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The Three Faces of Frances

Daily Changing Menu

The food at Frances changes daily. It reflects what chef Melissa Perello gathers from local markets, farms, and purveyors with whom she's developed personal relationships. Because of this ever-changing nature, the menu here is truly simple—it's broken into only four categories: appetizers, entrees, sides, and bouchées (small, tapas-style plates). In the past, the entree section has listed everything from Monterey black cod to chicken roulade with brown-butter vinaigrette.

House Wine by the Ounce

Frances' beverage director, Paul Einbund, blends all of the restaurant's house wines at a nearby winery before bringing them over in kegs and serving them on tap. The staff then delivers them to tables in elegant 16- or 20-ounce carafes, which are marked in 2-ounce increments so diners only pay for what they drink. A word of warning: don't get too attached to any one house wine, as Paul's blends change frequently to complement the menu and season.

Functional, Intimate Space

Tucked away in a residential slice of Castro, Frances squeezes every bit it can out of the space it occupies. Less than 50 seats are available, and most are on a bench that runs along the outer wall. There's also a 10-seat countertop in the bar section that’s available on a first-come, first-served basis. To separate these two areas, a partition, which doubles as a functioning wine rack, divides the restaurant down the middle. Such limited space means that the largest party Frances can typically accommodate is four.

3870 17th St
San Francisco,
CA
US

In Focus: Last Call Bar

  • Typical clientele: a wide swatch of the LGBT-friendly Castro district, from locals to tourists
  • Happy hour: from noon to 7 p.m. every day
  • Happy-hour specials: well drinks, PBR, select bottled beer
  • What $1 in the jukebox gets you: four songs
  • What $20 in the jukebox gets you: the ability to play “Tell It To My Heart” 100 times
  • Representative artists: The Smiths, U2, Cher, Nirvana, Madonna, ELO
  • The atmosphere: like a warm mountain lodge in Ireland
  • Where to warm up: at the fireplace
  • How it compares to nearby bars: generally a bit quieter and less flashy

3988 18th St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Kasa Indian Eatery recreates the dishes you might find at a typical dinner gathering in India. The kitchen’s made-from-scratch dishes adhere to centuries-old traditions and shun boxed and artificial ingredients. One obvious highlight is the buttery roti, which wraps around chicken tikka or lamb curry.

4001 18th St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Located on the second floor of Every 6 Weeks in the Castro, ARTifcial Spa boasts state-of-the-art, sterilized spa equipment, hospital sanitation supplies, comfortable seating, hip decor and a nice view. Featured in Gloss magazine and LOGO TV, the creative team at Every 6 Week enact client transformations both subtle and dramatic. After an analysis and consultation during which they take facial structure and coloration into account, the crew gets to work on haircare services from simple cuts to sophisticated highlights to major overhauls involving perms or bleaching. Treatments are carried out using Modern Organic Products made with earth-friendly ingredients. Besides coif-care, Every 6 Weeks supplies relaxing spa services such as caviar facials and in-office teeth-whitening.

Groupon Celebrates Pride Month

Over the last 50 years, the gay-rights movement in America has overcome tremendous obstacles to become a powerful voice for inclusion and diversity. Even as it has grown, the movement—like Groupon—is local at heart, and we applaud the commitment to real change that improves everyday lives.

At Groupon, we are happy to add our voices to those celebrating PRIDE, their achievements as a social movement and a continued march to equality for the LGBT community. Plus, we love a chance to dig that rainbow wig out of storage.

This month—and throughout the year—we salute our merchants and customers who support PRIDE and all efforts that promote dignity, respect, and equal opportunity. We're highlighting these merchants' deals with a special badge to show Groupon's pride in working with people who share our values.

323 Noe St
San Francisco,
CA
US

With five locations throughout the Bay Area, including three in San Francisco, Fitness SF caters to the needs of fitness enthusiasts and casual exercisers from Marin to Oakland. Each center brims with muscle-toning and pulse-raising equipment, allowing visitors a wide choice of activities, from pumping free weights to using ellipticals equipped with personal viewing screens.

Although personal trainers are on hand to help refine technique and design individualized exercise regimens, the gyms' classes encourage guests to work out in a more communal setting. Yoga and Zumba appear on every class schedule, but instructors at each location incorporate their own additional sessions, such as cardio kickboxing, Bollywood dance, and Pilates mat.

Many of the locations stay open until as late as midnight on select weekdays, which leaves plenty of time for a post-workout cooldown in the locker rooms.

2301 Market St.
San Francisco,
CA
US

Watch your head and elbows when you step inside Refried Cycles, the Castro bicycle shop that’s bursting with hubs and spokes, as well as a friendly canine. Avid cyclists love this place for their integrity and passion, but the less-obsessive rider won’t be repelled by snobby attitudes like at so many other neighborhood bike shops. This isn’t the shop for high-end, fresh-from-the-factory bikes, but for tune-ups on your older model or digging up a used bike with lots of personality, Refried Cycles is a great place to start. For most locals, there’s no need to scour the internet for your next set of wheels, when Refried offers so many quality second-hand rides that have been rehabbed and ride as good as new.

3804 17th St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Groupon Guide