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 (and more wine), business promotion (and more business promotion), and hitting the red carpet with your dog (not likely to be repeated). Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Cav Wine Tasting: This may be a bit last-minute, but I would be remiss not to list the fact that Cav Wine Bar is throwing a complimentary wine tasting this very evening, with French, Australian, and Spanish vintages. However, it's limited to the first fifty attendees, so you might want to cut work early and bring a lawn chair for the wait. (Wednesday, August 12, 6-9 pm, at Cav Wine Bar, 1666 Market St., Castro.)

2. Jippidy Happy Hour: This upstart video site is offering free drinks and food to anyone who attends their happy hour; if you're a regular at these kinds of events, you know they're becoming as rare as corporate jets at GM. Free wine and mojitos will be served from 6 to 7:30, with complimentary hors d'oeuvres following from 7:30-9. Their inability to serve both at the same time? Well, consider it an enticing mystery to crack while you nosh. (Thursday, August 13, 6-9 pm, at Mercury Lounge, 1582 Folsom St., SOMA.)

3. Banana Republic Shopping Spree: If you're a young urban sophisticate looking for that perfect power suit for fall, Banana Republic has probably earned a place on your radar. But as a true recession gesture, the erstwhile safari-wear provider has decided to open its doors for an evening of free cocktails and excellent discounts. Spend $100 or more (not a hard task at BR) and get 25% off; combine this with your extortionate Banana credit card for an additional 5% discount. Agoraphobes with a taste for business casual can also enjoy this deal online; the code "Event25" gets the same discount from 5 pm-11:59 pm EST. (Thursday, August 13, 5-8 pm, at Banana Republic, 256 Grant Ave., Financial District.)

4. $1 Wine Tasting Night: If you don't mind making a trip out to Oakland (and you shouldn't, because this event is a three-block walk from the 19th St. BART), $1 glasses with "generous pours" await at the Franklin Square wine bar. This week's tasting is a focus on Rieslings, from rare-wine purveyor Dee Vine Wines. Oh yeah, did we mention that a) they have outdoor seating and b) it's actually kind of like summer over in Oakland? (Thursday, August 13, 5-7 pm, at Franklin Square, 2212 Broadway, Oakland.)

5. The Dog Days of Summer: The SF SPCA's benefit event is admittedly pricier than LTB's usual fare, but how many red-carpet events do you get to attend with your dog? Hounds and highballs will mix in a ballroom setting, with a $25 ticket buying two specialty cocktails and plenty of treats for canine companions. If your pooch is people-friendly, this could be a trip to the dog park (read: meat market) on steroids. Buy tickets here. (Wednesday, August 26, 6:30-8 pm, at the Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., Tenderloin.)

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