Back in 2014, acclaimed chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi announced that they would open the first location of their healthy fast-food spot Loco'l at the corner of Turk and Taylor streets in the Tenderloin.
While they eventually did open two locations of Loco'l, in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood and in Oakland, the Tenderloin restaurant never materialized. Now, the space has returned to the market, with "For Lease" signs posted in the window this week.
“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."
"Things haven't gone as planned [or] as quickly as we'd like, but we are really working hard at bringing Loco'l to the Tenderloin," Loco'l partner Hanson Li told Hoodline. Li declined to comment further on alternative plans or a timeline for a Loco'l location in San Francisco.
Loco'l's goal is to offer affordable, healthy fast food to underserved communities, but the path hasn't been easy. Last month, the restaurant's Oakland outpost received a much-discussed negative review in the New York Times.
In San Francisco, Choi and Patterson have partnered with the OEWD from the beginning, with the goal of opening a location in one of the agency’s Central Market/Tenderloin Strategy action zones.
Li said the restaurant will continue to seek a Tenderloin space, with the OEWD's help.
"The OEWD folks have been super helpful in bringing new location ideas as well as offering assistance from grants to sidewalk rehabs or redevelopment," he said, adding that there may still be a chance for Loco'l to open at Turk and Taylor after all.
As of now, no other tenant is confirmed to take over the space.