Drink Here Now: Five Places to Sip This Week


1) SF Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Bash
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, and the Swedish American Hall is hosting the Opening Night Bash. Start the night at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro @ 17th), with a screening of The Zigzag Kid at 6:30 pm. This fast-paced coming of age story features Nono, a 13-year-old boy on the brink of his bar mitzvah with a rich imagination and a knack for getting in trouble. After the movie, look for a little trouble of your own in the Backroom, downstairs at the Swedish American Hall (2174 Market, b/t Church & Sanchez). Beverages will be served, though details are sketchy on exactly what you’ll be drinking. Food will be available as well, from Fabrique Delices, Ciao Bella, Max’s Market and Shorty Goldstein’s. SF La Peche Quintet will provide the live music, and guests are invited to pose with friends in the photobooth. Tickets for the the film and after-party are available online for $75 each.

2) Bone Marrow and Birthday Cake at The Abbot’s Cellar
The Abbot’s Cellar is celebrating its first birthday by giving away delicious treats to every guest dining in the restaurant on Friday, July 26. Choose from the regular four-course tasting menu or a la carte menu, and you’ll be treated to an amuse bouche of Chef Adam Dulye’s signature bone marrow on rye with pastrami, as well as a birthday cake truffle. You’ll also find some unique beers on tap, but that’s pretty much always true at The Abbot’s Cellar (742 Valencia, b/t 18th & 19th), birthday or not. After all, the beer list is so extensive it must be broken down into more than a dozen different categories. Reservations are highly recommended, and valet parking is available.

3) J-Pop Festival in Japantown
What do you get when you mix Sake with Pocky? The J-Pop Festival. The free, two-day celebration features the fashion, films, music, art, and collectibles of Japanese popular culture. Saturday’s 11 am opening ceremony includes a sake barrel breaking, followed by a live human beatbox performance by DAICHI. Additional weekend entertainment includes a Harajuki Kawaii!! Fashion Show, a Pocky Eating Contest, a Cosplay Masquerade, and 50 vendors selling anime, pop culture collectibles, clothing and more. For $5, you can join a Sake Tasting Event, accompanied by a history lesson from the Consulate General of Japan in SF. The J-Pop Festival is open from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday at the Japantown Peace Plaza, located at 1610 Geary Blvd, (b/t Webster & Laguna).

4) America’s Cup Race: Italy vs. New Zealand
Wondering if America’s Cup can actually live up to the hype? There’s one good way to find out. Make your way to Pier 27/29 on the Embarcadero and see for yourself. When these 72-foot catamarans lift out of the water to fly above the surface, you’ll forget all those squabbles over hydrofoil specifications and start seeking out opportunities to experience the rush again. The Kiwis will race (and likely dominate) the Italians once more this Sunday, starting at 12:15 pm. You can watch the entire, 45-minute spectacle for free from the luxurious America’s Cup Pavilion. The finish line is conveniently located in front of the Pavilion’s viewing point, and the entire race is broadcast live on giant screens, complete with commentary and close-up views of the sailing teams in action. If the boats aren’t entertainment enough, you’ll find ping pong tables, cornhole games and a color-your-own mural project inside the Pavilion. You’ll also find food and adult beverages on-site at the America’s Cup Sports Bar, the Napa Valley Vintners tent, and at ballpark-style vending windows scattered throughout the Pavilion. Expect ballpark prices.

5) Driftwood Opens in SOMA
Driftwood has officially drifted into SoMa as of last Sunday, and it’s a comfortable place to be a castaway. Inside, you’ll find ship-inspired benches with stowaway seats, a back bar that looks like a boat’s hull, and a record player you can commandeer, if you BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl). It’s the kind of place you’d expect to find a bottle of booze buried in the sand. But there’s no need to dig, because Bartender Nick Bray has designed a cocktail list of nautically-themed drinks for $9. Try the Bosun’s Knot, made from Rye, Green Chartreuse, Sweet Vermouth, coffee bean and bitters. Or have a taste of the Native Tongue, which combines Gin, cucumber, cilantro, and lemon with something sparkling. Driftwood (1225 Folsom) is open seven days a week, from 4 pm to 2 am Monday through Friday, and from 2 pm to 2 am on the weekends.

Submit drinking suggestions to renee@grassrootspr.com

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