Formerly La Placita Market, a neighbor wants to turn the space into a restaurant (photo courtesy of google maps)

Since coming to the Mission in 2008, Yaron Milgrom has talked passionately about his “local” ethos.

He makes it a priority for locals to eat at his 24th Street restaurant, Local: Mission Eatery. He is also involved in the community; last summer he took students from a college preparedness program on field trips to learn about agriculture and their neighborhood.

So it came as a surprise to him when some neighbors at a community meeting on Tuesday night cast him as outsider looking to make money at the expense of the neighborhood.

The meeting was held so neighbors could voice their concerns about Milgrom’s plans to open a restaurant across the street from his apartment at 23rd and Bryant streets.

The proposed 590-square-feet restaurant, Local’s Corner, would serve beer and wine and offer seating in the front. The Planning Commission tabled consideration of the project last week after Supervisor David Campos requested time to hold a meeting with neighbors.

“The more dialogue there is, the more people that support your project, the more it would help your business be successful,” Campos told Milgrom at the neighborhood meeting.

About 50 neighbors crowded the Million Fishes art gallery for the community meeting. Many supported Milgrom’s plan, but others were concerned that a restaurant would create more parking problems and noise in a residential neighborhood.

“We want to keep the corner a residential corner,” said Jessy Jones, who lives across the street from the proposed restaurant. “We like it quiet, we want a business that has a lower environmental impact in the neighborhood.”

Many neighbors were more supportive.

“The fact that he is investing back in the neighborhood is inspiring to me,” a woman in the audience said.

Some neighbors suggested that Milgrom turn the spot into a café that would bring fewer “outsiders” into the neighborhood. Others were concerned about additional noise from the crowds that would be attracted if the restaurant gets a good review from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Milgrom expects most customers to come from within the neighborhood, as they do at Local: Mission Eatery. The majority of his staff and about 80 percent of his customers are from the 94110 zip code, he said.

Other neighbors were upset that the meeting was held only after neighbors complained.

Brittany Bendix, the planner handling the project, said that community meetings are automatically triggered on bigger projects but not for those the size of Milgrom’s restaurant. Letters are sent to people who live within 300 feet of the project, and a poster advising residents about the proposal is hung at the site.

Some neighbors said they did not receive the letter, and pressed Milgrom about notifying them of his plans.

“The biggest mistake I made is that I didn’t realize there would be so much opposition to me turning a derelict liquor store into a beautiful restaurant,” he said. “I am still surprised.”

Neighbors who opposed to the restaurant said they were happy to see the liquor store go — so far that’s the one thing they agrees on.

After the meeting, Campos suggested that both groups continue talking, with his office serving as a mediator. Meanwhile, Jones continued to gather the signatures of those who oppose the plan, adding to the more than 145 she has already collected.

The San Francisco Planning Commission will hear the proposal again on Thursday, Jan. 26, at City Hall, room 400. The meeting starts at noon.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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115 Comments

  1. What nonsense! Just look at the joy and vitality that El Metate has brought this area. This place will be even smaller.

    I live right around the corner and am so happy Mr. Milgrom is opening another restaurant, and even more looking forward to the grocery store on Harrison.

    1. It amazes me how much local entrepreneurs must do to get their ideas off the ground – let alone sustain them. Kudos!

  2. At the meeting I heard two themes in the complaints. Noise + Parking.

    While I can understand that the local neighbors there have grown accustom to storing their automobiles on the public land in front of their houses, other than tradition, they do not really have a right or an easement to use public land this way. They are using public land for personal gain by parking on public space, taking it for granted, and wrongly feel entitled.

    Noise pollution is just the opposite. There, some people, or business feel they ‘deserve’ to create situations that “pollute” the public peace and quiet.

    Offsetting these two negatives is the benefit of creating local jobs.

    Bottom line, I don’t have sympathy for NIMBY complaints about lost parking for their convenience. I do have sympathy for their worry about noise, though I am not yet convinced that a restaurant makes more noise than a liquor store.

    And, local jobs are a really good thing!

    1. People have the right to park their cars in the neighborhood they live. Streets in residential areas are there for the residents to park. It is not feeling “entitled” it is just common sense that one would want to park where one lives and pay taxes.

    2. @LTM: No one is talking about “rights” or “entitlements”, those are words you use to disparage the concerns of people living in the neighborhood. Your same argument could be made if people objected to the removal of a public park, or a bike lane, or a sidewalk.
      It is perfectly reasonable for people living in a neighborhood to discuss how the public space is used and how a development affects their lives.
      You may not care about parking or may not wish to prioritize it. But please get rid of the sanctimony when discussing these issues and respect your neighbors concerns No one is taking public land for personal gain and disparaging those who care about their neighborhood as “NIMBYs” just shows that how close-minded and hostile you are to those who have different opinions.

  3. The noise issue is a biggie and frankly one that is undervalued , esp. in the Mission. This is high density living and a surfeit of noise is a negative, not a positive impact.

    1. I was at the meeting last night. I live a block away. Neighbors were sort of tangentially talking about noise and parking, but the relatively few vocal opponents were just angry. I suspect its just frustration in their personal lives that they were sharing with others. I think that the community would benefit by having more communal time, but it seems that we’re prone to only coming together for “divisive” issues rather than for the sake of community.

      If noise is a big issue, then I beg this consideration. There is so much noise that comes from big SUVs with tinted windows blasting Spanish music with big bass. Low riders speed through the neighborhood.

