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Triple Threat: A Night Out The Castro

"Afternoon cocktail" at Churchill. Flickr/Penelope's Loom

If you want to have a successful night out in this town, you need a plan—and it better be a good one. Since it's not always easy to strike that perfect balance between pre-dinner drink, food and a show, we bring you the Triple Threat series — a block-by-block guide to nights out that only require one parking space. First up, The Castro.

See: The Berlin & Beyond Film Festival starts tonight at the Castro Theatre, a short three block walk from our chosen bar, Churchill. There are 12 different shows lined up for the weekend. Take a look at the full schedule and film descriptions here and work them into your Castro progressive. 

Drink: Almost smack-dab in the middle of the city, Churchill (198 Church St.) has become a hub for all stripes, so you'll find a refreshingly mixed crowd packed into its moody vintage military decor on any given night. Also refreshing: the drinks. Right now, the escapist in us is loving their pina colada, crafted with homemade toasted coconut cream and an umbrella. We also dig the Homefront's unique combo of vodka and rosemary syrup served tall in a Mason jar. Bartenders here are skilled at going off menu, so feel free to ask for whatever you want. 

Eat: Dungeness is the way to go at Woodhouse Fish Co.—especially with high season coming up. Be a purist and order several crabs, plain and juicy in their cracked hard shells. Or put a real dent in your appetite with the Dungeness crab melt served on sourdough with slaw. 

Dessert: After the show, slip into Chow (215 Church St.)  for a super-seasonal slice of ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and whipped cream. This homestyle restaurant is a local hotspot of sorts, so call them (415-552-2469) a half-hour before arrival time to ensure a seat at a table or the bustling bar. 

Got another great night out to suggest? Write us a note or tell us about it in the comments.