New Castro nightclub will no longer be called BRUT

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Monday August 21, 2023
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The planned LGBTQ nightclub in the former Harvey's space in the Castro won't be called BRUT after all. Photo: Scott Wazlowski
The planned LGBTQ nightclub in the former Harvey's space in the Castro won't be called BRUT after all. Photo: Scott Wazlowski

That was quick.

Less than a week after announcing the new name for the nightclub succeeding Harvey's in the heart of the LGBTQ Castro neighborhood, the ownership group has backtracked.

BRUT Bar, Bites, and Nightclub initially was going to be the name for the planned nightclub expected to open next year at 500 Castro Street and an adjoining commercial space. But that plan fizzled.

Joshua J. Cook, a gay man who speaks for the ownership group, told the Bay Area Reporter August 20 that the new club won't be called BRUT Bar, Bites, and Nightclub after all. The name had been announced with fanfare August 15, but won't be used now because it is similar to that of a house music party that also caters to LGBTQ people.

"We want to be as original as possible as we create this space," Cook stated to the B.A.R. "We definitely do not want any confusion of being affiliated with anyone else. Thanks for your interest."

BRÜT, with an umlaut, is the name of an LGBTQ house music dance party that occurs with regular frequency in a number of places, including Los Angeles, Provincetown, Fire Island, and San Francisco, where its next iteration is at The Great Northern on September 22, the Friday before the Folsom Street Fair.

When asked about BRÜT, Cook had told the B.A.R. on August 15 that he was "not aware of a party of that name." BRÜT's Dan Darlington didn't seem pleased when responding to the B.A.R.'s inquiry regarding the name.

"We have owned a federal trademark registration for BRÜT for more than seven years," he stated. "The public has come to associate that mark with the high-quality services we provide. Our IP is valuable to us, and we are evaluating our options for protecting our mark and eliminating any likelihood of confusion."

BRÜT did not return a request for comment on August 20 asking if it'd reached out to the BRUT ownership group.

The ownership group for the former Harvey's space is mostly connected to Beaux, an LGBTQ bar in the Castro.

The ownership group — comprised of Cook, Beaux stalwarts Alexis Lucero, Matthew Mello, Garrett Beighton, and Realtor Marco Caravajal — signed a lease with the Paul Langley Company to take over the old Harvey's space after it was shuttered in January. They also agreed to expand into the adjacent retail space at 504 Castro Street that had housed smoke shop Puff 'n Stuff, which closed in 2020. Both commercial spaces are owned by the Paul Langley Co.

Cook told the B.A.R. last month that the space will function as a bar with a "substantial bar menu" during the day. At night the space will be transformed to include a dance floor with a similar capacity of Beaux's — around 200. It is expected to open next summer.

It is unclear when the group will announce the club's name. Additionally, further details have yet to be released, including how the new club plans to prominently honor its predecessors in the space, the Harvey's restaurant and the old Elephant Walk. Nods to the former gay bar and the restaurant's namesake, the late gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, had been part of the former decor.

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