      If we have an open and well-lit corner, that’d be a wonderful thing that would bring people outdoors together, rather than locking ourselves up at night.

      1. A car driving by with music passes by in a short time. (Sorry if Latino’s vehicle and music choices in our neighborhood creates frustration in your personal life.) Outdoor seating on a previously quiet corner is loud and continual. If the restaurant is open from 6 am to 10 pm, that is at least 16 hours of constant noise reflecting off surrounding buildings, not to mention the time it takes to open and close which extends the noise longer. Not the same thing by a long shot. The grocery store that was on the corner for over 25 years never created that kind of noise. People have the right to their expectation of quiet habitability in their homes. Mr Milgrom does, you do, and everyone else does too. If you live in a business district, you have a different expectation. This is primarily a quiet residential area, and that’s why many choose to live here.

      2. noise also comes from drunk people standing on the corner drinking booze they just bought from the corner liquor store. It’s ard to imagine that a nice local restaurant can come anywhere near that!

  4. its funny to me that most of the people saying they dont want “outsiders” in the neighborhood are in fact “outsider”. El metate has brought so much to that block. if you dont remember 22 B, then you have no understanding of what has happened on that block.

  5. Scratch below the surface, and the issue is always gentrification. When people say they’d rather keep yet another crumby liquor store, rather than a new restaurant, they’re saying they want the neighborhood to remain crumby. Keep it crumby, trashy, dangerous, dirty: so the rents will stay low. It’s about gentrification and demographic shift.

    1. as long as the mission is full of crime and poverty, the white hipsters that fight these proposals will feel cool for living here. long term residents want fewer liquor stores that attract crime and more spots that deter it, like restaurants. gentrification is a word created by racists that want to keep poor people living in poor neighborhoods; living in areas without proper services and eating/drinking at liquor stores instead of a locally owned restaurants.

      1. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        The whole-life neighbors who spoke up are AGAINST the fancy restaurant. And they know that La Placida Market was not a nuisance.

        Get it straight… it’s not a word invented by hipsters and has nothing to do with coolness: GENTRIFICATION IS A LONG-TERM PROCESS THAT RESULTS IN NON-WEALTHY PEOPLE BEING FORCED OUT.

  6. No- they’re saying they want time which is not dominated by loud talking late at night. Everyone has a right to quiet.

    1. If you were talking about bars and nightclubs, you’d have a stronger point. But you’re talking about a restaurant. And getting rid of a nasty liquor store. Noise, if that’s your issue, will decrease.

      1. It’s simply a corner store. I don’t see why you have to call it “a nasty liquor store.”

  7. San Francisco is becoming a retirement village of curtain twitchers. Nothing will get done until the baby boomers die off completely. Why completely? Because in SF it only takes one loud curtain twitching boomer to stop all work on any project.

  8. Excerpt of a letter I just sent to David Campos:

    I am a twenty year resident of the Mission.
    The idea of another eatery that serves alcohol and wants outside seating does not make me happy.I think noise complaints get under valued and misunderstood.

    The Mission is a high-density, heavily residential district. Many of us have bedrooms or living spaces that front the street. What’s at stake is our ability to come home, and relax and go to sleep.
    Noise is a recognized environmental stressor.

    The San Francisco Dept. of Public Health-and other epidemiological research- has classified noise as an environmental health issue and treats it as such.

    That we have a “The Noise Program” which …” enforces noise control requirements… to reduce annoyance, sleep disturbance, and a variety of health problems associated with stress response to noise” speaks volumes (no pun intended) about the science-based recognition that human beings require periods of time of reduced stimulus.

    We already have to deal with the noise a city makes- cars, ambulances, stuff like that. But there are sources of noise that can be controlled. There should be residential spaces which are recognized as quiet- or relatively quiet- so that those of us who live here- which is to say sleep here- can find the peace we need, when we need it.

    I love the Mission. I love the weather. I like the access to BART, and, yes, I like the restaurants. However, I’m keenly aware of the times when I cannot relax, or sleep because of the amazing amount of alcohol in this neighborhood and the disturbances that follow on that.

    I have a liquor store across from me. If it were to close and reopen as a restaurant, I would be horrified. The signage that one sees on bars and restaurant, pleading with Missions crawlers to “respect our neighbors and keep the noise down” don’t do anything.

    Supervisor Campos should take this opportunity to schedule hearings on neighborhood noise which is directly generated by bars and restaurants. I guarantee you, you’d hear from people, like myself, who are routinely awoken at 3 am because of noise disturbances related to bar and restaurant closings.

    This would give people, who are weary of being dismissed as “nimby-ists” a forum for their concerns.

    There is a five-year old girl who lives across the street from me. Her bedroom is right on the street. Her parents are working class individuals who probably don’t have a lot of money. The corner her bedroom faces is heavily trafficked every night. I can’t believe she ever gets uninterrupted sleep. Is she a “nimby”?

    When these concerns are aired, the typical retort is some variation of “if you can’t handle the noise, leave”. This is a terrible retort to a real problem. Leave where? Who will pay my moving expenses? Who will pay for the increased cost of my commute? Why do we want to choke the suburbs and spur sprawl?

    Why don’t we instead re-fashion our attitudes towards high density living?

