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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. March Madness at Royal Exchange: Even though most of the games won't be showing in the hours they're offering this deal, Royal Exchange is aiming to get FiDi denizens in the mood for the final weeks of March Madness. They're offering $3 Bud, Bud Light, and Shock Top hefeweizen all day, as well as $5 buffalo wings and nachos to help soak it up. It should provide some balm to those whose busted brackets mean they won't be seeing the $20 for the office pool anytime soon. (Monday-Friday through April 5th, 11 am-11 pm, at Royal Exchange, 301 Sacramento St., Financial District.)

2. Chrome Bags Art Show: The bike-messenger staple's SOMA store doubles as an art space, and they're launching a new show by Bo Heimlich this Friday. View the art, enter to win a custom Chrome bag, and enjoy $1 beers in peace, knowing that all the profits will send bikes to the poor of Rwanda. (Friday, March 26, 6-11 pm, at Chrome Bags, 580 4th St., SOMA.)

3. Craft Bar with Etsy Labs: We've always harbored a secret jones for learning to sew, make, and create, and with the recent successes of Workshop and Maker Faire, it appears that we're far from alone in that desire. The Museum of Craft and Folk Art is looking to get in on the act with a new Etsy-sponsored monthly craft workshop, where $5 will help you learn to make stuffed animals or cup cozies out of old sweaters (supplies included) as you sip your free beer. Students get an even better deal: free admission. (Thursday, April 1, 6-8 pm, at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, 51 Yerba Buena Lane, SOMA.)

4. Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant Happy Hour: The $1 oyster arms race has a new contender in Local Kitchen, which is now offering them on Fridays alongside half-off glasses of wine. A half-dozen and a flute of champagne would make a nice prelude to an evening out-- or in, depending on your beliefs about the mollusk's aphrodisiac qualities. (Fridays, 5-7 pm, at Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant, 330 1st St., SOMA.)

5. Sumo Happy Hour at Umami: One of life's great delights is cheap sushi, especially when it comes from a reputable provider, not a tiny boat riding in a chlorinated stream. That's why we're jazzed about the half-off bottles of wine and $4 rolls that Umami is dishing out at their new happy hour, though the time frame, at only an hour and a half, means you might have to skip out of work a little earlier than usual. (Daily, 5:30-7 pm, at Umami, 2909 Webster St., Pacific Heights.)