Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week


1. Playland Opens: Polk Gulch's latest boozing spot is named for the much-lamented amusement park that once graced Ocean Beach, but the items on offer here are of a more adult variety. The cocktail list includes a cotton-candy cosmopolitan and a Moscow Mule-like drink known as the Russian Bear, as well as a solid lineup of draft beers. Happy hour runs from 4-7 pm, with $3 brews and $4 well cocktails, and a special rotating $3 drink is available every Monday after 9 pm. (Monday-Friday, 4 pm-2 am, Saturday-Sunday 2 pm-2 am; 1351 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)

2. Brewtruc Charity Beer Garden in the Castro: Brewtruc, the mobile beer bar, has recently been hosting fun beer-garden events for charity in a SOMA parking lot, alongside a few food trucks. Now they've secured an even bigger spot, the parking lot of the former Blockbuster right across from the Castro Safeway. The space has room for four trucks and hundreds of people, making it the perfect place to savor some brews from the likes of Stone, Magnolia, and Lagunitas. If that's not enough beer for you, a gaggle of homebrewers will be offering their own takes on hefeweizen, with the crowd selecting their favorite. Tickets ($20) will benefit the Transitional Age Youth (TAY) program, which helps Western Addition youth become environmental ambassadors. (Saturday, June 2, 1-6 pm, at 160 Church St., Castro.)

3. Mugsy's Pop-Up Wine Bar at El Rio: A bar that features monthly lube wrestling is probably the last place you'd expect to find great wine, but the Mugsy pop-up is challenging the status quo at El Rio. Focusing on wines made by women, people of color, and urban winemakers, the event pairs nicely with El Rio's traditional Friday free oysters (and they're even throwing in some piadina, otherwise known as Italian flatbread, from La Piada Randagia). The vino ($5-10 per glass) will include a sauvignon blanc from Brown Estate and a zinfandel from Bayview-based Gratta Wines, whose winemaker will be on hand. (Friday, June 1, 5-8 pm, at El Rio, 3158 Mission St., Bernal Heights.)

4. Jazz and Genever Tuesdays at Burritt Tavern: The Burritt Room's been going through some changes lately, with the addition of the Charlie Palmer-helmed restaurant arm Burritt Tavern, but it's still a nice place to go for a cocktail and some live music. Tuesday happy hour combines them both: a live jazz group and $5 Bols Genever cocktail specials, which should pair nicely with a bar bite or two from the new kitchen. (Tuesdays through June 12, 5-8 pm, at Burritt Tavern, 417 Stockton St., Union Square.)

5. Txoko's First Anniversary Party: Txoko, the Basque spot in North Beach, is turning one this week, and the owners are celebrating with drink specials like $3 Trumers, $10 one-liter carafes of sangria, and discounted Encanto pisco punch; $1 pintxos (Basque bar bites); and DJ Jonny B. (a Txoko bartender and member of the Sweaterfunk crew) spinning records. (Thursday, May 31, 7 pm-12 am, at Txoko, 504 Broadway, North Beach.) 

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