    1. Lay off the coffee and maybe you’ll sleep better.

      Rather than claiming that 5 year old neighbor girl can’t sleep because she’s on a busy street, maybe you should ASK HER rather than try and put words in her mouth. Most kids I know don’t like to sleep with silence, they find the silence scary.

    2. You’ve got to be kidding me, Suki.

      I lived on Bryant for years. I have a studio at 23rd and York. I can’t believe you’d rather have the shitty liquor store back rather than a restaurant.

      The noise on the 23rd St. corridor is already ridiculous. Be it the local residents drinking on the sidewalk from sun-up to midnight,, the bus driving by at all hours, street cleaning first thing in the morning four days a week police cars and ambulances blaring sirens en route to general or the all to frequent but rarely reported gun shots.

      If you don’t see how a nice restaurant will help lower crime, decrease vagrancy and make the neighborhood as a whole a better place you’re crazy.

    3. i live in the mission also and don’t worry about the people in the bars, but the drug dealers and thieves that wander the streets at night are really scary. my best friend was robbed on 23rd and florida at knife point two weeks ago and was beaten badly. she is still too afraid to walk at night in her own neighborhood and her face is still swollen and bruised. a restaurant keeps crack heads and thieves from loitering and helps to deter crime. i wish that my street had more businesses that were open late because as soon as the stores close, people hide in their entrances as they pee and lurk around.

    4. Since you have a liquor store in front of your home, you do not live close enough to the business in question to be affected by any change. I live a few doors down and am excited about the prospect of this new restaurant.

  9. “… we want a business that has a lower environmental impact in the neighborhood.”
    Huh?! You’d rather have a liquor store selling taaka vodka to neighborhood drunks?
    Nimby-ism stinks.

  10. Mr. Milgrom — please, please, please move your restaurant from 23d and Bryant to right across from Local: Mission Eatery — we would love for you to turn either of the 2 liquor stores on the corner of 24th & Folsom into another wonderful business like “Local”. In fact, we’d prefer if you could put it into the W-K Liquor store. I’ll take happy people eating over the W-K’s service to the visibly inebriated any day. Please continue to make my part of the Mission even better.

  11. @Suzi
    Yes, you are being a NIMBY. I’m tired of being afraid to walk home at night for fear of being mugged (…or worse. I mean, do you read the local news? You do understand what a mess this neighborhood is, right?), and to me, bringing in more local businesses means more human presence after dark. Mr. Milgrom is not asking to open a strip club, for christ’s sake, he’s opening a casual restaurant aimed at providing locals with more places to go in our neighborhood. I live at 22nd and Potrero, and absolutely 100% welcome this addition to our neighborhood. NIMBY’s are what ruin progress and change, Suzi, and you’re one of them. Please don’t kid yourself.

    1. I’m not a NIMBy and (even better), I’m not a name caller.
      I live in this neighborhood, and walk home after dark, just like you. I’ve lived in the Mission for 20 years. Reducing noise and looking critically at the factors that produce noise doesn’t equate with turning the neighborhood into a depopulated zone at all. There are lots of ways to increase safety (better street lighting, beat patrols) that never get discussed.
      And that what comment threads, and public hearings should should do- produce discussion.
      They also tend to produce heated name calling, which is all that you’re doing Heather.

      1. Why is it that we don’t have better lighting and beat patrols? Why are people just organizing against this restaurant and not *for* those, arguably far more important items?

        1. Great idea Bob. Instead of expecting someone else to do it, go door to door with a petition and do the foot work. I’ll sign it.

      2. You sure as hell haven’t lived on THIS block of the Mission for 20 years or you wouldn’t be complaining about the current noise from drunks at 3am.

  12. Let me also point out that while a restaurant opens at 5:30pm and closes by 9 or 10pm, W-K sells liquor to drunks from about *7AM* until midnight. Its customers throw liquor bottles all over the street and nearby houses resulting in much broken glass for little ones to fall on, and those customers then urinate, deficate and pass out in the driveways and sidewalks, providing even more materials for toddlers to avoid. Interestingly, Local: Mission Eatery patrons do none of these things. Local keeps its storefront clean and attractive, the patrons don’t loiter or make noise. As a current neighbor of Local with a small child, I would happily take (another) one of Mr. Milgrom’s restaurants or stores. So again, Mr. Milgrom — please keep it Local and stay at 24th & Folsom!

    1. totally disagree, i’ve been shopping at w-k for many years and very happy with them as i buy my laundry detergent eggs bread water etc…
      and i’ve seen them refuse selling to drunks many times and i encourage them on that.
      in fact drunks send people to buy them alcohol and they do it which makes it very hard for any business.
      please if anyone drunk ask you to buy him alcohol please don’t

  13. Part of living in a city is noise and not being able to find parking. If you dont like it maybe you should consider moving to a less dense place or pay for an off street parking spot. The school on Harrison offers monthly spaces.

    I am terribly sensitive to noise and found using a white noise machine works wonders. You should try it.

    I don’t understand why people are so against changes that enhance the quality of our community.

  14. I’d say the liquor store is the real evil. I would welcome a restaurant with open arms if it replaced the liquor store. The liquor store across the street from me just sells to drunks and destroys our quality of life. I’d welcome almost anything in its place. Almost anything. Consider it a minor victory that the derelict liquor store is going away. The restaurant will probably go out of business in a year or two anyway.

  15. I’m a long time resident of the block in question, and was at the meeting last night. Unfortunately, due to the 1 day meeting notice (!) , Mr Milgroms large number of friends and supporters in attendance gave the incorrect impression of general support among neighbors.

