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

Each week, former sf.myopenbar.com editor Allie Pape brings you her picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF. This week: Wine-tasting deals, getting trashed amidst tripods, and tacos a-go-go. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Space Gallery Wine Tasting: Continuing to prove that Polk Gulch is a one-stop shop for budget drinkers (and their attendant food cravings-- I could go for a Bob's donut right now), Spencer and Daniel's, a local wine shop, is hosting a blowout tasting event at the Space Gallery. $3 in advance or $5 at the door is a small price for trying 16 different vintages from all corners of the globe. They'll also have artwork, live reggae, and wine giveaways. Unfortunately, advance tickets are only available in person at S&D, but even at the full $5, this is a steal. (Thursday, July 30th, 7-9 pm, at Space Gallery, 1141 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)

2. Joby Happy Hour: Ever seen one of those nifty little flexible tripods that resemble the lower half of a maimed octopus? Chances are, it was a Joby. The local camera-accessory manufacturer is celebrating its move to a new office with free music, booze, and food. They'll also have demonstrations of a few new offerings in their product line, which should help to alleviate the snapping-while-staggering quality of your Saturday-night Facebook albums. RSVP here. (Thursday, July 30th, 6-9 pm, at Joby, 1535 Mission St., Mission.)

3. Roy's Wine Tasting: Roy Yamaguchi, the nouvelle-Hawaiian chef whose emponymous chain slings mahi-mahi all over this great nation, has teamed up with Eden Canyon winery for a free wine tasting event. The hope is that you'll get as marinated as their fish and invest in the restaurant's $35 summer prix fixe, but we won't tell if you won't. E-mail here or call (805) 238-1241 to RSVP. (Wednesday, August 5, 7 pm, at Roy's, 575 Mission St., SOMA.)

4. Tacos and Beers at Pancho Villa: It's not exactly loaded with hot-date ambiance, but if you're looking for a tasty taco and a Mexican beer to wash it down, Pancho Villa's new happy hour delivers at reasonable prices: $1 tacos, $2 brews, and $1 aguas frescas (which you can make even more fresca with an airplane bottle of vodka). The hours are on the early side for working folk, but the self-employed and underemployed Mission masses should love this one. (Monday-Friday, 3-5 pm, at Pancho Villa, 3071 16th St., Mission.)

5. Park Chalet Happy Hour: Loyal reader Jeanne tipped us off to some quality deals at Park Chalet, timed to maximize the oft-underserved earlier part of the week. On Mondays, pints of the Chalet's home-brewed beer are $2, with $4 bratwursts for ballast; Tuesdays bring (what else?) tacos, with $3 pints and 2-for-1 margaritas. Confidential to bars: This taco thing is getting a little boring. First one to introduce "Tiramisu Tuesday" gets the LTB Gold Seal of Approval. (Mondays and Tuesdays, 3-6 pm, at Park Chalet, 1000 Great Highway, Ocean Beach.)