Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on January 29, 2020
Castro's Hot Cookie to open a new location in Polk GulchPhoto: Michael C./Hoodline Tipline

Popular Castro cookie shop Hot Cookie is expanding to Polk Gulch. Tipsters Michael C. and Rebecca S. alerted us to the news.

Famous for its "butch bars," toffee milk chocolate cookies and "Penis and Venus" chocolate-covered macaroons, Hot Cookie will softly debut its second location at 1817 Polk St. this Saturday.

We spoke to co-owner Paul Perretta, who runs the store. He and his father, Tony Roug, bought the business from founder Dan Grazer in 2015.

Co-owner Paul Perretta. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Perretta said Hot Cookie decided to expand into the former Lush Gelato space on Polk in order to secure more room for baking.

“We have a good problem, which is that we have too much business that we cannot serve,” he said.

Hot Cookie's original location at 407 Castro St. is around 700 square feet, while the Polk Street space is double the size. Since Lush Gelato already had a kitchen, plumbing and electricity in place, it was easy to splash it with fresh paint and move in, Perretta said.

Expanding to Polk Gulch also made sense because the area has a deep history as the birthplace of San Francisco's LGBTQ+ community. Perretta said he is proud to join other LGBTQ+ businesses in the area, such as The Cinch.

"Penis and Venus" treats at Hot Cookie. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The Castro Hot Cookie is known for its wall of photos of scantily clad men and women wearing the brand's signature bright red underwear.

For the new location, Perretta said he would like to have community input on what will be displayed on the walls. The collage has always been a huge hit with customers, he said, though he tries to place the raciest photos high up, where kids can't see them.

The wall at the Castro location. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The new Hot Cookie will have the same cookie selection as the original, including the infamous "Penis and Venus" macaroons on a stick.

But with more room to experiment, Perretta said he's looking forward to trying out some new flavors as well. 

Thanks to tipsters Michael C. and Rebecca S. If you've seen something new (or closing) in the neighborhood, text your tips and photos to (415) 200-3233, or email [email protected]. If we use your info in a story, we'll give you credit.