Back in early 2010, Local Mission Eatery debuted as a new sort of idealistic, hybrid, business a high-end sandwich shop with well sourced, local ingredients, with a bakery in back, and with cooking classes and communal dinners at night. Helmed by first-time restaurateur and longtime philosophy scholar Yaron Milgrom and one-time Fish & Farm chef Jake Des Voignes. It ultimately morphed into a more traditional restaurant at night, with some excellent and inventive food by Des Voignes, and it spawned several more businesses within a few blocks of each other and near the 24th Street corridor, including the mostly well received, seafood-focused Local's Corner, which closed a year ago, Local Mission Market which is still going strong two years in, and Local Cellar, which sells craft beer, and California wines and small-batch spirits out of what was once a neighborhood liquor store.
As Eater first reported, the reasons for the closure are both financial and practical Des Voignes and his wife Shauna, a pastry chef who used to run Knead Patisserie in back of Local Mission Eatery, have moved to Lodi and the commute has gotten difficult. Also, both they and Milgrom and his wife have kids now, and they're looking to get out of the restaurant schedule for a while.
Milgrom has written a very nice and thoughtful eulogy for the project that first brought them together, and which has clearly been much more than just a restaurant for them. Quoting the poetic Jonathan Kauffman, now of the Chronicle but who was at the time writing about Local Mission Eatery for SF Weekly he called it one of the kinds of places that "emerge from their plywood wombs eager and coltish, gangly joints pointing in all directions, bleating their existence to the treetops" Milgrom muses:
We are no longer colts. Our voice and joints are strong and mature, our feet firmly planted in the realness of operations and business, yet our bleating is lost in the din of restaurant openings and food delivery apps, of mail-order meal subscriptions and offices filled with free food. San Francisco’s “stomach share” (to use Michael Pollan’s phrase) nor its labor force has kept pace with new restaurants and the march of the aspiring unicorns of food-startups. And so, we cannot go on. ... In its remaining days, we hope Local Mission Eatery will be filled with the crush and thrill of a busy service, the quiet murmurs of delight as diners savor a bite of deliciousness, the trust as regulars set into their favored seat, the choreography of committed and happy employees engaged in meaningful labor.
The last night of service will be December 19, after which Milgrom says he and Des Voignes will "will sit in the quiet of an empty restaurant, with a glass of wine, filled to overflowing with melancholy and old dreams and new visions and, I hope, the satisfaction of having done something real and important."
Local Mission Market and Local Cellar will live one, and Des Voignes says he'll be devoting more time to charcuterie and sausage making at the market, and possibly launching a stuffed pasta program.
Previously: Local's Corner And Affiliated Local Mission Market Once Again Targeted For Boycott