The Castro Street and Upper Market Street commercial corridors serve a number of surrounding residential neighborhoods including the Castro, one of the nation’s first and largest gay neighborhoods. A major cultural destination world-wide, the Castro’s gay-friendly business district is bustling with restaurants, clothing boutiques, specialty shops, and the renowned Castro Theatre. The district is at its best at night as the bars open, from Mint to the Midnight Sun. The commercial corridor is served by two community groups: the Castro Merchants and the Castro/ Upper Market Community Benefit District (CBD). Special events, parades and street fairs include the Castro Street Fair, the Dyke March, Pink Saturday, and the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.
Castro / Upper Market has a high level of social capital with an active CBD and merchant and neighborhood associations. A large number of service agencies and community based organizations support the culture and history of the LGBT community and help foster the unique identity of the area.
Castro/Upper Market is a robust local shopping district and one of the highest crossing tourist destinations in San Francisco. However, sales tax captured in the district decreased by 5% from 2006 to 2012, compared with 17% growth Citywide. The corridor features a high number of personal care and eating/drinking establishments, and a moderate storefront vacancy rate.