Drink Here Now: The Square Comes to North Beach, Mardi Gras, and More!


It's five o'clock somewhere. Here are five places to toss one back this week.

1) North Beach Gets a New Neighbor: The Square

March 1 marks the opening of North Beach's newest neighborhood watering hole. Award-winning Chefs/Owners Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara of Michelin-starred Sons and Daughters and Sweet Woodruff, will open The Square, a restaurant and bar in the historic Washington Square Bar & Grill space just off Washington Square Park. Serving until 1:00 am Wednesday through Sunday, The Square's menu will encompass everything from bar snacks to family-style group dining options. Sons and Daughters’ Beverage and Wine Director Amy Racine will oversee the 65-bottle wine list, which focuses on classic varietals from California and Europe. Domestic and foreign beers are available by the bottle and on draft.  The full bar features approachable and fun cocktails, such as Geranium “7 n’ 7,” with Johnnie Walker Red topped with Geranium soda; and French 226, a twist on the classic French 75, made with Hendrick’s Gin, fresh citrus, chamomile, and Champagne. Walk-ins and reservations are equally encouraged. 1707 Powell

2) Digestif Service at Quince

Winding down after dinner just got a lot more civilized. Quince restaurant recently introduced the Amaro Cart, featuring a dozen different flavors of Amaro, ranging from silky and sweet to potent and bracing. Amaro is an Italian herbal after-dinner digestif that is produced by macerating herbs, roots, flowers, bark and citrus in alcohol, adding sugar and aging in casks or bottles. Fernet is probably the most recognizable version, and locals who like it will find many more Amaro to choose from in Quince's dining room. Whichever one you order is bound to taste sophisticated, as they're all served in antique, hand-cut crystal glassware. 470 Pacific Ave. 

3) Happy Hour to End Homelessness at MKT

The Mary Elizabeth Inn has been providing safe housing and support to women in San Francisco for a century, and MKT Restaurant - Bar in the Seasons Hotel is hosting a 100th Anniversary Happy Hour to celebrate. This Friday, February 28, from 5 pm to 9 pm, guests are invited to raise a glass to San Francisco's oldest non-profit organization that provides services specifically to homeless and low-income women, many of whom have a history of domestic violence. A portion of the proceeds from beverage sales at MKT will be donated to the charity, which was founded in 1914 by Mrs. Lizzie Snyder Glide. Mary Elizabeth Inn provides 157 units of safe and affordable housing, supportive services, and free meals for women in two historic Edwardian buildings in the Tenderloin district. 757 Market Street @ the Four Seasons Hotel

4) Celebrate Fat Monday at Hopscotch

Can't make it to New Orleans for this week's Mardi Gras celebration? No need to fret. You can taste the spirit of Mardi Gras just across the Bay. Hopscotch in Oakland is kicking off its new Monday service with a Fat Monday party on March 3. This eclectic diner combines Japanese cooking techniques with classic American dishes. On Monday, those dishes will take you down South to New Orleans. Mardi Gras fare for the day includes Gumbo ($12 lunch/$18 dinner), Boudin Balls ($6/$12), Shrimp Po'Boys ($14) and a side of Red Beans & Dirty Rice ($6). Hopscotch is also serving $9 libations, including Sazerac, Hurricane, Vieux Carré and Pimm's Cup1915 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland. 

5) Celebrate Fat Tuesday at the Boxing Room

Looking for a place to let the good times roll even closer to  home? March forth to the Boxing Room on Fat Tuesday, March 4. Chef Justin Simoneauz, a Southern Louisiana native, will be adding five Bourbon Street inspired dishes to his already-Creole-inspired regular a la carte menu. In addition to Seafood Gumbo, Crawfish Étouffée and Boiled Crawfish with all the fixings, you can try Oysters Rockefeller and New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp. For the nightly boucherie board, Simoneaux will prepare a Cochon de Lait, suckling pig served with dirty rice and cracklings. Dessert will be a traditional King Cake sparkling with purple, green and gold sugars. Wash it all down with Abita Brewing Company's Mardi Gras Bock. The seasonal beer is only available from January to March, during Carnival season. Boxing Room is the only place in the Bay Area to find it on tap. Make reservations at (415) 430-6590, and prepare to be greeted at the door with complimentary beads, masks and doubloons. 399 Grove St. 

Suggest drinking events to renee@grassrootspr.com.

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