Timeline of ccc history

39 Years of history at 18th & Hartford providing a safe oasis in the heart of the Castro

timeline

April 1983 -

Restaurateur Steve Harris founded the Castro Country Club (CCC) as a social alternative to the gay bars, making it the first social coffee house in the Castro District.

As the AIDS epidemic ravaged the gay and bisexual men’s community in San Francisco, the role of the CCC expanded to become a second home for people impacted by the AIDS epidemic.

1988 -
Steve Harris passed away, leaving the CCC in the capable hands of his friend Joe Healy. Under Joe’s guidance, the CCC evolved to become primarily a clean and sober space.
1993 -
Joe also worked as a counselor at Baker Places Inc., a local non-profit agency that supports substance abuse, mental health, LGBTQ persons, and people with HIV and AIDS. When he left to join the priesthood, the club’s fiscal sponsorship and titular management shifted from an individual to Baker Places Inc., under the guidance of Jonathan Vernick, the Executive Director.
1999 -

Due to economic conditions, Baker Places Inc. could no longer remain the fiscal sponsor for the CCC and the CCC closed its doors.

Driven to re-open, Dan Cusick, Hank Wilson, Dr. Steven Tierney, Eric Ciasullo, Tony Robbins, and Ric West convinced Baker Places Inc. to continue its support with the caveat that the CCC would re-conceptualize its business model.

2000 -
Dan Cusick, a long time AIDS activist and a highly visible member of the San Francisco LGBTQ recovery community, took over club operations.
2009 -
Dan passed away and Terry Beswick, yet another leader in both the recovery and HIV/AIDS world, assumed the role of manager.
2010 -

Because of a death in the family that owned the CCC’s building, the property was put up for sale. In response to this imminent threat, the CCC community created an Advisory Board that launched the “Keep The Steps In The Castro” capital campaign, with the intention to raise enough money to buy the building.

While they were unable to raise sufficient funds, with the support of the community and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, the CCC was able to negotiate a 10-year lease with the new owner of the property.  

Just 5 months later,  Baker Places announced it could no longer shoulder what had grown to be a $50,000+ annual deficit. Thankfully, a new fiscal sponsor stepped up: The San Francisco AIDS Foundation. 

Together with several major grants awarded, the CCC entered a new era of self-determination and autonomy.

2012 -

Mascara, the CCC’s monthly sober drag extravaganza, debuted.

April 1, 2013 -

Now in its fourth decade of service to the LGBTQ community, the CCC celebrated its 30th anniversary!

Today -

The CCC is self-supporting and governed by our Advisory Board, with a budget of nearly $500,000. The space hosts 40+ meetings a week and a wide range of events and activities, with funding support from grants, café revenue, merchandise sales, fundraisers, meeting space rental revenue, sales of fine art, and over 100 monthly community donors–thank you!

what people say

Ric West
Decades

“Addiction can seem an inescapable misery but for those seeking help and even those who don't yet know help is available, the Castro Country Club has for decades not just helped people get sober but it's helped them find a new way to live. I know I'm one of those people.”   

Matt Walding
Community

"It’s not just a building. It’s not just an address. It’s a Community.”

Peaches Christ,
filmmaker and cult leader
It is really my favorite place

“I’ve been a member of AA for quite some time now and the Castro Country Club means the world to me… it is my favorite place in the Castro. I feel a sense of community  have a connection with other queer sober people outside of meetings. It is really my favorite place. I feel like I have a spiritual connection with that space because of all the incredible experiences…”