Best Of The Gays
compiled by Cynthia Laird
Best Place to Buy Wedding Attire, Best Jewelry, Best Clothing Store Men and Women
One of San Francisco's anchor department stores continues to be a favorite among Bay Area Reporter readers. Macy's has won multiple categories in the readers' poll since its inception and new this year is the wedding attire category, given the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.
While there are several Macy's stores around the Bay Area, the San Francisco flagship offers the biggest selection. A separate men's store across the street from Macy's Union Square has a great selection of casual and dress items. The selection for women can't be beat, and there is an extensive jewelry department as well. Wedding attire can be found and couples can also set up a gift registry.
The Macy's Flower Show is now under way at the Union Square store and ends April 6. Complimentary tours are available.
Macy's Union Square, 170 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, (415) 397-3333. www.macys.com.
Best Place to Buy Eyewear
Site for Sore Eyes
With stores around the Bay Area, Site for Sore Eyes offers eye exams and a full selection of designer frames and contact lenses.
Site for Sore Eyes, www.siteforsoreeyes.com.
For Eyes, Eye Gotcha (tie)
Books Inc. is a favorite of B.A.R. readers. It is the west's oldest independent bookseller and has embraced the LGBT community by hosting numerous readings and other special events throughout the year, mostly at is Castro location. In this day of iPads and Kindles, there's nothing quite like spending some quality time perusing a bookstore to find that next novel you've been wanting to read or to check out the latest bestsellers. There are several stores throughout the Bay Area. Look for special events on May 3 at the celebration for California Book Store Day.
Books Inc., 2275 Market Street, San Francisco, (415) 864-6777. http://www.booksinc.net.
Wells Fargo Bank is not only one of the oldest financial institutions around, it also contributes regularly to LGBT community events and organizations. Last year marked the 11th consecutive year the company scored a perfect 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index for 2014 and was named a "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality." Wells Fargo was also recognized by Diversity Inc magazine as No. 1 on its Top 10 Companies for LGBT employees list as part of the magazine's annual survey of Top 50 Companies for Diversity.
"Our company's support for the LGBT community is part of our broader commitment to diversity – to serve diverse customers, to hire, develop and retain diverse team members and to encourage team members to value and respect each other for their differences," Jimmie Paschall, Wells Fargo executive vice president, diversity and inclusion, said in a statement.
With numerous locations in the Bay Area, you're never far from an ATM.
Wells Fargo Bank, www.wellsfargo.com.
San Francisco Federal Credit Union
Bank of America
Best Bicycle Shop
The family bike shop in the Mission was once again a favorite of readers. Opened in 1985, it offers a wide selection of hybrid/city bikes, kids bikes, road bikes, and mountain bikes. Tune-up services are also available. The store is a "Safe Bikes" partner to help combat bicycle thefts and encourages owners to register their bike's serial number in SF SAFE's secure database that is connected to the San Francisco Police Department.
Valencia Cyclery, 1065 and 1077 Valencia Street, San Francisco, (415) 550-6600. www.valenciacyclery.com.
Mission Bicycle Company
Best Vintage Clothing Store
This Market Street gem continues to impress readers with its selection of all things vintage. The store has done well since opening six years ago and expanded into a larger storefront to highlight its men's collection. There's a smaller dedicated space for women's clothing. Sui Generis carries labels such as Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Jimmy Choo.
The name Sui Generis refers to a Latin expression that means "one of a kind," and shoppers will find plenty of unique items at the Castro stores.
Sui Generis, 2231 Market Street, (415) 437-2231 (men's); 2265 Market Street, (415) 437-2265 (women's). www.suigenerisconsignment.com.
Worn Out West
Best Shoe Store
Barneys New York
You don't have to go across the country for that hip pair of shoes, Barneys New York has a store in San Francisco and this year, B.A.R. readers judged it the best shoe store in town. Located in the old FAO Schwartz store, Barneys has the latest in footwear for every occasion.
Barneys New York, 77 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, (415) 268-3500. www.barneys.com.
Best Place to Get Fit
Fitness SF, which parted ways with Gold's Gym a couple years ago over that company founder's donations to anti-gay groups, continues to be popular with B.A.R. readers. The company operates gyms in San Francisco, Oakland, and Marin. Readers were particularly impressed with the Castro location, which has two stories and more than 16,000 square feet of workout space.
Fitness SF Castro location, 2301 Market Street, San Francisco, (415) 348-6377. www.fitnesssf.com.
24 Hour Fitness
Best Place to Buy a Car
Apparently readers went for geographic locales in this category, rather than a specific auto store. Not to worry. With its close proximity to San Francisco and lots of dealerships, the town of Colma took first place this year. Whether you're looking for a hybrid, luxury model, or something in between, Colma's got you covered.
San Francisco Honda
Best Auto Mechanic
Luscious Garage, San Francisco Honda (tie)
There are two new winners this year. Luscious Garage, located South of Market, specializes in hybrid auto repairs. Its beautiful facility is woman-owned and -operated and environmentally responsible.
San Francisco Honda, which bills itself as "the City's Honda dealer," also offers full service and parts for Honda vehicles.
Luscious Garage, 475 9th Street, San Francisco, (415) 875-9030. www.lusciousgarage.com.
San Francisco Honda, 10 South Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, (415) 913-5185. www.sfhonda.com.
Best Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Medical marijuana dispensaries continue to serve an important purpose in the Bay Area, even as support grows for legalized recreational marijuana use and two states – Colorado and Washington – have passed laws allowing it. Full legalization in California looks to be a few years away, judging by recent polling and the decision by one backer not to proceed with a ballot measure until 2016.
Meanwhile, those suffering from various illnesses and chronic pain, among other conditions, can still get an ID card and legally obtain marijuana. Among several dispensaries, the Apothecarium is a favorite among B.A.R. readers. It is a licensed, full-service medical cannabis dispensary located in the Castro.
The Apothecarium, 2095 Market Street, San Francisco, (415) 500-2620. www.apothecariumsf.com.