Castro Merchants President
Co-Owner- Mudpuppy's Tub & Scrub
" As a Castro Street small business owner, I appreciate the advice and support garnered from the local business community. This friendly interaction and willingness to help one another reinforces why I love conducting business and living in the Castro village. Volunteering is my way of giving back to this vibrant community.”
Castro Merchants Co-Vice President
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.
Castro Merchants Treasurer
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!
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.
Johnston Tax Group
I love the Castro because it is full of fun and passionate people who enjoy living and working here, like me!
Senior Vice President - Sterling Bank & Trust
Why I love the Castro: "We are the heart of San Francisco!
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.
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?
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!”
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
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.
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.