Local bearer of all things (self)-righteously raw, vegan and hippie Cafe Gratitude is in the process of dissolving all seven of its NorCal outposts (in the Mission, Oakland, Berkeley, Cupertino, San Rafael, Healdsburg, and Santa Cruz), and it's not because people didn't feel comfortable sharing their core values with the staff after meal time. Owners Matthew and Terces Engelhart have a note on Facebook, explaining "a series of aggressive lawsuits has brought us to this unfortunate choice." SFist points out the 2009 case when employees may have been fired for not drinking the Landmark Forum Kool-Aid, and then there was the much more recent labor code violation law suit.
Inside Scoop notes the owners Mexican-slanted biz, Gracias Madre is also on the market, although the LA-based branch won't be affected, as its under a different LLC. Gratitude groupies still have some time to go in for a final doses of "I Am Peace" live bagels and "I Am Transformed" tacos, as the Facebook note mentions this dissolving the company business will take several months. Meanwhile real-estate hungry entrepreneurs shall rapaciously eye these eight new prime pieces of meat in the Bay Area market. A valuable nugget also comes in via ISSF from attorney Stephen Sommers, who filed the latter suit: "These are not huge cases. There’s no reason, financially, for them to close eight locations...There's something else."
· Cafe Gratitude Facebook Page [Facebook]
· Cafe Gratitude Announces NorCal Closures [SFist]
· Cafe Gratitude selling all Bay Area outposts (including Gracias Madre), in what they dub “legalized extortion” [ISSF]
· All Cafe Gratitude Coverage [~ ESF ~]