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.