Cafe Gratitude To Close All Bay Area Locations and Gracias Madre

Categories: Buzz Machine

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The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco food scene.

The big news of the day is the all-edifying-vegan-menu restaurant that is Cafe Gratutide is closing up all seven of its Northern California locations and the owners' other S.F. restaurant, Gracias Madre. SFist reports, via a Cafe Gratitude Facebook post, that the chain is closing the three S.F. locations along with the others due to "a series of aggressive lawsuits." Two pending lawsuits involve tip pooling and overtime pay, but an update on Inside Scoop reveals the attorney who filed the wage and hour claims, Stephen Sommers, points out the claims are not substantial enough to warrant the closure of all eight restaurants. According to Sommers, "There's something else."

Cafe Gratitude's post further states that they'll remain open for at least the next few months, which should give employees some time to find new jobs. Vegansauras reported that many of them, including higher-up employees, didn't know about the impending closure until they read about in on SFist.

On a lighter note, Parallel 37 will open in time for the holidays. Inside Scoop reveals the new, more-modern focused restaurant slated for the Ritz Carlton will debut an expanded bar program, with Camber Lay (Epic Roasthouse, Town Hall) at the helm. While their opening is couple weeks away, they're already taking reservations through OpenTable.

Food truck news: Noe Valley SF discovers Cookie Time is roaming City streets. According to their Facebook page, they're not the simple Santa favorites, but actually cookie cakes -- which require a spoon.

The brightly colored After Osha opened in Union Square. Inside Scoop notes the casual restaurant features a noodle bar where diners can customize their dishes (432 Sutter at Stockton).

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5 comments
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Jack
Jack

Once again, the do gooders think they can pully hard working people. The result = less jobs.

Darlene Barr
Darlene Barr

You can't be serious.  I'm not crazy about Landmark, either, but I love the sense of community and good will at these eateries.  The food is prepared carefully from  the best ingredients. Didn't Gracias Madre receive a Best New Cafe award?  Hasn't CG been one of the top raw or vegan restaurants many times over.  If these places close, we've lost a bright light.

Sam123
Sam123

I've never eaten at one of these places, but the concept sounds interesting and I would support it if done right.  However, if they can't meet the basic legal requirements for paying workers according to the law, then maybe that sense of good will and community you're talking about is illusory.  How genuinely good are good feelings generated at the expense of other people, who are not getting the basic bargain of their employment, which is written into law because most hourly employees have no bargaining power against employers?  If people are talking about transparency and empowerment, yet really still just shafting people in the time-worn ways of the world, well, then they're even worse people than people who are up-front about exploiting workers.   

Joe
Joe

Wow! After reading about the EST-pinnings of Cafe Gratittude and Gracias Madre, I have to say, I'm glad they're closing shop. Not that I want them gone. I want them to be honest and transparent to their employees and the public.

If membership in a cult is a requirement of working there, then say so. Don't demote, fire, and otherwise pressure employees to leave when they don't buy into your "religion."

Cheyenne Barr
Cheyenne Barr

I signed up for working for Cafe Gratitude because I believe(d) what they are doing, and when I don't approve of a practice, then I can approach my manager about it.  If they say "no" to a change in their procedure, then I have a choice to continue working, or to leave.  The "pressure" or "constraint" is the same as any business (if not, more flexible and understanding) when anyone approaches a company to ask for them to change something.  If you actually have any facts or true experience with this company, then say so.  I have 5 years of experience, 8 hours a day with this  company.  I stand behind them, and I am grateful for their generosity, flexibility, and empowerment of thousands of people.  We are all losing not only our jobs, but our community, our family.  Please be respectful.

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