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About Us


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About Us


Our Team 


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Masood Samereie

Castro Merchants President
Broker/Owner of Aria Properties

I have a long time love affair with our beautiful city of San Francisco, and in particular the Castro Neighborhood.

I have always felt welcome and respected in this neighborhood. I enjoy the diversity, vibrancy, creativity, and for me a sense of excitement that I don’t find in other neighborhoods.


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.


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Doug Mcallister

Castro Merchants Treasurer 
Financial Advisor

There are no excuses to be bored in the Castro.


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Andrew MacDonald

Castro Merchants Secretary
Clinic Manager, Walgreens Pharmacy

I love the Castro because it is fun and located in the heart of SF. We are full of passionate people who inspire me to preserve its history and keep it the best neighborhood in the city!


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sean jackson-boyd

Client Success Manager / The Henry Levy Group- A CPA Firm

San Francisco, and particularly The Castro is a vibrant, creative, inclusive destination with visitors from around the world. We only have one chance to make a first impression and having been a resident for nearly 3 decades I love contributing to putting our best Castro forward.


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Daniel bergerac

Immediate past President of Castro Merchants

Owner- Mudpuppy's Tub & Scrub

I am proud to be a small business owner in this vibrant, inclusive, accepting corner of San Francisco. It is an honor to serve this board and our community.


John Bellemore

Castro Merchants Vice President

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.


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RAY CONNOLLY

CFO - Eureka Sky

The people that live and work in the Castro exude a natural freedom and they show, love has no bounds. They are the reason why my husband and I are in love with the Castro.


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


Richard Magary
 

CASTRO MERCHANTS 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.

GET TO KNOW THE CASTRO merchants 

Castro Merchants is made up of merchants based in San Francisco's iconic Castro neighborhood, an international beacon of freedom, acceptance, creativity and diversity.

Castro Merchants is proud to count among its founders, Castro's own Harvey Milk, who understood that thriving Castro businesses would help create a strong and powerful community. Our members include a variety of businesses including food and beverage, nightlife/entertainment, retail, salons, spas, healers, professional services and community organizations. All serve local residents as well as the many domestic/international visitors who make Castro a popular tourist destination.

Our Mission is to protect, promote, and advocate on behalf of all Castro businesses.

our History


IN THE BEGINNING

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.