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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: A beautiful anniversary, a spicy cocktail, and a short but sweet happy hour. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Beauty Bar Anniversary: The venerable Mission bar is celebrating eleven years in business with a complete remodel (hopefully with a bit more seating, much as we love the hilarious vintage dryer chairs). To celebrate, they're throwing an hour of open bar, with free Sailor Jerry rum cocktails. With generosity like this, we wish them another decade of beauty. (Thursday, November 5, open bar 9-10 pm, at Beauty Bar, 2299 Mission St., Mission.)

2. Ethan Russell: It's been 40 years since the musical watershed of 1969, and San Francisco Art Exchange is celebrating with an exhibition centered around rock photographer Ethan Russell. Russell, who did covers for the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Who, and snapped portraits of Janis Joplin and John Lennon, will be on hand. And since it's an art opening, free wine is a given. RSVP here. (Saturday, November 7, 7-10 pm, at San Francisco Art Exchange, 458 Geary St., Tenderloin.)

3. Spice & Ice: Things are getting hot at Cantina. Kara Newman, the author of this new cocktail recipe book, will appear at the bar to dispense samples of a few of her spiciest treats, including drinks made with jalapenos and hot sauce. Attendees will also have the opportunity to try their hand at mixing their own fiery libations, and the bar says "light refreshments" will be served to counteract the burn. (Monday, November 9, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Cantina, 580 Sutter St., Tendernob.)

4. Dosa on Fillmore Happy Hour: The Pacific Heights branch of Dosa has a few things that the Mission original lacks: space, a liquor license, and now, a pretty great happy hour. For $5 each, the restaurant serves a rotating selection of beers, wines by the glass, and cocktails during its happy hour, and South Indian snacks like Chennai chicken and blackened sardines are available for the same price. It's a great way to fill up before a showing at the Kabuki, which is across the street. (Monday-Thursday, 5:30-7 pm, at Dosa on Fillmore, 1700 Fillmore St., Pacific Heights.)

5. Uva Enoteca Happy Hour: There's a very short window over at Una Enoteca's happy hour, but if you can make it on time, outstanding deals await. $1.50 drafts, a selected $4 beer or wine cocktail, and $4 quartinos of the daily wine (a whopping eight ounces!) make up the drink selection, with a rotating panino and pasta also available from $4-8. It's a great way to scale up the atmosphere without paying high prices. (Monday-Thursday, 5:30-6:30 pm, at Uva Enoteca, 568 Haight St., Lower Haight.)