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Drink Here Now: Halloween Edition!

clift hotel halloween party

Get your zombie on at the CLIFT Hotel's Zombiewood Halloween Party. Photo courtesy of Mona T. Brooks Photography

When fright night falls on a weeknight, as it does this year, it’s hard to choose which day to celebrate. Our suggestion: don’t choose. Get your drink on before, during and after the Day of the Dead with a handful of Halloween-themed cocktails and costume parties at Bay Area bars and restaurants.

Halloween-inspired Cocktails
A frightening number of local bars have spooky cocktails on the menu, such as the Bloodberry, offered by Bar 888 at the InterContinental San Francisco (888 Howard St. @ 5th). It combines Effen Black Cherry Vodka, Luxardo Maraschino, St. Germain, Simple Syrup and Blackberries. The Presidio Social Club (563 Ruger St. in The Presidio) is serving Satan’s Whiskers, made of gin, sweet and dry vermouth, orange juice, curacao and orange bitters. Chambers Eat + Drink (601 Eddy St. @ Larkin) is doubling down on the dark holiday, with the Skeleton Key (bourbon, lemon juice, ginger syrup, St. Germaine and Cheery Heering liqueur) and Copper Bones (blanco tequila, Green Chartreuse, strawberry syrup, lime juice and rhubarb bitters). Virgil’s Sea Room (352 Mission @ Precita) is serving The Widow Norton, which they refer to as “Our Ghoulish Mezcal Old Fashioned.” The Redwood Room at CLIFT Hotel (495 Geary @ Taylor) is getting into the spirit as well, with the Bitter Apple, made of Laird’s applejack, Campari, Domain de Canton, apple cider, and Angostura and Baked Apple bitters.

Zombiewood Halloween Party at CLIFT Hotel
In addition to serving a seasonal cocktail, the Redwood Room at CLIFT is hosting a Zombiewood Halloween Party this Thursday night from 9pm to 2am. The costume-required event celebrates the glamorous and undead. So if you’re looking for foxy zombies, this is where you’ll find them, dancing to sick beats from DJ Gunars. Attendance is free. Table service is available, as well as a cash bar and food from the bar menu. To RSVP or make a table reservation, call 415-929-2372 or email cliftredwoodroom@mhgc.com.

First Annual Halloween Costume Party at Bocanova
Across the bay, Bocanova is hosting a calmer, gentler Halloween Costume Party this Thursday at 7pm. It’s a four-course dinner with bubbly and prizes for the best and most innovative costumes. The popular Pan-American restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square (55 Webster Street) will be serving a pumpkin-centric supper of Pumpkin Soup with duck liver crostini, Pumpkin Risotto, Scallops a la Plancha with pumpkin sauce, and a pumpkin-inspired dessert. Tickets are $28 per person and include the family-style dinner and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine from Anderson Valley's Roederer Estate Winery. Prizes for the costume contest include a magnum bottle from Louis Roederer, dining gift cards, and more. Space is limited; make reservations online or call 510-444-1233.

Halloween + Dia de los Muertos + Berlin-Style Ping Pong at Rickshaw Stop
Celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos at the same time on Friday, November 1, at the Rickshaw Stop (155 Fell St. @ Franklin). The party starts at 8PM and features a costume contest, a DJ, and local IndieRock band Still Flyin’ performing as New Order. During a break from dancing, you can show off your skee-ball skills (courtesy of Joey the Cat) and try your hand at Berlin-Style Ping Pong. This uber-social version of table tennis allows a couple dozen people to play at once in a fast-paced, musical chairs-style competition. Tickets ($10 before 9PM and $12 afterwards) are available online, with a limit of six tickets per person/household/credit card.