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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: anniversaries, cupcakes, and art. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Oakland Art Murmur: If you're anything like us, you have that one friend in Oakland you're always promising to go see, and that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you should probably be going to more galleries, museums, and other culturally important locales that served as part of your justification for moving to the Bay Area in the first place. Two guilts with one stone: on the first Friday of every month (that's tonight), 20 Oakland galleries offer lots of art to view and lots of free wine and cheese to digest. So call that friend, hop on BART, and see some art. Your therapist will thank you. (Friday, October 2, 7-9 pm, various galleries in Uptown Oakland.)

2. Cupcakes, Champagne, and Jewels: Bauble designer Carolyn Tillie has introduced a line called Tiny Dessert Jewelry, and the Gallery of Jewels has chosen to commemorate the occasion with the unstoppable girl-magnet of tiny cupcakes, shiny things, and flutes of free champagne. The event is held in conjunction with the similarly food-and-drink-loaded (but less free) Taste of Fillmore, so after the estrogen bomb has ravaged your brain, there are plenty of other options to calm your squealing. (Saturday, October 3, 12-5 pm, at Gallery of Jewels, 2115 Fillmore St., Pacific Heights.)

3. In Cheap We Trust: This event doesn't technically boast any liquor in and of itself, but our readers should be able to appreciate Lauren Weber's new memoir, combining a history of thrift with the story of her father's extreme frugality and the influence it had on her own life. After the reading, head down the street to the 540 Club, where martinis, Manhattans, and lemon drops are $2 from 10-midnight. Oh, and tell Lauren Weber-- we're sure she'd like to know. (Tuesday, October 6, 7 pm, at Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., 2nd Floor, Inner Richmond.)

4. Pisco's First Anniversary: October is the big month for upscale restaurant openings here in the city, so it makes sense that plenty of top restaurants are celebrating anniversaries around this time as well. All this week, Pisco commemorates a year in business with a nightly $5 drink and bite; on Saturday, $10 will net drinkers an artisan meats plate and Pisco Punch, while Wednesday brings a Pisco caipirinha and chicken croquettes. Felicidades, Pisco. (Saturday, October 3 through Friday, October 9, all night, at Pisco, 1817 Market St., Upper Market.)

5. Larkcreeksteak's Third Anniversary: It's also anniversary time at the fancy steakhouse located within the Westfield Mall, with $5 Square One vodka cocktails, $5 selected wines, and $3 drafts, not to mention half-off bar bites, during happy hour. (Through Sunday, October 4, mystery hours, at Larkcreeksteak, Westfield Centre, 4th Floor, 845 Market St., Downtown.)