Why the Castro?
International recognition. Local historic icon. High walkability. Easy public transit. Nearby neighborhood vitality from Mission District, Eureka Valley, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle, Corona Heights, Ashbury Heights, and Twin Peaks. Since 2010, over 500 units of new housing and roughly 1,000 new residents have been added to the Castro. Check out the By Numbers section below for what brings people to the Castro to live, work, and play.
By the Numbers
Source: 2016 – 2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates
S.F. Pride is the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ people and their allies in the country. Pride brings hundreds of thousands of people to San Francisco from across the globe. Many visitors come to the Castro looking for true Castro experiences, unique clothing, gifts and mementos, and great restaurants and bars.
Castro Street Fair
Started by Harvey Milk, the Castro Street Fair, on the first Sunday in October, draws thousands of people to the Castro. The fair features artists and crafts people selling their wares, community and political organizations, a live music stage, plenty of street fair food and a lot of people watching.
Film festivals galore at the world famous Castro Theatre. Two of the more popular festivals are the San Francisco International Film Festival and Frameline, the SF International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the largest and most widely recognized LGBTQ+ film exhibition in the world. All held in the Castro.
Harvey Milk’s Birthday
Every year on or about May 22nd, the Castro comes together to celebrate and remember Harvey Milk. This event draws people from across the Bay Area to come together to honor Harvey Milk as they listen to speeches and celebrate with music from some of the community’s top DJs.
Halloween in the Castro is world famous and the fun always starts the weekend before Halloween. Everyone celebrates in the Castro. Outrageous creativity in costumes is the name of the game on Halloween in the Castro and the streets are packed with all walks of life! Come enjoy the fun.
Folsom Street Fair
The famously infamous street fair draws in the leather/kink/alt-sex community and all the others who just want to be there. Though not in the Castro per se, the Folsom Street Fair brings thousands of people to San Francisco from across the globe. And yes, many if not all of them find their way to the Castro at some point over the weekend.
The Castro is one of San Francisco’s hottest districts. Castro CBD, working closely with neighbor partners like the Castro Merchants Association, is excited to be sharing information about retail lease opportunities through the I’m Available campaign. Bookmark and visit this page for updates about available spaces, details about the neighborhood, and connections to resources for starting a business in the Castro.
500 Castro Street
New Business Open
Castro Community Benefit District
The Castro Community Benefit District focuses on keeping the Castro clean and safe. The Castro CBD sweeps the sidewalks, picks up litter, power washes the sidewalks and removes graffiti. The CBD also funds Community Ambassadors to provide a uniformed presence in the district and an extra special hello to passersby.
Castro Merchants is made up of merchants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood and is proud to count among its founders, Castro’s own Harvey Milk. The mission is to protect, promote, and advocate on behalf of all Castro businesses. Castro Merchants also provides important support services for those looking to start a business in the Castro.
Castro LGBTQ Cultural District
The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District aims to highlight the importance of LGBTQ people to Castro’s history and ensure we have a place in its future. The Cultural District is a tool that will help to identify the problems LGBTQ people, communities, and allies face, and establish collaboration with city hall to create effective solutions.
Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association
Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA), formed in 1881 as the Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA), 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 our neighborhood.
Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association
The Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA) represents the people who live or work or own property in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle neighborhood. Our goal is to protect and improve our neighborhood’s quality of life, and to ensure that the Duboce Triangle continues to be the very best place to live, work, and play in San Francisco.
Lending a Hand
The business of starting a business is tough. The following organizations in the city can offer staff assistance and resources to help!
Office of Small Business
San Francisco’s central point of information for small businesses. Part of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the Office of Small Business offers services and resources – such as information on how to register, starter guides, and pandemic assistance – for both established businesses and those starting out.
San Francisco’s New Permit Center
The new Permit Center includes in-person staff from the Office of Small Business who can help with the permits needed for your small business in San Francisco and get you going on your permitting journey. Additional city agencies are also located within the Permit Center to make it easier and faster to have your questions answered.
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce works to attract, support, and grow business through advocacy, economic development, and business development. A global economic force, San Francisco is the most inclusive and passionate city for innovation and entrepreneurship, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce works hard on its behalf.
Golden Gate Business Association
Golden Gate Business Association is the world’s first LGBTA+ chamber of commerce. Our mission is to empower our small business entrepreneurs and professionals by creating opportunities for marketing, networking, procurement, and referral-based business growth. We also engage with civic leaders to support policies that foster a more inclusive business community.
Golden Gate Restaurant Association
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s mission is to celebrate and empower the restaurant community through advocacy, education, marketing, events and training. Our member community includes restaurants of all sizes and profiles and we have a valuable network of resources to support them through all stages of growth.