Local Mission Eatery, the almost two-year-old restaurant and takeout concern on 24th Street in the Mission from chef Jake DesVoignes and owner Yaron Milgrom, is going into major expansion mode in 2012, opening a multifaceted marketplace selling only locally grown and locally made product, as well as a corner café a block away from the eatery called Local's Corner (2500 Bryant Street) serving European-style breakfast and focused on a local, sustainable fish menu at night. As Milgrom tells Grub Street, the café will be on its way first, hopefully by early spring, with the market to follow by mid-summer.
The café will be moving into a space formerly occupied by a small bodega, which was already undergoing some renovations when Milgrom stepped in to talk to the owner (it happens to be across the street from where Milgrom lives). "I thought it was kind of sad that he was putting in just another deli in the neighborhood, especially on such a great corner [Bryant and 23rd]," Milgrom says. "And it turns out, the owner, who's in sixties, already owns another business and wasn't that interested in running a second one. So we worked out a deal." The plan is for a small restaurant with indoor and sidewalk seating serving a limited breakfast and lunch menu from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., including pastries and cured fish. Dinner will focus more on fish, included raw, pickled, smoked and cured items as well as hot entrés practicing nose-to-tail fish cookery, all sourced locally and sustainably. Also, there'll be brunch, oysters included.
Then there's Local Mission Market, an 2700-square-foot space with 70 feet of street frontage which will be moving into a former industrial space on Harrison between 22nd and 23rd. The plan there is for a full-service market, with cheese counter, butcher, dry goods, and fresh produce, all either made in-house or sourced from Northern California farmers and producers. This of course means no bananas or pineapples, ever, but it also means they'll be the only market in San Francisco who can boast this kind of purely local ethos. (The only exceptions will be coffee, chocolate, and sugar, which will still come from Northern California-based companies.)
Also, Milgrom wants to set a new standard for sustainability in the way the market runs. "Supermarkets throw out fifteen to twenty percent of their unsold perishables," he says. "So with a full production kitchen doing all this canning and preserving, nothing will be thrown out. It's going to be about finding efficiencies to reduce waste from common supermarket practices."
Construction on the market begins in February, and Milgrom says he hopes to be open by mid-summer, before the height of the season for summer fruit. And unlike at other markets, he foresees customers being able to constantly learn from the staff at the open, in-house production kitchen. "You'll see a cook come out and take a bunch of perfectly ripe peaches off the store floor, and go back into the kitchen and start turning them into peach mostarda. Everything we do in the store will be something you can do at home, and we'll even share the recipes."
Not unlike what's been going on with the larder at Bar Tartine (and in urban homesteading circles around the country), Chef DesVoignes has been a pickling and preserving maniac this year, with approximately 3,000 jars of jam, pickles, condiments, brandied cherries, tomato sauce, and other products already in storage, in use at the existing restaurant on 24th, and awaiting the opening of the market. He's also been aging hams for the past nine months which have just recently gone on the menu, making his own pasta, and making his own bacala (salt cod), which has gone into the house-made brandade. (His wife Shauna DesVoignes already runs Knead Patisserie out of the back of the eatery, selling fresh-baked pastry and bread.)
Look for Local's Corner to open first, just as soon as the liquor license comes through this spring. And preview some of what they'll be doing, food-wise, at both new businesses, now at Local Mission Eatery (though not today, because they're closed).