The intersection of Turk and Taylor Streets is known as the epicenter of violent crime and drug use in the Tenderloin, with the Chron's C.W. Nevius describing it as the place to go "if you want to buy drugs, get panhandled or run the risk of getting shot." In other words, it's exactly the kind of neighborhood where chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi are hoping their new fast-food concept Loco'l will be able to make a difference, which is why they've decided to sign their very first lease for the burgeoning chain there.
Inside Scoop reports that the dynamic duo have secured a former bodega at the challenging corner, one that the city has identified as an "action zone" for rehabilitation and cleanup. The process is starting with new restaurant/bar/arts venue PianoFight, set to open on the same block on Friday, and will continue with Loco'l, which is moving into a 3,000-square-foot space they want to make open to everyone, both aesthetically and economically.
As previously discussed, Loco'l plans to offer real, healthy food served in the style and price point of fast food, with options like tofu-and-grain-heavy burgers, veggie bowls, falafel, rice bowls, and other items in the $2-6 range. The duo are targeting inner-city food deserts most in need of affordable and healthy options, with their sights set on Oakland, Pleasanton, L.A.'s Watts neighborhood, and other challenging spots. For more on what to expect at Loco'l and the mission behind its creation, check out this interview with Choi.
The SF location of Loco'l will also feature a commissary kitchen that will host classes for Patterson's youth-oriented charity The Cooking Project, and provide a kitchen space for Larkin Street Youth Services, an established Tenderloin nonprofit with which he's been deeply involved. Expect Loco'l to arrive in the Tenderloin by early summer, followed shortly by still-TBD locations in L.A. and Oakland.