575 Castro Street 1974-1978
Harvey Milk and Scott Smiths’ camera shop and political headquarters of the Mayor of Castro Street. They lived above the store. A plaque in the sidewalk marks this historic location. Beneath it are some of Harvey’s ashes. In 1978 a huge rent increase forced CASTRO CAMERA to move into a portion of JOHNNY APPLESEED’s at 2362 Market, later the home of THE NAMES PROJECT. Harvey and Scott moved to 22 Henry Street.
415 Castro Street
1970’s to early 1980’s
460 Castro Street
A donut shop and later an all-night restaurant. Moved around the corner in 1977 to 3991 17th Street and became ORPHAN ANDY’S. WITHOUT RESERVATIONS moved into the Castro location and closed in October 1998. Orphan Andy’s is still open.
4122 18th Street
The best liquor store in the neighborhood, conveniently located next to the parking lot on 18th. Moved to Market Street around 1990.
East of Castro Club
3968 17th Street
A short-lived all-night sex club. The text of the ad refers to the competition, the Jaguar on 18th and the 1808 on Market at Octavia.
4121 18th Street
Opened in 1975, originally served dinners and weekend brunches. The dining room, known as THE WINCHESTER ROOM, had stained-glass skylights.
449 Castro Street
CORNER GROCERY BAR
4049 18th Street 1973-1978
a different theme for Castro Street. They played classical music and had a deli counter where you could order sandwiches.
ASTRO ROCK STEAM BATHS
582 Castro Street (Second Floor)
Destroyed by an early morning fire in March, 1979.
2351 Market Street
An eclectic mix of gift, clothing, antique shop and art gallery.
A great place to browse.
THE MIDNIGHT SUN
506 Castro Street 1971-
A very popular cruise bar and the world’s first video bar.
2500 Market Street 1976
A fine Mexican Restaurant with a Carmen Miranda look created in part by local artist Dimitri Kabbaz. The entire ceiling was painted as a sunset desert sky.
500 Castro Street 1975-1996
With picture windows looking out on the crossroads of the gay world, 18th and Castro. This VIP Card was good for 10% off on meals.
10 Sanchez Street 1970-1984
An early neighborhood bar catering mostly to leather/motorcycle lesbians at the unlikely location of 10 Sanchez Street. Later the name was changed to SCOTT’S and the doors were open to all until 1984.
456 Castro Street
Replaced BISTRO in 1976,
closed in late 1998.
469 Castro Street
A neighborhood bar since 1971, it was very popular with the early morning crowd, opening at 6 AM every day.
2097 Market Street (1972-1975)
A festive dance bar on Market at Church. My favorite thing about it was the logo. TOOL BOX and HUSTLE INN followed in the same location, each lasting about a year.
THE TOOL BOX
2097 Market Street (1975)
A short-lived bar on Market at Church, formerly THE NAKED GRAPE (see above). Not to be confused with THE TOOL BOX at 399 4th Street, popular with the South-of-Market SM Leather crowd during the late 60’s and early 70’s.
ACCENT ON PETS
4148 18th Street
When this pet shop closed, the Pendulum annexed the space, doubling the size of the bar
4117 19th Street
Moved to 595 Castro in 1979
531 Castro Street
Complete with brick ovens.
531 Castro Street
Replaced the Bakery Cafe in the late 1970’s. This ad in the March 13, 1980 Sentinel shows the Cafe’s relatively open patio in the yard behind Paperback Traffic. Over the years, fences and more awnings were added giving it the feel of a drafty porch.
CABLE CAR WINES
549 Castro Street
CAFE SAN MARCOS
2367 Market Street
Restaurant downstairs, bar upstairs
from 1976 until the early 1990’s.
579 Castro Street
Opened August 1973
4230 18th Street (1975 – 1984)
A fashionable restaurant with entertainment on weekends
501 Castro Street
The little bank on the corner of 18th and Castro
that brought you Hibernia Beach!
2348 Market Street (1973 – 1976)
Replaced the Missouri Mule and followed by Chops and Patsy’s and finally DETOUR. Closed in 2002
JAGUAR BOOKSTORE (Since 1971)
4077 18th Street
An institution in the Castro; 25 cents dropped into a coffee can would prompt the cashier to buzz open the door to the private backroom and yard. Later moved across the street to the first and second floor of 4052 18th on the corner of Hartford Street, closed in 1984, and reopened in 1988 at its present location at 4057 18th.
