The Castro is its own micro-ecosystem within San Francisco’s larger, ever-changing, and evolving metropolis. Tidbits of news and rumors are always flying about. We thought we would take a quick minute to follow-up on some earlier posts, give you the 411 on a few new items, and pass on one juicy bit we heard from several of our neighborhood sources.
As we had mentioned in an earlier post, the Castro’s only dedicated shoe store, De La Sole (549 Castro), was rumored to be closing. We confirm this to be true as the SF Sheriff stopped by and posted an eviction notice on the front door. We reached out to see if they’d continue selling shoes online but got no word back by post time. With their closing, the number of vacant properties in the Castro’s immediate two-block area comes to ten.
The popular Mom & Pop eatery, The Cove on Castro (434 Castro St.), is temporarily closed following a water leak in their basement. Solange, the owner and long-time tireless fundraiser for HIV/AIDS and LGBT causes, assures all her beloved clients that they will be re-opening as soon as the plumbers complete their work and the SF Dept. of Health okays the repairs.
There was a rumor being fanned about the ‘hood regarding the possible shuttering of Zapata Mexican Grill (4150 18th St.) once its current lease expired. According to sources, Les Natali, the building owner, has allowed the restaurant to stay with a month-to-month agreement on the space. For now, the popular and reasonably priced burrito place stays.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation has broken ground and started gutting the old Superstar Video Store (474 Castro St.) space to make room for their new multi-service, multi-organization health center. As we’ve been posting this space will house Stop AIDS Project, The Stonewall Project and Magnet all under one roof, allowing gay, bisexual, and questioning male clients a one-stop shop for their healthcare needs. A hearing is coming up regarding their presence in the neighborhood. If you have concerns that will be the time to get them off your chest. We’ll post the hearing date and time in the events section. They are still in need of funds to complete this project and you can donate to it by clicking on any of the links above.
The Castro coffee wars continue to get new soldiers entering the battle for your caffeine-fueled dollars. Espressamente Illy Coffee (2349 Market St.) remodel is progressing rapidly and they seem on target to open by early to mid-November. Local merchant Pat Batt’s new spot Eureka! (451 Castro St.) has also opened and is getting two thumbs up from locals. The former president of MUMC’s new venture features Blue Bottle Coffee and plenty of offerings to satisfy your sweet tooth. Lagging is Weavers (2301 Market St.) new location below Fitness SF gym. There seems to be little to no action happening at the space whose window signage still proclaims the San Rafael chain is ‘coming soon’.
New face in the Castro, Pesce (2223 Market) recently came under the glaring eye of the SF Gates food critic, Michael Bauer. In the writeup he pined for the cozy, old-world simplicity of Pesce’s former Polk Street location, but in the end gave the 115-seat Castro spot a good review. For those who might’ve missed the news we broke on our Facebook page earlier this week, Pesce has also started brunch service on Saturday and Sunday. Champers!
Lastly, the juicy: inside sources have whispered that Jesse Woodward, co-owner of the Castro’s first gay sports bar, Hi Tops (2247 Market St.), and his partners might be looking to open a sit down Mexican eatery across the street from his bar on the first floor of the new build dubbed The Century (2200 Market St). The former home of Leticia’s would, unlike any of its nearby competitors serving Mexican fare, boast a full bar allowing the margaritas to flow and perhaps giving it an edge in attracting a new customer base.
That’s all that’s fit to post right now. If you hear of anything you think we might have missed inside the Castro corridor feel free to submit it via our tip line or drop us an email.