Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

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: Endless beer, cheaper wine. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Cocktail Club: As the younger set goes back to school with new notebooks and shiny shoes, it can be a little dispiriting to continue living in the working world. Luckily, there's a way to get an education and celebrate an essential facet of being a grown-up: Elixir's Thursday booze-meets-booklearnin' panels continue with a salute to gin, featuring Beefeater, Beefeater 24, and an LTB favorite, Plymouth. It's a great opportunity to learn more about the botanical beverage and sample a few high-priced iterations for free. (Thursday, August 27, 7-9 pm, at Elixir, 3200 16th St., Mission.)

2. Casual Friday: Bar on Church's bottomless beer special has been featured before on LTB, but this week, it's moving to Friday-- a day when the majority of us can actually handle an evening of free-flowing suds, or at least regret it slightly less on Saturday morning. DJ White Mike will play hip-hop, soul, and funk to accompany your $9 glass of magical, free-flowing foam. (Friday, August 28, 5-8 pm, at Bar on Church, 198 Church St., Castro.)

3. Vin Club Happy Hour: This wine-centric new bar is offering a number of cheap opportunities to expand your palate: their regular happy hour offers a flight of three 2-ounce tastings for $9, allowing drinkers to escape the Yellowtail ghetto without incurring much expense. Need an even faster introduction? On Fridays, they up the ante by offering five 1-ounce tastings for a mere $5, with around 20 wines to choose from. And if you're not an oenophile, there's also $2 off bottled beer. (Wednesdays-Fridays 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-7 pm, at The Vin Club, 515 Broadway, North Beach.)

4. Let's Be Frank Beers: Hot-dog lovers are already familiar with SF's own Let's Be Frank, the ultra-sustainable purveyor of fine sausages that makes Ball Park look like junior T-ball. Naturally, nothing goes better with a steaming dog than a cold beer, and Let's Be Frank is now offering those as well: buy a hot dog after 4 pm on Monday, and your brew is $2. God bless America. (Mondays, 4 pm-closing, at Let's Be Frank, 3318 Steiner St., Marina.)

5. Fifth Floor's Wine Special: On the other end of the spectrum from hot dogs, fancy-pants Fifth Floor is making a Herculean effort to recover from the recent loss of chef Laurent Manrique. Through September 7th, every bottle of wine on its extensive list is half-off, including half-bottles. While the restaurant is promoting this deal as an opportunity to save on that $1100 cabernet some captain of industry has been wanting to try, the second-cheapest bottle on the menu (a $36 sauvignon blanc, by our calculations) is getting the same exact treatment. Salut. (Daily through September 7th, at Fifth Floor, 12 Fourth St., SOMA.)