    Mr Milgrom also incorrectly characterized the former bushiness, a corner store, as a dangerous blight when it was, in fact, a useful (though unglamorous) LOCAL neighborhood service. I bought milk, eggs, etc. there a hundred times and never saw any trouble.

    The proposed upscale fish restaurant with outdoor seating, ironically named “Locals Corner”, is an inappropriate use for this storefront for the following reasons:

    1) PRICE PROHIBITIVE. A typical dinner for a couple, with a glass of wine will run about $100. Not many locals can afford this – that’s why they go to El Metate for tacos! Mr Milgrom’s other restaurant “Local Eatery” on 24th, though well regarded in foodie circles, is known for small portions and high prices. If the project is approved, perhaps a better name would be “No Locals Corner” or “Million Cooked Fishes”.

    2) USE IMPACT TOO HIGH FOR AREA. The adjacent and overhead residents didn’t sign up for the noise and odor this restaurant would create… 4am garbage pickups; loud talking at outdoor tables from early morning till 10 pm; in-perpetuity fish odor. On a main drag like 24th, people accept these things when they choose to move in. No so here – this has always been a quiet residential zone.

    3) GENTRIFICATION. Many people actually LIKE this neighborhood and aren’t in a rush for it to become another Noe Valley. The diversity of lifestyles, demographics and property uses in this area, along with its disorder and grit gives it, to me, a special charm.

    Make no mistake – if this permit is approved and this cute little restaurant is successful (as I expect it would be), there will be MORE permits for more, larger restaurants. And 10 or 20 years down the road, it won’t be the Mission anymore.

    Although I don’t begrudge deep-pocketed tech professionals enjoying fine food and a fancy nights out on the town, as a practical matter, there needs to be at least one neighborhood left in SF for the regular people to live, work, eat, drink.

    1. But there are lots of successful restaurants in the neighborhood that haven’t turned it into Noe — Universal has been there a very long time, as has Slow Club. Heirloom, Schmidt’s and flour + water have been a very nice additions to the neighborhood, despite 1 neighbor who doesn’t like Schmidt’s. And there is still room for taquerias, tamale parlors, sandwich shops, etc. The one thing we have no lack of is liquor stores.

    2. Oh, NIMBY. You’re showing your true colors. Have you eaten at Local Mission Eatery? I have, round about a dozen times. My boyfriend and I have had dinner and drinks, brunch and lunch there, and have never, ever, ever spent $100 a pop. My guess is the new place will be priced similarly. I live in this neighborhood. I am not a Google employee or the like, nor am I a newbie to the ‘hood. Please stop making grand statements that purport to speak for the entire neighborhood. There are plenty of us who welcome with open arms MORE outstanding local eateries.

      1. Really- the name calling- it’s sad. It’s just a way to postpone/put off/stop a much needed discussion. We’re just thinking though stuff that impacts the neighborhood we live in. What are you doing?

      2. well Heather, how much DID you spend there? Looking at the Locals menu, I see that just a small piece of fish a la carte is $24.

        Compare that to El Metate where a large meal (2 tacos, rice, beans, salad, salsa) is $7.75.

        Let’s not pretend that the molecular gastronomy / locavore / foodie craze isn’t mainly a luxury of the 6 figure salary set (and their dates).

    3. “Although I don’t begrudge deep-pocketed tech professionals enjoying fine food and a fancy nights out on the town” — ah from the tone of your message, you do begrudge them. (PS- skip the wine and your dinner becomes quite inexpensive. I’ve eaten meals at El Metate that cost more than a meal at Mission:Local.)

      1. I don’t see how that’s possible unless your meal at Local:Mission consisted solely of the $6 slice of cheese.

    4. gentrification = people who have always had money, telling poor people that they should remain living in a depressed area because it is hip and cool. the hipsters that warn against gentrification are not native to the area and rarely own property there. these people eventually move away, but get to sound cool when they tell their friends that they lived in a particular neighborhood. they are also the first ones to move back and buy property once it finally becomes “gentrified”. doesn’t anyone remember what happened to the castro?

      1. “Finally TRUTH!!!!!” is aimed at Local’s comment that included 3 points. Not for JustinSF’s, just to clarify.

  16. I was encouraged by the number of people who turned out to the meeting last night. Discussion and dialogue is good. But the discussion should stay focused on the issues at hand.

    Like others point out above, I have difficulty agreeing with those who think a zero-employee corner liquor store is better for the neighborhood than a restaurant selling sustainable food and employing locals. I really don’t get the argument that liquor stores promote quiet and peace while restaurants promote disturbances.

    We should also bear in mind the difference between a restaurant and a bar. I don’t think many people go to a fish restaurant to have a healthy dinner and get hammered. Further, the proposed restaurant will close at 10 pm. It will not contribute to 3 am bar closing traffic.

    Also, let’s remember that the public is not choosing the best place in the Mission for this new restaurant. As I understand it, Mr. Milgrom has an opportunity at 2500 Bryant with a willing building owner. I don’t know the terms of his deal and I also don’t know what other spaces (if any) are out there that would provide the same opportunity. But it is not my place to direct Mr. Milgrom’s business opportunities.

