SF Small Business Commission Approves Two Businesses for the Legacy Business Registry

San Francisco, CA — On Monday, the San Francisco Small Business Commission unanimously approved two businesses for inclusion on the Legacy Business Registry – El Rio and Hwa Rang Kwan Martial Arts Center. The Registry recognizes longstanding, community-serving businesses as valuable cultural assets to the city and provides educational and promotional assistance to encourage their continued viability and success in San Francisco. In total, 113 small businesses that have been operating in San Francisco for 30 or more years are on the Legacy Business Registry.

El Rio, Your Dive - 3158 Mission Street

Founded in 1978 in the Mission District as a Brazilian leather gay bar, El Rio is a mixed events space and bar with a strong community-oriented agenda. El Rio has thrived as an anchor for the LGBTQ community and an inclusive gathering place for people from all walks of life. This mission has remained steadfast over the years, as evidenced by its diversity of clientele, which on any given night includes native San Franciscans, tech transplants, artists, teachers, and activists. Driven by its commitment to giving back, El Rio has a profit sharing business model and hosts fundraisers and cultural events for local community-based organizations. Salsa Sundays, a mixed live music party for the LGBTQ community has been running for over 30 years, and Mango, a monthly dance party for queer women of color, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. El Rio is a gem in the Mission District, and takes the term ‘neighborhood bar’ to the next level. 

Hwa Rang Kwan Martial Arts Center - 90 Welsh Street

Opened in 1973 by Master Dong Kie Shin, Hwa Rang Kwan Martial Arts Center teaches traditional martial arts skills and techniques for youth and adults through kickboxing, self-defense, and martial arts classes. For its students, Hwa Rang Kwan has become more than a training center, it’s a place to gain confidence, learn life values and discipline, and be part of a community. “The friendly place to condition your mind, body and soul” is the center’s motto; which has been carried out as a guiding principle, a mission statement, and a promise to its students. The center has moved several times over the years but has remained in the SoMa for 16 years. Hwa Rang Kwan Martial Arts Center is believed to be the oldest Korean martial arts center on the West Coast.

A Legacy Business is a for-profit or nonprofit business that has operated in San Francisco for 30 or more years. The business must contribute to the neighborhood's history and/or the identity of a particular neighborhood or community, and it must commit to maintaining the physical features or traditions that define the business, including craft, culinary or art forms. Inclusion in the Registry provides Legacy Businesses with recognition and support as an incentive for them to stay in the community.

For more information about the Legacy Business Program, including a full list and map of businesses on the Registry, please visit www.sfosb.org/legacy-business.

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