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Welcome to the Castro!

A neighborhood of freedom, acceptance, creativity and diversity.

Our mission is to unite area merchants to promote the Castro's interests, increase opportunities and facilitate communication between businesses and local government.


Welcome to the Castro!

A neighborhood of freedom, acceptance, creativity and diversity.

Our mission is to unite area merchants to promote the Castro's interests, increase opportunities and facilitate communication between businesses and local government.


Thank you for visiting our web page. Castro Merchants and The Apothecarium welcome you to our on-line community.

Chase Chambers & Peter Maxwell

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About Us


About Us


The Castro District of San Francisco, commonly known as The Castro (coined by gay activist speaker Neil Davendra Vyas), within Eureka Valley, is widely considered the world's first, currently largest, and best-known gay neighborhood. The neighborhood is well known for its rows of restored Victorian homes and the historic Castro Theater, built in 1922, a fully operational movie house, having recently undergone impressive restoration for the film, Milk.

The Castro gets its name from the main thoroughfare, Castro Street, named after a prominent Mexican Army general. The district extends down Market Street toward Church Street and on both sides of the Castro neighborhood from Church Street to Eureka Street.

Today The Castro is mainly concentrated in the business district that is located on Castro Street from Market Street to 19th Street. Although the greater gay community was, and is, concentrated in the Castro, people who shop, eat and drink in the neighborhood live in the surrounding residential areas bordered by Corona Heights, the Mission District, Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, and Haight-Ashbury neighborhoods. Some consider it to include Duboce Triangle and Dolores Heights, which both have a strong LGBT presence.

The Castro is bustling all day long with shoppers and tourists, but at night it really comes alive, as the restaurants and bars fill up and the Castro Theatre's neon marquee lights up the main drag. Even with the vibrant Castro nightlife, it remains one of the safest neighborhoods in the city and there are plenty of places where anyone, can feel at home.


Our Team 

Daniel Bergerac
Castro Merchants President
Owner- Mudpuppy's Tub & Scrub

"As a small business owner on Castro Street, I love the support and advise business people extend to each other.  As a resident of Castro Street, I love living in this small friendly village."

Jeff Johnston
Castro Merchants Treasurer
Johnston Tax Group

I love the Castro because it is full of fun and passionate people who enjoy living and working here, like me!

Dr. Alice K. Charap
Castro Merchants Secretary

Dr. Charap opened her office in 1978, watching the many changes of our neighborhood. She loves the spirit that embodies the soul of our community.


Steve Adams
Senior Vice President - Sterling Bank & Trust

Why I love the Castro: "We are the heart of San Francisco!


John Bellemore 
Q Bar, Midnight Sun, Edge, Beaux

I love that the Castro is a neighborhood everyone loves to celebrate in. From Pride to Halloween and every weekend in between, it's a place of inclusion and happiness.

Dan Glazer
Proprietor - HotCookie

When he’s walking his dogs “Cookie” and “Cookies”, Dan loves the freedom of expression that represents our neighborhood.

Ryan Hudson
The Apothecarium

A very friendly and open-minded community that has been at the forefront of Civil rights advancement for decades - what is there not to appreciate about the Castro and it's denizens?

Petyr Kane
Owner - Citizen, Body

Peter has watched the many improvements in the neighborhood over his 25 years in business and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “This is my home!”


Miguel Lopez
Co-Owner - Sui GENERIS Boutique
Why I love the Castro: “You have everything here: Great friends that you run into all the time, restaurants, services, Boutiques and probably the best weather in the city!”

Andrew McDonald
Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy

I love the Castro because it is full of fun and passionate people who enjoy living and working here, like me!


Mark McHale
Vanguard Properties

What I love so much is the sense of community in the Castro: friendly, interested, a little kooky, inclusive and always in transition. Every shop owner, visitor and neighbor is part of my extended family

Jenn Meyer
Local Take

The Castro is one of the friendliest neighborhoods in San Francisco. Hanging out and doing business here makes you feel like you're part of a team... and you'll love it no matter what team you happen to be on.

Catherine O'Shea
Vice President - Banking Center Manager Bank of America

Catherine loves the community of the Castro, especially when she can walk her Golden Retriever “Murph” and run into friends, customers and new faces.

Brian Springfield
Brian Springfield Design

I feel honored to live and work in the Castro. I love that while the neighborhood is still vibrant and changing, it remains special, creative, and accepting.

Jessie Woodward
Owner - Hi tops bar

What I like about the Castro is that I feel like I am in what exemplifies San Francisco the best.  All types of people doing everything you can imagine, there's really nowhere like it anywhere!