    Lastly, I was saddened by the personal attacks on Mr. Milgrom at last night’s meeting. It’s very tough to make a dime in the restaurant industry. Yet people at the meeting treated him like he was a money grubbing thug building a casino or a brothel. I would like to thank those who put together and attended the forum, including, of course, Mr. Milgrom. I would also like to thank Mr. Milgrom for all he has done for the neighborhood.

    1. If you were at the meeting, I’d like you to repeat when anyone said they wanted a liquor store in that spot? And zero employees? How is a family run grocery store now a vending machine?

      1. 23Bresident – the second paragraph of my post was responding to this line from Suki’s letter to Supervisor Campos, posted above: “I have a liquor store across from me. If it were to close and reopen as a restaurant, I would be horrified.”

        As to the zero employee comment: it was reported in the meeting that only one who worked the previous store was the owner.

        1. if you really lived in the neighborhood you would know a man and his two sons ran that store for over 25 years

          1. Um, I’ve lived in the neighborhood (23rd & Harrison) for the last 5 years and I have no idea who runs that store. I shop at several corner stores but have only been in that one once.

            Just because you live in a neighborhood doesn’t mean you frequent every business in it, nor does it mean you personally know the people who run all the businesses you do frequent. A lot of people shop at the same places several times a week and never say more than “hello” and “thank you” to the people behind the counter. And there’s nothing wrong with that and it doesn’t make them any less local.

    2. You are thanking the wrong person in terms of putting together the meeting. Mr. Milgrom was opposed to the meeting.

  17. I lost all hope in community outreach after reading some commenters here on Mission Local seriously arguing that they would prefer to have an abandoned, dilapidated warehouse across the street than see it rebuilt as something else.

    1. But i don’t think people are saying they prefer abandoned streets and empty warehouses. I don’t want that.

    2. That’s outrageous, no one wants that. I’m for jobs, for making the corner safer, for business. But we need something the neighborhood wants. Don’t you think there is a reason it needs have a hearing to be approved so it can become a restaurant? It’s a big change. It’s classified now as RM-1, residential mixed low density. The city planners classified it as such because this is not a business district. Part of the description for this use is “non residential uses are often present to provide for the needs of residents.” Let’s support something that provides for the needs of the residents.

    3. I personally would prefer an abandoned dilapidated warehouse than a big new non-rent-controlled condominium or apartment complex, definitely. I can think of MANY things I would prefer to live across from than an abandoned warehouse, but that doesn’t mean I’d prefer it to anything at all.

  18. The tone of a lot of these comments is pretty outlandish. Milgrom’s supporters aren’t doing him any favors by suggesting they move to the suburbs or buy white noise machines. But I don’t buy the “what if it was a … instead” argument either.

    Milgrom wants to open a restaurant. Neighbors want assurances that the restaurant isn’t going to affect their ability to get sleep in their homes or park near their homes. I think both sides here have reasonable wants and needs. Throw in the fact that there appears to be agreement that the existing store might not be the best use of the space, and it seems like there’s room for compromise.

    Seems to me like the outside seating should be eliminated or limited to Friday and Saturday nights. To me, that would address the primary concern of the neighbors while allowing the restaurant to proceed in a slightly more modest manner.

    1. I live a few doors down. I think outdoor seating during the day is the best time. People shouldn’t be worried about noise, this is a bus stop after all. And, except on warm days most people won’t want to sit outside in the evening. I look at El Metate as an example for what I can expect for outdoor seating and find that totally acceptable. Perhaps not having outdoor seating for breakfast on weekdays would be a compromise.

  19. Where’s a SOPA blackout when you need it?

    I doesn’t expect a lack of bias from Mission blogs, of course, but it should be pointed out that this article– like the article on Grub Street– effectively caters (pardon the pun!) to Milgrom’s target audience of upper middle class restaurant aficionados and foodies. Which is not the population of the surrounding neighborhood.

    An accurate representation of the meeting’s turn-out is as follows: a significant number of people at the meeting were supporters of Mr. Milgrom’s who do not live in the immediate area (but do, as Mr. Milgrom helpfully pointed out, live somewhere in the 94110 zip code.)

    These people were vocal for the first half to first 3/4ths of the meeting, at which point most, if not all, left. The people who remained, constituting a good half of the original crowd, were primarily people who live in the immediate area and whose concerns were in no way met by the discussion occurring at the meeting.

    Furthermore, as people have commented above, the meeting was a situation that Mr. Milgrom was forced into and did nothing to promote, short of a tiny notification in the window of his proposed restaurant.

    The not effect of this lack of promotion is that very few people in the immediate area knew about the meeting, and those who did found out only through the efforts of two locals who went out and and publicized the meeting on their own free time.

    What is mysterious is that given the general lack of notification to people within the surrounding area, how many individuals from outside of it were aware of the meeting, and how many of those people from outside of the area were Milgrom supporters, suggesting that some kind of notification was made to a wider group.

    The way in which the comments on this blog have characterized a desire to keep “outsiders” from the neighborhood is nonsense; anyone present would have heard neighbors of the proposed restaurant expressing very basic environmental concerns. If anything, barring a few very vocal people in their 70s, most individuals who had these concerns did not seem opposed to Milgrom’s establishment.

    That being said, Milgrom’s discussion at the event– and, to a certain extent, this blog post– contained a number of serious mischaracterizations of the situation at hand. It’s disappointing to see Mission Local echo his talking points without bothering to ascertain their factuality.

