Mission Taquerias Counting on Gringo Hipsters

San Francisco restaurants look to diversify clientel

By Sajid Farooq
|  Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009  |  Updated 5:48 AM PDT
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Mission Taquerias Counting on Gringo Hipsters

San Francisco's Mission district may finally be forced to embrace its hipsters.

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It turns out there is something that can make the Mission finally embrace its hipster residents after all: the struggling economy.

Taquerias in San Francisco's famed Mission district are struggling as the economy continues to hit the construction industry hard. To deal with the loss of Latino construction workers, who used to eat lunch at the taquerias that line Mission Street, business owners are reaching out to gringos, according to our friends at Mission Local.

“They’ve lost their jobs and I understand—they don’t have money to spend,” said Eduardo Reyes, the owner of Acaxutla, told Mission Local.  “Us Latinos, we don’t consume any longer.”

Reyes is just one of several Mission restaurant owners who believe they need  to draw non-Latino eaters to their shops.

Restaurants have tried to lure eaters in by lowering prices and offering specials. Some Mission establishments, such as Taqueria Cancun, say they have continued to do well in the struggling economy but Mission Local points out that their average crowd is mostly neighborhood hipsters mixed in with Latinos.

“Our customer base has not decreased,”  Juan Cejas, who has worked at the taqueria for 15 years told Mission Local.

Other taquerias have reached out to social networking sites to draw a more diverse crowd. The recently opened La Oaxaqueña at 2128 Mission St has been able to entice people to its restaurant by reaching out to Yelp and receiving positive reviews. The owner told Mission Local that Yelp has brought in a "steady stream of white Americans." Check out the full story on Mission Local.

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