Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on February 27, 2023
Castro Business Briefs: Castro Restaurant & Brewhouse changes concepts, U-niq Cuts opens, Niji Sushi shuttersPhoto: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Here's a brief roundup of recent changes to Castro area businesses. In this edition: an American and Asian-Indian fusion restaurant changes concepts, a barbershop opens, and a sushi restaurant shutters.


Castro Indian Restaurant & Bar (468 Castro St.)

Two-month-old American and Asian-Indian fusion restaurant Castro Restaurant & Brewhouse has changed concepts to focus solely on Indian food.

Co-owner Ajay Khadka tells Hoodline that he decided to make the change after getting feedback from the community.

Khadka says the new restaurant will be called Castro Indian Restaurant & Bar and is now open.

Castro Indian Restaurant is now open at 468 Castro St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


"They want to have Indian food," said Khadka about the feedback he received from customers. "My landlord and customers suggested that I stick with Indian food because the Castro needs good Indian food."

Khadka says Castro Indian Restaurant will offer classical Indian dishes like naan and chicken tikka masala with a modern twist. As for beer, that's still happening. Khadka added that they are currently brewing blonde ale along with IPAs on site.

Khadka is not affiliated with the former tenant in the space, Indian restaurant Bhoga, which closed last year after three years in business.


Niji Japanese Sushi & Bar (3970 17th St.)

After only three months in the Castro, Niji Japanese Sushi & Bar has shuttered at 3970 17th St. (near Castro).

Niji Sushi opened last September after a brief remodel and concept change in the former Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen space.

Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen shuttered last October after only five months.

Niji Sushi & Bar at 3970 17th St. is now closed. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


The restaurant quietly closed in December. Hoodline reached out to owner Aaron Lai but did not receive a response.

Since the restaurant space was added in 2009 when upstairs nightclub The Cafe expanded, 3970 17th Street has seen a fair amount of turnover.

Tucked away down 17th St. from Jane Warner Plaza, the ground-floor retail space has always struggled to attract foot traffic.

Original occupant Pica Pica Maize Kitchen opened in 2013 and lasted just nine months. Replacement Manos Nouveau closed in 2016 after less than two years; it was succeeded by Thai restaurant Me & Tasty, which opened in 2017 and closed less than five years later, and then Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen moved in.


U-niq Cuts (323 Noe St.)

Castro barbershop U-niq Cuts is now open at 323 Noe St., formerly Salon Six.

Salon Six was one of many Castro businesses to shutter during the pandemic.

U-niq Cuts is now open at 323 Noe St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


U-niq Cuts was opened by longtime Castro hair stylist Julie Wong. Wong previously worked at Healing Cuts and Nice Cuts.

"We started with the simple idea of bringing the best from us to you," writes Wong. "From our founder to our front-line workers, we put lots of love and careful thought into all we do. We hope you enjoy all we have to offer, and share the experience with others."

U-niq Cuts is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.