It is no secret that the Castro is San Francisco's hub for small business love.
(It is also epicenter for pretty male go-go dancers and delightful drag shows, but that's another topic for another article.)
Now that we are in the throws of the biggest shopping events of the calendar year, there is no better time to shop local for all your holiday gifts and give back to the community that we love so much. And it is our hope that this holiday season will bring a throng of buyers into the Castro to boost the district's small businesses and favorite spots.
As post-Turkey Day shopping took over the greater San Francisco area and department stores spilled over with crazed gift-buyers, we began to wonder about the effect the holiday season has on some of our favorite Castro stores and restaurants. Surely, it's a good time of year with neighborhood regulars and visitors emptying their wallets in pursuit of the perfect gift--and then grabbing a bite to eat after a long day of shopping.
Our hunch was confirmed by none other than the Bay Area Reporter. A piece posted earlier this week tells us that retailers have been vocal about their hopes of a busy shopping season after the Castro Street sidewalk-widening project hit businesses hard. Now that the sidewalk isn't a maze of construction workers and caution tape, the hope is that this December can help ease the hit the small businesses took over the rest of their year.
There's really no reason for crowds not to flock to Castro businesses. The neighborhood is the source for many amazing holiday shows--see the MyCastro drag show list!--as well as events giving back to local charities and other community-friendly beneficiaries. Such events should show that more shoppers have graced the Castro District.
Local businesses are also getting a boost from Castro Merchants--not that they don't normally during the rest of the year, we just happen to be focussing on the holiday season at the moment--with their monthly Castro Coupons encouraging shoppers to visit neighborhood spots that are featuring holiday specials.
We will keep an eye on how the Castro's small businesses as the season/year draws to a close. But we already have a feeling it is going to be good for the community's favorite stores and eateries.