525 Castro Street
A short-lived Mexican Restaurant that became CASTRO VIDEO.
1884 Market Street (1967 – 1972)
Followed by Tree House, JB’s House, and the long running
504 Castro Street
409 Castro Street
1942 Market Street Since 1968
In the shadow of the US Mint. Home of the GREAT MEMORIAL DAY
NEON CHICKEN (1972 – 1988)
4063 18th Street
526 Castro Street (upstairs)
PURPLE PICKLE (1972 – 1977)
Another neighborhood bar closed when BURTON’S Restaurant
took over the space.
THE SHED (1972 – 1977)
3520 16th Street / 2275 Market (at Market and Noe)
Essentially an after hours dance club.
549 Castro Street
2225 Market Street
A long-time popular barber shop on Market, moved to present location at 380 Sanchez about 1987 when LETICIA’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT
at 2223 Market took over the space.
ALL AMERICAN BOY
463 Castro Street
A men’s clothing store catering to gay fashion. Opened in the mid-1970’s, its form-fitting tee shirts saying “All American Boy San Francisco” were soon seen all over the world. They expanded to New York and LA and are still in business.
ALFIES (1977 – 1983)
2140 Market Street
A very popular disco bar near Church Street. ALFIES replaced MINDSHAFT (73-77) which was equally popular. It was followed by a series of short-lived bars.
2272 Market Street
One of the first consumer oriented computer stores, COMPUTERLAND opened in 1979. The Apple II was the computer of choice.
584 Castro Street
A health food store with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, as well as natural products. The owner/operator was Steven Scarborough. I thought he was one of the most handsome men in the Castro!
600 Castro Street
A sporting goods and clothing store at 19th Street since the late 1970’s.
HOUSE OF HARLEE
538 Castro Street
A hardware and kitchen supply store in the mid-1970’s.
LEATHER N THINGS
4079 18th Street
A custom leather shop in the Castro
Divisadero at Sacramento
Not exactly in the Castro, but significant because it was very popular in the early 1970’s and several of its employees left and got involved in opening TOAD HALL on Castro. Lion Pub ads usually featured this logo or a variation of the theme.
508 Castro Street
One of the earlier gay businesses on Castro owned by Jim Beale and his partner Rich Urbiztondo. Moved to 516 Castro after a major fire in December 1988. Skyrocketing rent forced it to close in September 2001.
508 Castro Street
I included this ad because I really liked the design. It ran as a full page ad in the program of “MOON OVER MIAMI”, a midnight benefit show at the Castro Theater on May 14, 1977. All proceeds went to the Miami Gay Support Committee, fighting Anita Bryant’s anti-gay Dade County Florida Initiative “Save Our Children”.
OLD GOLD (vintage clothing)
2304 & 2380 Market Street
Dennis Mitchell and Joe DuBois started out with Old Gold (vintage clothing) and eventually had Old Gold For Men and Old Gold For Women. My recollection is that after Joe succumbed to AIDS (around 1982) my brother ran the businesses for a while – but it was too much for him to manage alone. Dennis later opened Bucks – a contemporary men’s clothing store. – submitted by Bernie Mitchell
535 Castro Street
The first really gay oriented bookstore in the Castro. It was here that the book “The Mayor of Castro Street” first went on sale. Paperback Traffic Used Books was across the street at 558 Castro.
THE RULING ARM
4131 19th Street
A graphic arts, typesetting shop right in the Castro.
517 Castro Street
A nice Italian restaurant on Castro since before it was a gay neighborhood.
1884 Market Street –
One of the incarnations of the bar owned by JB. It changed to JB’S HOUSE in 1973, and EAGLE CREEK in 1975. In the 1990’s the space was the headquarters of ACT-UP San Francisco. JB was an institution in the SF bar scene since the mid-1960’s. He knew everyone and worked everywhere. JB called everyone “Precious” and his favorite comment was “That’s Attractive!” He worked at Trax on Haight until he died of AIDS in 1997.
4416 18th Street
A yummy pastry shop, but a little too far up the hill to catch on.
2258 Market Street
An art gallery in the Castro catering to local gay artists.
471 Castro Street
An upscale home furnishings store.
1808 Market Street (A popular sex club.)
Built in 1894 as the Fallon Building and surviving the 1906 earthquake and fire, it was purchased by the Gay Community Center Project, designated a San Francisco Landmark in 1998, and opened March 3, 2002.