    For instance: Mr. Milgrom is not replacing a “derelict liquor store.” The store in question was a local neighborhood market that was squeezed out by its landlord through rent hikes. After the tenants left, the landlord was in the process of installing his own business in the storefront when Mr. Milgrom approached him.

    The suggestion that Milgrom is replacing a “derelict liquor store” with a “beautiful restaurant” speaks to the general deflections that unfortunately floated through much of the meeting.

    Dereliction is an actual state of being, which the property has never been. Beauty is, of course, subjective.

    1. A local neighborhood market whose sign said: “Beer Liquor Wine”. Seriously, I’ve bought booze there in the past. It was a dive. You don’t go there for groceries unless you like paying 3x safeway prices for dusty, outdated canned products or potato chips.

    2. The idea that people commenting on changes to their immediate environment (otherwise known as their neighborhood) is somehow detrimental to that neighborhood is incoherent thinking.

      Pollo- your quippy retorts suggest that perhaps you should lay off the coffee…

    3. You’re totally mischaracterizing the meeting. Most of the time during the meeting was used by a few local residents who vehemently opposed the restaurant and hurled invectives at the owner.

      I was at the meeting. I live right there, and I support the restaurant, as do a number of other people there. There was no poll as to how many people lived close versus far.

      Regardless of how notification was sent out, people were there. A lot. The room was packed. Yes, he probably should have done a better job at notifying neighbors, but the point is that they showed up and they took up a large part of the meeting, until the woman sitting in the window asked for the owner to explain his restaurant. A whole 45 minutes into the meeting.

      My block is majority Latino. Not more than 10% of the meeting was Latino. How do they feel about it? Why were they underrepresented? Do those renters and homeowners want a liquor store, or do they want a small restaurant?

      1. Why do you insist neighbors only have those two choices? Just because the GROCERY store went out of business does not mean a full service restaurant needs to follow. Can a business that doesn’t need to apply for a change of use go in? One that wouldn’t directly negatively impact the immediate neighbors? One that real LOCALS can use? I guarantee you that only a very small percentage of surrounding neighbors (I’m not talking the huge 94110 zip) can afford a $30 fish dinner.

        1. I live very close to the restaurant site. I’m in favor of the restaurant. I’m in favor of more food options in the neighborhood. They are many low cost options on 24th street and just up the block at El Metate – one of my favorites.

          The comment about “real” locals is dangerous. We shouldn’t create a divide between people who have lived here for a long time and people who haven’t. Yes, I bought my home recently. But I didn’t buy here by accident. I love this neighborhood and this is my home.

          This neighborhood thrives on diversity. Talking about “outsiders” and “real locals” restricts that diversity.

          You ask why there are only two choices – grocery and restaurant. The way I see it, there are only two choices – the guy who wants to put something in and leaving it empty. The city is not choosing from a line-up of options. This restaurant is a great option for the neighborhood and I sincerely hope it happens.

    4. Many of us left not because we don’t live nearby, I do, but because we felt the concerns had all been aired and were being rehashed. I think the meeting served it’s purpose. He presented his plans to the neighbors and listened to their concerns. Frankly, there is little or nothing he can do about parking, other than let customers know where the local lots are. And he seems to understand the neighbors concerns about noise.

  20. I also thought it was a really positive sign to see so many different people from the neighborhood together at the meeting last night. I respect that some neighbors have questions and concerns about the noise. But I also believe that Yaron’s positive track record at Local Mission Eatery and the fact that he lives literally across the street from the new restaurant with two young children of his own means that we should give him the benefit of the doubt when he says he will be committed to keeping the restaurant quiet and respectful for the neighborhood.

    The restaurant will provide 14 new jobs in the neighborhood and will help make it safer to walk at night in the neighborhood, just as El Metate and Asiento and other Bryan St. restaurants have done. And when our kids walk by the restaurant on the way to school in the morning, they’ll see a model of healthy food, made with ingredients grown by Bay Area farms, run by a person who invests all of his resources, financial and personal, into strengthening the neighborhood. That’s something I believe we should support.

  21. Now that Deli-Up has closed down at 20th and Bryant, maybe if this location gets shot down, they can open up in that location instead.

    1. Deli-Up will just move to the cousin of the previous owners. the family has a history of violating codes and getting warnings and then shutting down and re-opening as a new business with a new owner, the new owner being another family member.

  22. I live between Local: Mission Eatery and the proposed new restaurant. I absolutely love the eatery. One of the reasons I love it is because it has healthy high quality ingredients, is low-key, and is much more affordable than some of the comparable restaurants. You can get a great brunch there for $9! And you can get half-portions for dinner for $12, which makes it quite affordable (often, a half is more than enough). It is also one of the quietest restaurants in the ‘hood–you can have a conversation there and you can get served without having to wait on the sidewalk for an hour. Having another option like this nearby would be wonderful!

    I wonder if the opponents of the new restaurant have ever been to Local: Mission Eatery. It sounds like they’re assuming it will have lines, be loud, or be very expensive, but if Mr. Milgrom’s current restaurant is any indicator, it will be none of those things.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like the opponents are more vocal and organized than potential supporters–Mr. Milgrom, if you’d start a petition in favor of the new restaurant, I’d happily sign it!

    –A neighbor who would love a local corner in my backyard.

    1. I don’t think anyone is disputing the quality of the food at Local — none of the neighbors are holding out for a better quality restaurant.

