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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.

1. Upper Diversion Happy Hour: Upper Divisadero (or Lower Pacific Heights, or whatever you want to call it) is gunning for some neighborhood visibility with a Thursday-night throwdown. Start at Solstice Lounge with $2 Scrimshaw pilsner or $4 Four Roses bourbon drinks, stop by Tortilla Heights for $4 Milagro tequila shots and $2 Tecates, or snap up four Kamikaze shots for $10 at the Fishbowl. If you're feeling peckish, wash down your 1/2 price Godzilla Sushi spicy tuna rolls with 1/2 price sake, or skip dinner and head directly to the Lion Pub for 1/2 price drinks all night. They weren't kidding about this being diverting. (Thursday, April 22, 5 pm-close, on Divisadero between Sacramento and Bush Sts.).

2. Anchor & Hope Second Anniversary: It's a week of three big anniversaries, and we all know that anniversary time is a great excuse to break out the booze. The festivities begin at Anchor & Hope, which is celebrating two years in business with $2 draft beers and live music. If you're hungry, you can also munch on angels on horseback, lobster rolls, fish and chips, and other delicious specialties. Way to tough out the recession, Anchor & Hope! (Thursday, April 22, 4-7 pm, at Anchor & Hope, 83 Minna St., SOMA.)

3. RN74 First Anniversary: Also part of the restaurant-anniversary crowd is RN74, which is celebrating its first birthday. In addition to sneaking some $1 bottles onto its clacking "Last Bottle" board through the end of the week (seriously, keep an eye on that thing), the restaurant is throwing a party with selected $1 glasses of wine. Even if you miss this deal, keep RN74 in mind for Sundays, when they'll be offering $30 bottles all night-- one red, one white, both undoubtedly well-chosen. (Saturday, April 24, 5:30 pm- close, at RN74, 301 Mission St., SOMA.)

4. Drink Me First Anniversary: To conclude the anniversary beat, our friends at Drink Me magazine are celebrating a year in existence by offering a drinker's dream/nightmare special: the more you drink, the cheaper it gets. $5 for your first drink, $4 for your second, $3 for your third, and so on, until you wake up in a dumpster with no recollection of the past 48 hours. [UPDATE: We've been informed by the organizers that the drink discounts stop at $2/drink #4, at which point you'll have to start over, or, as they advise, "drink some water."] RSVP here. (Wednesday, April 28, 6-9 pm, at Eve, 575 Howard St., SOMA.)

5. Que Syrah Paella Party: An anniversary isn't the only excuse to have a good time, as the folks at Que Syrah are aptly proving with a party this weekend. $20 will net you paella, tapas, and a tasting of six Iberian wines-- a much better deal than a ticket to Spain, and about the cost of one airline cocktail these days. (Saturday, April 24, 5-8 pm, at Que Syrah, 230 West Portal Ave., West Portal.)