Locol, the growing fast food chain with a world-saving mission, was originally slated to open its first location in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, at Turk and Taylor. That location was announced over two years ago; since then, the construction has been stalled, and the first Locol made its debut in LA’s Watts neighborhood, followed by a second location in Uptown Oakland.
So, what’s going on with the space, really? Hoodline reports that a “For Lease” sign has appeared in the window, and published a statement from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development:
“We can confirm that Loco’l will not be opening at Turk and Taylor after all," said Gloria Chan, spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). "However, they are still exploring locations in the Tenderloin, as far as we know."
However Hanson Li, a partner in Locol, told Eater the lease they signed two years ago is still valid “as far as they know,” and the sign remains unexplained by the landlord. Infrastructure problems (specifically regarding the power grid) have been the main cause for the two-year delay at the former grocery store, something that Li says is out of both his and his landlord’s hands.
While the mysterious sign remains in the window, Li says he and his partners (including founders Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi) are still focusing on the Tenderloin as a destination for Locol. “It just hasn’t worked out so far,” Hanson told Eater.
For now it looks like a case of “wait and see” in regards to to Locol’s Tenderloin plans. In the meantime, the healthy fast food chain with plans for community-building seems to have recovered from its recent unfavorable NY Times review; Li confirms that the group is continuing to look for more spaces in the East Bay and SF. Stay tuned for more updates.