      But please take a moment and consider what you think of as an affordable dinner may not be affordable to our neighbors. Your example of a half-portion for $12 equals $15 after tax and tip. Our neighborhood may have fancy restaurants now, but it also has WIC stores servicing our most vulnerable, for whom $15 equates to a week’s worth of milk, bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

      I think the new Local could be good for the neighborhood, but please look up from your menu to consider the panorama of experiences of those around you.

      1. Of course Mission: Local Eatery is not inexpensive compared with El Farolito. Nor is it expensive when compared with, say, Foreign Cinema. And certainly $15 represents a different value to different people in the Mission, which is home to those with vastly disparate incomes. But the new proposed restaurant would go into an abandoned former liquor store. It is not displacing anything, especially not a more affordable restaurant.

        My comment was generally about how the existing eatery is a good neighbor–including that it is quiet and does not attract long lines. I think it does contribute positively to the panorama of experiences of those around us.

        1. My understanding is that the space is not abandoned, that in fact the current owner was building it out to put in a deli when the Local owner leased it. And I’ve walked by the market that used to be there many times, and other than just being a pretty boring generic corner store, there was nothing wrong with it.

          I’m in favor of Local moving in, but just wanted to set the record straight.

  23. The picture for this article speaks a thousand words. Does not look like a derelict liquor store. Looks very clean and safe enough for a mom and her baby going by. A woman walks out of the store who is not harassed by homeless or drug dealers. Oh and no graffiti.

        1. Get your facts straight. The liquor store went out of business because they couldn’t afford the rent hikes imposed by the property owner. The picture you posted is from after the store was closed and the property owner let the building sit collecting graffiti. The owners of the grocery store kept it very clean- painting over tags and sweeping the sidewalk often.

  24. A lot of commenters are advocating a cute restaurant as some sort of crime fighting mechanism.

    While it may happen that drunken louts and robbers won’t loiter RIGHT IN FRONT of it during business hours, it won’t make them disappear.

    And it could just as likely backfire: the outdoor tables serving as a handy location for spare-changing and iphone grab-and-runs (a common crime here), the parked volvos targeted for break ins. This is how it played out in the Lower Haight.

    The “liquor store” may be gone, but alcohol is widely available and easily transported!

    Crime is not dealt with by restaurants. It reqires a little work by the residents: open eyes, calls, letters and meetings with the police, supervisors and courts. And inter-neighbor communication.

    1. Hey Local? IT WAS A LIQUOR STORE. I know you want everyone to believe that it was a mom and pop, old timey grocery store, but it was a place where people went to buy a 40. Perhaps if one were out of something imperative one would pop in there and buy something old and dusty, but otherwise, IT WAS A LIQUOR STORE. Sheesh.

  25. We live a few doors from the the old liquor store/new restarant and will be affected more than most by any changes. We support the proposed changes to use of the property. We met with many of our neighbors on our block that support this restaurant and most of the people at the meeting were in support once they heard the proposal.

    I sympathize with our neighbors concern for parking and noise, but these are some of the things that we sign up to live with in such a lively dense area like the mission

    We are excited that this is a neighbor-owned business and very much support having businesses in the area that are neighbor-owned. We believe they are most likely to care about the area and consider their neighbors concerns when issues arise.

    The liquor store that was previously at this location was constantly getting tagged with graffiti. We believe a restaurant is a far less likely target, and much more likely to clean it up when it happens. This will make it much less likely that graffiti will migrate to neighboring homes.

    The sidewalk on the corner has plenty of room for outdoor seating and will add some vibrancy to the neighborhood. Beer and wine is a step down from the hard alcohol that was available at the liquor store.
    While we expect that there will be, at times, some inconveniences, including parking, smoke, and noise, that arise from such an establishment, we think the proposed plans will be a net positive influence on the neighborhood compared to the previously existing liquor store.

  26. there’s always gonna be opposition from those who, for whatever odd reason, want a stagnant (boring) neighborhood. give back to the community, make it a fun place to live, and if things get out of hand you can always deal with it later.

    1. Boring = quiet. I live on this stretch of Bryant St, and although I am indifferent about this particular business, quiet is precisely why I moved here.

  27. For those who don’t want a restaurant, do you have a business proposal? Mr. Milgrom has a business proposal, and presumably the money to pay the rent. If you don’t have anything, start asking for compromises, not screaming about what the neighborhood wants.

    1. Lisa, my proposal is that the 6am fish restaurant goes next door to your home, on your residential street.

      1. I have a restaurant next door to my house complete with outdoor seating. So, Reasonable Doubt, there’s no room left unfortunately.

    2. Why do people need a business proposal to weigh in on the neighborhood they live in?

      The NIMBY accusation is just such twisted and inverted logic. Because you live (the “thinking” goes) and are affected by the environment, your opinion is suspect.
      ???
      Just think it through.

      1. I’m not arguing that you don’t have a right to say what goes on in your neighborhood. But it’s a restaurant, not a crack den. You have the right to demand some concessions from the owner such as no noise past a certain time, agreed. But unless you own that space you aren’t allowed to dictate what goes on there completely.

          1. I’m glad I don’t own a business in this city. These things are the reason people think California is such a crap place sometimes. I hate to think that things like this are forcing me to agree.

  28. If this restaurant is really for the “locals” like in Local Mission Eatery or Local Corner then why are the Local neighbors being disrespected? I think the neighboorhood should boycott his business.

