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Our Story

The Academy is a LGBTQ+ social club, open to all, focused on promoting genuine social interactions while offering engaging programming in collaboration with nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and leading community members. The Club is located in San Francisco's Castro District and was founded in 2017 by Paul Miller and Nate Bourg.

Membership in The Academy’s social club is open to anyone who wishes to apply – all are welcome – and aspires to be diverse in age, race, gender, and social standing, with all members sharing a common interest in engaging in the community and valuing in-person interactions.

In addition to the social club and its associated programming, The Academy also offers a barber salon, a daytime co-working lounge called Academy Daylight, a day spa, and has space available to rent for private events.

The Academy is proud of its continued collaboration with various social, civic, and community organizations, including (scroll to see more):

Our Mission


We seek to build a community of dynamic individuals focused on promoting genuine social interaction, contributing to our society, and uniting through shared experiences.


Our Community

A significant part of working to achieve our mission is to partner and collaborate with our neighbors—the incredible nonprofit organizations doing vital work in our community, and local small businesses who keep the vibrant spirit of The Castro and surrounding areas alive. This work is certainly more important now than ever before.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining our partnership program, collaborating on an event, showcasing your artwork, hosting a fundraiser, or any idea that helps us achieve our mission of giving back to the community and creating memorable shared experiences.


Our Location

2166 Market Street has deep historical roots within the Upper Market LGBTQ+ community that we are proud of, and always fascinated to learn more about.


In the mid-1970s, it operated as a restaurant/bar called Cardi's, catering to San Francisco's growing gay clientele. In 1977, it became the Balcony, a gay leather bar (or "Balony" to familiar patrons after the"c" fell off the sign). In the mid-1980s during the notorious sex club era, it was known as the Academy. Until 2015, it was the home of Klotz Watches & Clocks. Our name is a tribute to the history of the location and the surrounding community.

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