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    Supporting Small Businesses in the Castro & Beyond: The Academy, Lisa Hair Design, The Cove on Castro

    The Academy
    Open: Thursday–Saturday 5–10 pm; Sunday 2–7 pm
    Reservations are required
    Check the online calendar for upcoming events.
    2166 Market Street
    Contacts: Nate Bourg and Paul Miller

    The Academy is an LGBTQ+ social club based in San Francisco and is open to all. “We believe it’s the only brick and mortar institution of its kind in the U.S.,” founders Nate Bourg and Paul Miller told the San Francisco Bay Times. “It was founded with the idea of building a community of dynamic individuals focused on promoting diverse social interaction, contributing to society, and uniting through shared experiences.” The Academy seeks to be a destination and resource for the community and offers classes, expert panel discussions on current issues and events, plus entertainment, their own events, and social interactions.

    Bourg and Miller report that The Academy has come through the pandemic benefiting from the silver linings. Their free virtual events will continue, making it possible to expand outreach to members and the broader community. On site, their garden terrace area has been converted into distinct outdoor social spaces for small groups of up to six with each group having their own dedicated area. Some in-person events are now available such as outdoor hikes, wine tastings, and discussion groups.

    For San Francisco Bay Times readers, a 25% discount is offered on the first three months of membership after completing the application process. Submit an online inquire to learn more.

    Lisa Hair Design
    Open Monday–Saturday, 10 am–6 pm
    Call for reservations; Walk-ins welcome
    419 Castro Street
    Contact: Lisa

    Lisa began her Castro tenure working at Nice Cuts and, more than a decade ago, opened her own shop to serve the needs of her enthusiastic customer base. Working with her colleague Jeannette, Lisa has earned a reputation for her hard work, welcoming personality, and fine-tuned skills as a seasoned hair stylist.

    The small but friendly shop is located conveniently on Castro Street near Twin Peaks, Hot Cookie, and The Castro Theatre. San Francisco Bay Times team members have enjoyed many visits to Lisa’s and join numerous Castro neighbors in encouraging all to stop in and meet her.

    “She has the cheapest yet best haircuts in San Francisco!” one customer declared. We agree and believe that Lisa deserves an award for the care and great value she provides.

    The Cove on Castro
    8 am–9 pm daily
    434 Castro Street

    Owners Maurice and Solange Darwish have become legends among their many friends and customers who rely on The Cove regularly for its good food and friendly atmosphere. Darwish’s parents took over the restaurant in 1971, and it is now recognized by the City of San Francisco as a Legacy Business. Offering a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Cove also frequently presents videos and photo shows specific to its LGBT clientele.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Cove, in conjunction with 440 Bar, installed an outdoor “parklet” seating up to 35. The Cove has also upgraded its online ordering and delivery services affiliating with ChowNow, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub. Takeout orders have expanded for those who choose to enjoy The Cove’s good food on the go.

    For many, going to The Cove is considered a “must do” during any Castro visit. San Francisco Bay Times readers can enjoy a 10% discount for saying the secret code: “The Cove 2020”!

    Published on October 8, 2020