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In the News

Hoodline, 2022 Dec

Castro LGBTQ+ social club The Academy announces expansion

After over five years in the Castro, LGBTQ+ social club The Academy (2166 Market St.) has announced a significant expansion of the club's footprint.

The Academy will be expanding to an adjacent storefront at 2164 Market St., formerly Revamp Salon.

Hoodline readers will recall The Academy was first opened in 2017 by business partners Nate Bourg and Paul Miller.

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Passport, 2022 Mar


Through the picture window at The Academy in San Francisco’s Castro District, you can admire what is perhaps the city’s handsomest barber’s chair. Gleaming with silver chrome and peacock blue leather, it rotates on a floor of white hexagonal tiles. A velveteen drape obscures a larger room beyond this tableau, piquing one’s curiousity. Clearly, this is no SuperCuts.

Though you actually can make an appointment for an old-fashioned shave and a haircut here, tonsorial services are little more than a tangent to The Academy’s overall mission. Rather, it’s the warm camaraderie and lively conversation evoked by the notion of a vintage barbershop, a welcoming place to hang out, shoot the breeze, catch up on gossip, do a little networking, that encapsulates the purpose of The Academy, a 5-year-old social club that’s bringing a refreshed sense of community to this storied neighborhood. read more

SF Bay Times, 2021 Nov

The Academy Legends Awards 2021

Dr. Tim Seelig, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and a San Francisco Bay Times columnist, was inducted into The Academy’s Legends Archive during a ceremony on Friday, November 12, held at the Swedish American Hall.


Memorabilia from Dr. Seelig’s career will be permanently installed in The Academy’s Legends Room, 2166 Market Street. read more

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SF Bay Times, 2021 Jun

Mayor London Breed at 'Divas & Drinks' at The Academy

On June 24, San Francisco Mayor London Breed spoke at the largest local Pride event for women, Divas & Drinks @ The Academy, co-hosted by the San Francisco Bay Times and The Academy.


ABC7 news anchor Dion Lim introduced Mayor Breed. Legendary entertainer, fundraiser, and Bay Times columnist Donna Sachet was central to the event, along with DJ Rockaway of Olivia Travel, Anna Chase—leader of Team Olivia in a “Name That Tune” competition, and Carol Steinkamp—leader of Team Mecca 2.0. Supervisor and former Bay Times columnist Rafael Mandelman spoke. read more

SF Bay Times, 2020 Nov

The Academy SF: Your  Home Away From Home

During its many incarnations, the location that houses The Academy in the Castro has been: a clock shop, a leather bar, a sex club, and a restaurant, among other businesses. But now, the edifice at 2166 Market Street is something even more: a home away from home.


You feel it the minute you walk into the dazzling 3-story club: it’s luxurious, design-forward, comfortable, welcoming, and artsy. In short, it’s what the Castro has needed for years. read more


KPIX, 2020 Oct

Subdued But Spirited Halloween In San Francisco’s Castro District Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

The social club — The Academy on Market Street — hosted a hair-raising haunted house like no other. It offered a socially-distanced tour with reserved time slots for groups of four. Masks were required at all times. It featured creepy surprises at every turn, but characters won’t be jumping out or touching any guests. read more

SF Bay Times, 2020 Oct

Supporting Small Businesses in the Castro & Beyond

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.” read more


Bay Area Reporter, 2020 Jan

LGBT social club expansion brings public programs

As it approaches its third anniversary, an LGBT social club in San Francisco's Castro district is expanding, opening the doors to an increase in membership and more offerings for non-club members.

Known as The Academy, gay co-owners and friends Nate Bourg and Paul Miller opened the social club May 31, 2017 in a portion of the building located at 2166 Market Street, a short walk from the Church Muni Metro Station. Their aim was to provide an outlet where LGBT people could form friendships outside a bar or nightclub environment. read more

LOGO, 2018 Apr

World’s First LGBT Rotary Club Launches In San Francisco

A group in San Francisco has started the first Rotary Club with a predominantly LGBT membership. The new Rotary Club of San Francisco, Castro, is now one of nine Rotary groups in the Bay Area.


A March 25 launch party at The Academy drew RuPaul’s Drag Race star Honey Mahogany and mayoral candidate Mark Leno. read more


Bay Area Reporter, 2019 Apr

SF planning body approves permits for Castro social club

… The planning commissioners also voted unanimously to allow the Academy, a social club with 300-plus members, to remain in the historic gay bar space at 2166 Market Street it has leased since 2017 and use the outdoor yard it remodeled into a patio. read more

New York Times, 2017 Nov

What to Do in San Francisco When You’re Wealthy? Join a Private Club.

Other newer clubs unapologetically focus on a niche ... Paul Miller, [a] co-founder, said the space was meant to be an inviting alternative to bars. When new members arrive, they can opt to be personally introduced to others ... “It’s not about how much money you have,” Mr. Miller said.

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