside Wise Sons or any of the other newcomers.

          Rather than try to understand legitimate grievances, you dismiss them in the most lazy way. And you cap off that lassitude by trying to dictate the journalism policy of this website.

          Bossy and dense.

          • John

            Except that when those cases (just two of them AFAIK) are examined, it is quickly seen that they were not about race at all, but rather they were about a large group of people showing up at a tiny (which if you had been there, you would know) establishment and demanding to be instantly and unconditionally seated.

            And if that has been a large party of white people, they would have simply accepted the rejection and gone elsewhere. I have been turned away various times and I do not get all uppity about it.

            But because (obviously) one member of that excessively large party was both non-white and a card-player, they turned it into a barrage of unjustified abuse against a successful local enterprise.

            I would be angry if any establishment in my community was racist. But in this case I see the complainants as the racists. So I am angry about the card-players, and concerned that ML is giving them cover and credence.

      • Missy District

        I have some advice —
        1. Identify the anonymous ACCE spokesperson.
        2. Ask that person for a response to Mr. Milgrom’s comments about accommodating Dr. Nunley’s party and about his donations of food to the community, job postings for developmentally disabled people and Latino staff.
        3. STOP citing anonymous sources, whether they are blog posts or “spokespersons.”
        4. Do good journalism. Challenge your own biases and assumptions.

  11. Sigh Out Loud

    Don’t know much about the details of the protest, but it seems the article shows both sides. So not sure what John’s problem with the article is. Maybe he doesn’t like the mention of any protest. As a white person, though I have to say, I really appreciate John’s crusading on our behalf. I mean us white people have had a really hard time in America, during the last 200 years or so, I mean with all the racism directed towards us and what not. I urge John to look into something called white privilege, because he might not know he has it, as it is a condition of white privilege that it is often invisible to those that have it. I myself, actually try to sympathize with the frustrations that people of color have with a still white dominated society. And while I do hope for a day when we all have equality and when difference is celebrated instead of attacked, I also understand that the playing field is hardly level just yet. But John, soon you shouldn’t have to worry because it seems like the Mission is getting whiter and whiter each day. Also John, it seems that nowadays in San Francisco, classism is the new racism, and that not only are people of color affected, but pretty much anyone who isn’t a tech worker, or someone involved in real estate (landlords, property owners, speculators, etc.), is also being affected. Something tells me that when it comes to the new classism, John isn’t being affected too negatively. Maybe John should spend his time crusading for something we all really need.

    • Michael Andrade

      John is a consummate consumer of Fox News.

      • John

        I have never paid attention to Fox News. I am a registered Democrat who voted for Obama last time out, and never voted for Bush. I am quite conservative on economic issues but am a liberal on social issues. I have no objection to abortion, gay marriage or civil rights.

        I do, however, believe that this protest is blatant and opportunistic racecard-playing by an seemingly anonymous clique of people just because think they think they have an angle, which appears to be based on a misunderstanding.

        More generally I despair of the increasing racism shown towards white people in the Mission, as some kind of backlash because the Mission is now only 50% Hispanic instead of 60% Hispanic. How Hispanic do you want to to be?

        So yes, I call out racism here on the part of these self-styled protesters. I support Local and have started eating there more to show my support for the victims of racism.

        Oh, and the last time I ate there, the staff were 50% non-white.

  12. observant neighbor

    This story is a great opportunity for Mission Local to do some reporting–not just on the calling off of the protest and negotiations. How about interviewing Cuadra and Nunley, and Nunley’s students? The servers in the restaurant?

    And, even more important, interview ACCE! What investigation did they do to establish the credibility of the allegations before they launched the protests? Who else are they trying to secure local hire / community benefit agreements from? What are their criteria for deciding which local businesses have to enter such agreements (or face protests)?

    • tiritiritran tran tran

      Sandra Cuadra is dead, she wont be interviewed.
      But I have eaten at the place and its small, very small and yes, they do not accommodate big groups. And they do recommend to make it to the bigger restaurant.
      Why is this racist? What’s the big deal?
      Why does it sounds to me that this goes beyond these restaurants and the market…
      Looks like some of the people of my neighborhood are bullying it.

  13. Graciela

    I’m really concerned about the folks commenting on this post. Why is Mission Local printing an email from Yaron Milgram? How is that objective? Also, I think that denying the experiences of Sandy Cuadra and others as a misunderstanding and dismissing the discrimination they experience is low. City College students did come out and verified the story of Ms. Nunley. I’m wondering now if this is a puff piece initiated by Milgram rather than real reporting. And I’m sure his supporters, probably on the same list serve that received Milgrams email, are the ones commenting here and trying to reframe the message. Milgram is a racist and he and his supporters need to stop blaming the victims of his racism.

    • tiritiritran tran tran

      I am an immigrant, my husband is black, we lived in the mission for the last 20 years.
      WAY before Cuadra went there, we had brunch at the small place.
      We had a great time!
      what is racist about it?

    • pete

      You’re the racist, rascist.

    • Missy District

      Graciela, why do you think that no member of the alleged “group” posting these notices and making demands is ever identified in this story? There is no way to confirm anything they are supposed to have said. All of the “group’s” comments and demands are ANONYMOUS. Only Milgrom is on the record and speaking in his own name.
      Anonymous accusation is cowardice and Mission Local is not doing responsible journalism by basing this entire story on ANONYMOUS demands.

