PUBLISHED JANUARY 3RD, 2014 ON MISSION LOCAL
By Alexandra Garretón
UPDATE, Friday, January 3, 6:00 p.m.
Mission Local has yet to hear back from Local’s Corner about the broken window, despite repeated attempts. Yet in an open letter written by Yaron Milgrom, the owner of the restaurant, to El Tecolotenewspaper in May of 2013, he publicly apologizes to the Cuadra family:
“As a neighborhood business, I aim to be integral to the fabric of the community—to be welcoming and feel welcome, to be necessary and vital, to contribute to the quality of life of those around me. Anything less is a failure of our open doors, our care and goodwill, and our belief in the connective power of ethical and delicious food.
When Sandy and her family came to Local’s Corner, they felt none of this. Even worse, they felt unwelcome and discriminated against. This is a huge failure to enact our commitment to everyone with whom to interact—from farmers to staff to our customers and neighbors. I am deeply sorry for Sandy’s experience that morning.”
Milgrom also wrote that he met with Cuadra and her family to talk out the incident at Local’s Corner. Despite the apology, Local’s Corner has remained a target of anti-gentrification sentiments. We will continue to keep you posted as more information on this story comes in.
Moving into the new year, it doesn’t look like Local’s Corner’s luck has changed much. The cafe and eatery on 23rd and Bryant had a window smashed the night of January 1.
Nothing yet on if this incident is another act of purposeful vandalism against the restaurant — or just an unlucky coincidence. Local’s Corner has been at the epicenter of neighborhood trash talk this last year after a local Latina woman, Sandra Cuadra, claimed she and her family were turned away from the restaurant in an alleged act of discrimination in late April.
Cuadra died in late October but a group of unnamed apparent supporters claim to be fighting in her name. On Thursday morning, a post signed by the “Brigada Sandra Cuadra,” (or Sandra Cuadra Brigade in English), published on indybay.org about Local’s Corner’s window.
Just over a month ago, Sandra Cuadra was alive. Now she is dead, Sandra is dead, and the restaurant that refused her and her family, told her to leave the property, humiliated her and her loved ones, that restaurant, Local’s Corner had its windows smashed out in the last hours of the first day of 2014. We hope the owner feels a bit of the humiliation he inflicted on Sandra and her family.
The post rails against gentrification, but as Mission Local has pointed out in earlier articles, many businesses have moved in without incident including Pig & Pie, which is now in the old Discolandia site, Haus Coffee and Dynamo Donuts. Mission Local wrote in March 2011, “…it’s not only newcomers who stand in line. Dynamo’s has become a favorite for longtime Missionite Marta Sanchez, who runs Casa Sanchez next door.” (Added Jan. 4, 1:33 p.m.)
In the wake of Cuadra’s discrimination claims against the restaurant, Local’s Corner was graffitied in May with the words “Keep Mission Brown.”
District 9 Supervisor David Campos even got in on the action — sending Cuadra’s formal report of the alleged discrimination for further investigation by the Human Rights Commission.
An anti-eviction protest in October made a detour off 24th Street to stop in front of Local’s Corner. The crowd got rowdy after Cuadra spoke of her alleged experience at the restaurant.
Protestors chanting “Boycott Local” and standing outside of Local’s Corner on 23rd and Bryant @mlnow pic.twitter.com/BGLsBWtltM
— Alexandra Garretón (@GarretonA) October 12, 2013
Stopping by Friday morning, the broken window has already been repaired. Employees confirmed to Mission Local that the glass was, in fact, broken on the first night of the year, and we await further comment. We’ll update when we know more.