Richard Magary
MUMC Administrator

I love The Castro's winning combination as an international icon and destination, while preserving its character as one of San Francisco's special neighborhoods where locals and visitors from afar shop, eat, drink and stay.

our History


Originally known as Eureka Valley, the Castro was once part of a large rancho owned by Jose de Jesus Noe, a Mexican land baron. He began selling it off in 1852, after the American conquest of California.

In the 1880s, German, Irish and Scandinavian immigrants began settling Eureka Valley and building handsome Victorian row houses for their big families. The Market Street Cable Railway connected Eureka Valley with the rest of San Francisco in 1887, creating a housing boom and turning the village into a thriving working-class neighborhood.

The current F-line Streetcars commenced operation in 1995 and serves as a daily transportation line between Fisherman’s Wharf and The Castro.

THE CASTRO IN THE 60's & 70's

Having transformed from a working-class neighborhood through the 1960s and 1970s, the Castro remains a symbol and source of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) activism and events.

The activism of the '60s and '70s forged a community with sizable political and economic power, and when the historic Twin Peaks bar at Market and Castro streets removed the blackout paint from its floor-to-ceiling windows, most took it as a sign that Castro residents were secure in their gay identity.

There were, however, tense and sometimes violent clashes with the police, and the assassination in 1978 of openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk was a turning point in the community's history.

Milk's assassination and the impact of AIDS brought the community together and made activists of almost everyone; the Castro became not just open but celebratory about its thriving gay and lesbian population.


News and Events


News and Events

News and Events

Please fill in form below to add your event to the Castro Merchants' News and Events Calendar.

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Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association

The Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA) represents residents, businesses and property owners in San Francisco's Duboce Triangle neighborhood, bordered by Market St., Castro St., Divisidero St., Waller St., Webster St. and Duboce Avenue.  Our goal is to protect, maintain and improve our neighborhood quality of life, and ensure that the Duboce Triangle continues to be San Francisco's very best neighborhood in which to live, work and play.

Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association

The Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA)provides a public forum for the people who live, work, and play in the greater Eureka Valley area to discuss common issues and concerns, and help develop solutions to improve the neighborhood.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) oversees transit, streets and taxis in the city of San Francisco, California.

Castro/Upper Market CBD

Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District (CBD) is run by an appointed Executive Director and an elected Board of Directors consisting of residents, community activists, business representatives, and property owners, meets monthly to respond to neighborhood issues such as street safety and cleanliness, and to directly influence land use, economic development, and future planning in their area.

Hoodline SF

Hoodline is a neighborhood news network covering San Francisco. Well, part of San Francisco. But we're growing. Hoodline has its origins in three local San Francisco blogs -- Haighteration, Hayeswire, and Uppercasing. Those blogs joined forces in 2014, switched from Wordpress to Rails, and brought on some new talent to form what is now Hoodline.


Our Town SF

A search engine for residents and visitors + a promotional tool for San Francisco LGBT nonprofits, arts and athletic groups
to recruit and connect with clients, donors &/or volunteers.

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) supports San Francisco's ongoing economic vitality by strengthening its neighborhoods, businesses, commercial corridors and workforce.

The San Francisco Small Business Development Center

The San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC) helps individuals start, manage and grow their businesses.We provide free, confidential one-on-one customized consulting services and training workshops in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese to established businesses and certain start-ups in San Francisco.

San Francisco Public Works

San Francisco Public Works (SFDPW) is a world-class public works organization that contributes to making San Francisco a beautiful, livable, vibrant, safe and sustainable city. We enhance the quality of life in San Francisco by providing outstanding public service.

San Francisco Office of Small Business

Directed by the Small Business Commission, the Office of Small Business (OSB) and its Small Business Assistance Center (SBAC) function as the City's central point of information and referral for entrepreneurs and small businesses located in the City and County of San Francisco.

Bay Area Reporter

Bay Area Reporter (BAR) is the nation's oldest and highest circulation LGBT news weekly serving San Francisco's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Founded in 1971, B.A.R. is regarded for its original writing covering news and entertainment relevant to our lives. B.A.R. is published every Thursday by BAR Media Inc., and is distributed in San Francisco and surrounding cities of the Bay Area.

Castro Street Improvement Project

The S.F. Planning Department in collaboration with the Municipal Transportation Agency and the Department of Public Works are leading this effort.  The project area includes the length of Castro Street from Market to the south side of 19th Street.

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Contact Us


Contact Us


584 Castro Street #333

San Francisco, CA 94114

Telephone: (415) 431-2359


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