  14. Mary

    Mission scumbag mafia? Racist thugs? Extortion? Wow. The Mission/Bernal chapter of ACCE is comprised of your neighbors. A teacher, home health aide, college student, writer, nurse, as well as other vocations. White, Black, Latino and Asian. In responding to the rapid gentrification of our community, we have been presented with numerous, multiple complaints about treatment of neighbors by either Local’s businesses staff or by Mr. Milgrom. We are responding to reports that do not necessarily match Mr Mikgrom’s version, and in some cases are quite chilling. Read the court document outlying the charges of sexual harassment and labor violations made by a former employee of the Eatery. While some defend Mr. Milgrom as a talented, visionary, businessman, plenty of others report interactions in which Mr M acted with arrogance, manipulation, and broken promises. If a business comes into a community to sell/ serve food that is unaffordable to a large segment of the existing community, oughtn’t that business either choose a different community or enter with some humility, with an intent to give back to that immediate community and integrate itself into that community? Our community has every right to challenge businesses that do harm in our neighborhood and who seem to care so little about the “local” community that existed before it’s arrival,

    • marcos

      Given that there have been so many organizers active in the Mission on behalf of “the most vulnerable” for so long, and given that the circumstances of “the most vulnerable” in the Mission have continued to deteriorate at an accelerating pace over that time, and given that these organizers continue to get paid by the City and grant making foundations, at some level there has to be accountability enforced for getting paid for not effectively contesting policies that have clearly racist outcomes.

      Yes, racism of the first instance is by speculators, corporate boosters and conservatives. But failing to effectively contest that and failing to assess why those efforts fail enables that racism practically. Mission residents need to own our own self determination, this outsourcing it to “professionals” has failed, is failing.

      Identity politics is the disconnect. From my experience in the queer world, most LGBT do not see themselves as LGBT identitarians, gender theoreticians do. From my experience with people of color, they do not see themselves as the people of color identitarians say they should see themselves.

      Thus, the identity politics practitioners are operating from a self imposed minority position. They are unable to mount an effective challenge to neoliberalsm, so the neoliberals keep them around as declawed pets that provide the illusion of them pretending to give a shit.

    • pete

      If you don’t like the place don’t eat there. I’ve been to all of his establishments and found the staff lovely and always had a good experience.

  15. A.R.

    The nasty vituperative tone of most of the comments makes one wonder if they are all from one person.

    The article itself is slanted towards the business owner: “He states… he describes….He notes…” His statements are not facts; moreover in at least one case his statements are hearsay, and most likely false.

  16. White girl lifetime resident of the mission

    Calling out racism is not racist. Reversing the label is the oldest trick in the book. Disgusting. Quite typical of these new residents not to have the faintest notion of their privilege or the impact they have. Get out of your virtual reality and show a little humility.

  17. buck bagot

    I’ve lived in Bernal Heights, and fought for the preservation and improvement of Bernal and the Mission, since 1976. I wish that Mission Local had made an attempt to contact member of the SF ACCE Mission/Bernal chapter to get a direct response. Our members are a multi-ethnic cross-section of SF/the Mission and Bernal, and we work closely with Our Mission No Eviction and the 24th St. Merchants Assn. We are fighting the displacement of long-term residents, and small businesses, from the Missiona nd Bernal – and yes, especially low and middle income people, and people of color. Milgram will get the chance to make his case in negotiations with a mixed-ethnic group of area residents, all of us concerned about displacement and racism.

  18. Kaliman

    Mr. Milgrom has no one to blame to but himself and his business partners. Racial discrimination and sexual harassment are serious allegations. His phony “local” branding needs to take responsibility and he’s shown by his lack of genuine actions that these matters are not that important.

    They are – again, racial discrimination and sexual harassment serious allegations!

    Most businesses have clear guidelines on how to address these matters.

    • pete

      The ‘Local’ refers to locally sourced food ,genius.

      • carlpisaturo@mindspring.com

        Actually, Pete, “Local’s” is the possessive form of the noun “local”, which gives the erroneous impression that this eatery is for people who live nearby.

        “Local’s Corner” is a name which adds insult to injury.

        The injury being the creation of a greed force field that has already destroyed the Million Fishes Art Collective (now a tech office), inspired to a mass eviction at Florida and 23rd, and closed the neighborhood Laundromat kitty corner to it (apparently being made into another eatery).

        The insult part is that only a tiny percentage of their customers are locals – because the locals are mostly working class people who can’t afford hundred dollar dinners.

        • pete

          Most of their customers are Locals, including me. And if you’d ask him about the name rooted in the fact they source locally..

  19. tiritiritran tran tran

    it is true that the restaurant is small and looks like they have a policy of not serving big groups.
    What is wrong with that? What’s racial about that?
    Customers are sent to their bigger place so they can be served.
    What is wrong with that?
    Sexual Harassment? Did an employee do that? How can the owner ‘controlled’ how other humans behave, beside stating whats ok and what is not in the contract?
    How is one individual behavior a responsibility of a business?
    Who am I to say which business is OK and which one is not? I just don’t give my money to the one I don’t like.

    Looks like this business is being bullied.
    Show me facts.

  20. BabaBooey

    Why doesn’t the ACCE come out and just say it? White people don’t belong here.

  21. Adela

    Simply we need an earthquake and all the hipsters/racist/invaders will go away. I remember ’89 and how the city cleaned up real nice!

  22. pete

    What does this have to do with the GOP? I’m not, nor have ever been republican. I’m just not a reactionary racist fool like yourself.

Comments are closed.