    1. Yeah, missionhd. A boycott is what this neighborhood needs. Jesus h. christ.

      I’m going to make it my life’s work to be sure this restaurant does well. I’ll Yelp and Facebook and Chowhound and tell my friends until I’m blue in the face.

      This entire argument is a joke. First world problems, people. First world problems.

      1. Heather- Your entitled attitude is so disheartening. I truly feel sorry for you and anyone with the misfortune to live near you. Can you not even try to open your eyes and your heart to see that everyone around you isn’t from your privileged social and economic background? Some people in your neighborhood don’t know what Yelp and Chowhound are, as they struggle to put food on their tables and pay their rent. They need to sleep at night so they can work 2 or 3 jobs to afford the rising rents. Please, do us all a favor and volunteer at a community organization so you can open your eyes to the real issues that are at play beneath your window and right in front of your very tightly closed eyes.

        1. Give me a break with your righteousness. Someone can volunteer at a neighborhood organization and still eat at an expensive restaurant.

          Sure there are problems in the eastern half of the Mission. Having to keep my eyes open constantly in the early evening because people get robbed in the street at gunpoint certainly seems to be one. Seemingly random gang shootings are another. People getting priced out of their homes is also a huge problem. I fail to see how a restaurant that will employ people as well as make people think better of this part of the city is going to cause another one and maybe will help with the crime rate a bit.

          No one is wonderfully pointing out the whole racial bit here are we? Let me guess, if this were a family owned Mexican or Salvadorean restaurant, would this be an issue? Probably not as much. In either case, I think ANY restaurant there would be a good one unless it’s owned by one of the self-righteous people posting. Then it would be time for a boycott.

  29. I support this restaurant…I live just down the block on 23rd Street and welcome this new addition. The neighborhood needs this kind of job creating opportunity. Further it will increase foot traffic and deter crime.

    I can’t wait for them to be able to get going with their restaurant.

  30. And I support Charles for using his real name (presumably). What are you guys afraid of, hiding behind your more-righteous-than-thou pseudonyms? Wusses.

    A nice little restaurant would be great here. Sure would love to see something like this in place of crappy George’s Liquor on my block (shotwell/24th). Their goal in life is to sell cheap vodka at 6am and Steel Reserve all day. Also serves as a pissing contest canvas for local taggers. Lovely.

    Anyway, FWIW, I support you Mr. Milgrom. Outdoor seating = nicer neighborhoods. A reasonable closing hour should address the noise issue (not that a tiny cafe would be very noisy). Lots of bike racks will encourage non-car arrivals. As for people feeling entitled to free, convenient parking spots… shrug.

  31. I’m not surprised that software professionals who have recently bought property in the Mission, such as above commenter Scott, are in favor of gentrification. In the new-and-improved, economically sanitized Mission, his home would be worth hundreds of thousands more than its current >$1M assessed value.

    Not only that, the scary people would be gone, and it would be an easy stroll in any direction to an “eatery” where people who no longer can afford to live in SF will serve him delicacies and fine wine, and do his dishes.

    The Mission is cursed by its proximity to SF-proper’s southernmost 101 exits, and thus attractive to tech millionaires who wish to be hip urban dwellers, yet minimize commute time from Mountain View. (And btw, they tend to have garages, so don’t care about parking spots!)

    While I’m not ascribing malice, in effect, the influx of tech millionaires bids up housing costs (rents and home prices) and creates a market for upscale eaterys which displace other functions and drives up commercial rents.

    By itself, this new restaurant is insignificant. But a thousand little bites will eat what’s left of the working class presence in San Francisco.

    This is, in miniature, what class warfare looks like, up close and personal.

    1. Just call them white people instead of software professionals. You’ll feel better when you’re being honest with yourself about your racism.

      1. A person who burns 25 pounds of gasoline per day, then pays a chinese month’s salary to eat sustanable food is a self indulgent hippocrite elitist, no matter what his skin color may be.

        1. Make sure you can spell those big words before you try to use them. Your post seems to be at the same grade level as your understanding of economics and history, it’s like a giant flashing sign saying ‘I have no idea what I’m talking about’.

  32. I am thrilled that Yaron is making this investment in our community. I live directly across the street from what will become a wonderful addition to my block, and I was so disappointed to see a few people act as if they had even the slightest bit of support as they spoke out against progress in our neighborhood.

    At the community meeting, speaker after speaker spoke positively of the new neighborhood investment, as other neighbors applauded in agreement. Unfortunately, four individuals continued to heckle Yaron and others as they hurled insults and refused to follow rules of order in the meeting.

    I understand that those who have lived stagnant lives are frightened by anything which will increase property values and help the local economy. Yaron is doing a wonderful thing working to create at least 10 new jobs in the mission, and we are lucky to have someone like him stepping up to the need to revitalize the mission.

    The neighborhood profoundly welcomes Local Mission Eatery and is fully behind Yaron. Reason is prevailing over fear. NIMBY is in decline as our neighborhood is being renewed.

    Yay!

    1. San Francisco is all about a loud vocal minority pretending they speak for the entire city and ruining things for the rest of us. The Mission is this x100.

      1. Thanks Randolph. You exactly described Kevin and her ilk (or is it the restauranteur’s mom?). Spot on! Yay!

  33. Look at what he added to the block on 24th. Nothing but positive. Not loud. David Campos might want to focus on for instance the fact that half the trash cans on 24th st have suddenly inexplicably disappeared!

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