Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink for Cheap (Or Free) This Week

The market may be climbing alongside the temperatures, but for the out-of-work, terminally broke, or simply bargain-minded, a deal's a deal-- especially when it comes to the price of a drink in the city. That's why we've brought in Allie Pape, editor of the late, much-lamented sf.myopenbar.com, to give you the scoop on the five best weekly bets for free and cheap drinks in SF. She'll offer a mixture of events-- happy hours, promotional parties, awesome BYOB opportunities-- that will ensure the maximum buzz for the minimum price.


1. Jaws Outdoor Movie Night: You couldn't ask for a better date movie: almost 30 years after its release, Steven Spielberg's horror classic is still scary enough to make that special someone jump right into your arms (and knock over that bottle of wine you brought). Held for free in Oakland's Jack London Square, this event is a quick hop on the BART-- a perfect way to get home if you had a little drink just an hour ago, and it went straight to your head. (Thursday, June 11, 7:30 pm, at Jack London Square, Oakland.)

2. Timbuk2's 20th Birthday Party: The local company's m-bags are the shoulder candy of choice for cycling d-bags, but the free booze on offer at their birthday celebration should put an end to any animosity. Cold beer, "jungle juice," and snacks will be provided gratis. For those of you who can't resist Timbuk2's $100-plus siren song, there will also be stations for partygoers to design their own messenger masterpiece. (Friday, June 12, 5-9 pm, at Timbuk2 Headquarters: 333 Alabama St., Potrero Hill.)

3. Riders with Drinks: For those of us who don't have fixies to flaunt, this event is dedicated to that other breed of carbon-neutral city warrior: the MUNI rider. Hear the tales of fellow passengers who have been humped, harassed, and otherwise horrified by a transportation system that even the cops are smart enough not to ride. There's no cover, but you may need a few drinks by the end. (Friday, June 12, 7:30-9:30 pm, at Make-Out Room: 3225 22nd St., Mission.)

4. Art Brut: The funny, feisty, and hard-drinking British indie band plays a free show at Amoeba on Monday. Frontman Eddie Argos, who once posed nude on the cover of NME magazine, has a good-sized beer belly; we recommend downing a few pints in his honor before the show. Hobson's Choice, down the street at 1601 Haight, has $2.50 happy hour beers from 5-7. (Monday, June 15, 6 pm, at Amoeba Records: 1855 Haight St., Upper Haight.)

5. Palio d'Asti: One of the city's perennial deals, Palio d'Asti offers drinkers a free pizza with the purchase of any two alcoholic beverages. The pizzas are good-sized, easily feeding two, and beverages are a comparatively reasonable $6 to $9. It's a great way to get full, and thoroughly tipsy, for little more than the cost of delivery. (Monday-Friday, 4-7pm, at Palio d'Asti, 640 Sacramento St., Financial District.)