Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Given thanks Milk

Business Briefs

Artist John Baden created the new Harvey Milk mural at Given. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland
Print this Page
Send to a Friend
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on MySpace!

Gift and decor shop Given (575 Castro Street) occupies a spot important to local history – this is the site where the late Harvey Milk once ran his shop, Castro Camera, while living in the flat upstairs. On Friday, September 28, owner Nick Romero dedicated a new mural on an inside wall of his store commemorating the former San Francisco supervisor in a ceremony attended by approximately 50 people, including many who knew Milk.

The mural was created by local artist John Baden , and features the smiling Milk surrounded by swirls of colors and flora. Over his head, one of Milk's quotes is featured spilling out of the barrel of a grey revolver: "If a bullet should enter my brain, let the bullet destroy every closet door."

The design was developed jointly from Romero and Baden's discussions, but when Baden found the featured quote during his research into Milk's life, the final concept fell quickly into place. Romero suggested the gun, with the intention of showing "something ugly turning into something beautiful."

Earlier this year, Romero also hosted a commemoration of the 77th anniversary of Milk's birthday, and he also reports that director Gus Van Sant has visited the shop, scouting it for use in a possible upcoming film based on Milk's life.

The Milk mural can be viewed on the south interior wall of the store. It is visible from the street, but Romero encourages visitors to come inside for a better view. Later this month, Harvey's restaurant (500 Castro Street) will also unveil a rotating exhibit honoring Milk, including photographs, artifacts, and artwork about the slain civil rights leader.

And the name is ...

The balconies at 3600 16th Street formerly housed the Metro bar (which is currently located up the street at 2124 Market Street) but now the second-story space has a new resident. Owner Chris Hastings, formerly of Catch restaurant (2362 Market Street), opened his new bar on September 14 and his first order of business was unrolling banners advertising a contest to name this newest addition to the Castro. At press time the winning name was not yet available, and Hastings attributes this to the large number of high quality entries that he has received. The winner will receive not only the honor of naming the bar, but also a $300 bar tab. Additional prizes will be awarded to other top entries.

Hastings has not altered the interior of the bar yet, but he plans to develop the space into a lounge atmosphere where people can "meet friends and hang out, instead of just party." He feels that there is a void in the Castro bar scene between the pubs and the dance bars, and he hopes that his bar can meet that need. Hastings acknowledges that the building's balconies are a landmark in the neighborhood, and he intends to honor people's happy memories of the place while building upon them to create something new and better.

Hastings will also be opening a pizzeria in the restaurant space attached to the bar. He currently serves a limited food menu in the bar itself, but by late October the restaurant will open with table service and a full menu.

The soon-to-be-named bar is open 3:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., weekends, but will be closed on Halloween.

Mark Chandler, from Mayor Gavin Newsom's international affairs office, speaks with Phillip Black, Sydney Councillor, at Monday's announcement of the Mardi Gras trip. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Sisterly Pride

The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau , Golden Gate Business Association , and the LGBT Pride Celebration Committee announced Monday, October 8 that an official delegation representing our fair city will be headed to Sydney, Australia to participate in its Mardi Gras Parade on March 1, 2008. The event celebrates the 30th anniversary of Sydney Mardi Gras as well as the 40th anniversary of San Francisco and Sydney's sister city association. According to the SFCVB, 31 years ago, representatives from San Francisco's Pride Parade asked the gay community in Sydney to host a parade to demonstrate solidarity with the nascent movement. That first parade ended in arrests and violence, but since then Sydney Mardi Gras has grown into an internationally famous, monthlong festival.

San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty will lead the group of 50-75 delegates and participation is open to the public.

For more information call the SFCVB at 415-974-6900 or visit

PlanetOut to the movies

San Francisco-based media conglomerate PlanetOut is sponsoring its ninth annual PlanetOut Short Movie Awards, and entries are encouraged from talented filmmakers worldwide. Entries must be "by, for, about or of interest to" the LGBT audience, and the winner will earn a screening at the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival plus a $10,000 cash prize. The deadline for entry is December 1, and details can be found at

Making contact

The Golden Gate Business Association is hosting its next "Make Contact" mixer on Tuesday, October 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Spectrum Federal Credit Union (50 Beale Street). The event is being held in cooperation with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. GGBA bills itself as "the first LGBT chamber of commerce" and it encourages both members and non-members alike to attend these networking mixers. Admission is free for GGBA members and $10 for non-members. The meeting will also feature GGBA board elections.

For more information, visit

Check out Raymond Flournoy's Castro Shopper blog at Contact him at

Follow The Bay Area Reporter
facebook logo
facebook logo
Newsletter logo
Newsletter logo
ISSUU logo