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 surfeit of dessert wines, a lack of corkage fees. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

1. Tweservation Happy Hour at Midi: The new Twitter reservation service, which we assume is based on the principle that OpenTable has become too onerous for the digital generation, is hosting a celebratory hoedown at Midi. You'll get a free glass of wine or beer and free appetizers for attending, and if you donate $5 to the Chronicle Season of Sharing fund, they'll give you another free drink. RSVP here; you'll need a Twitter account, if you don't already have one. (Tuesday, December 15, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Midi, 185 Sutter St., Financial District.)

2. Metro Cafe 311 Goes BYOB: The Divisadero hotel restaurant formerly known as Metro Kathmandu has gone more new-American, but for the holiday season, they're making the old-school concession of letting folks bring their own booze, no corkage fee. And if you miss their Tibetan food, no worries: they're featuring something from the old Metro Kathmandu every night, like momos and saag paneer. (Daily until January 1, excepting Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, at Metro Cafe 311, 311 Divisadero St., Lower Haight.)

3. Bar Adagio Happy Hour: The new lobby bar of the Hotel Adagio is a nice plce to adjourn after doing some Christmas shopping in Union Square, and the classy hotel digs come at a reasonable price during happy hour. They're featuring $4 drafts, $5 glasses of house wine, and a $5 specialty cocktail of the week. It's enough to make you look forward to waiting behind 8,000 tourists in the line for the register. (Daily, 4-6 pm, at Bar Adagio, 550 Geary St., Union Square.)

4. Sonoma Valley Portworks: While we usually try to focus on the cheap drinks to be had here in SF, it's also nice to know that others await in the getaway spots we love. If you've been thinking of escaping the holiday crush with a trip up to Sonoma, the folks at Sonoma Valley Portworks are offering this deal: a free tasting of two to three of their dessert wines, with paired cheese and dessert to match. Some of the pairings they've offered recently: Petite Sirah port with aged Stilton, Italian panforte with Deco port, and cream sherry with pumpkin pie. Works for us. (Monday-Saturday, 12-5 pm, at Sonoma Valley Portworks, 613 Second St., Petaluma.)

5. Avenue Lounge Sundays: Football season is beginning to wind down, and if you're like LTB, cable was long ago conceded to the recession gods. Luckily, Avenue Lounge is providing a nice place to see if your team makes the playoffs, with free brats and chips if you buy a drink, $3 wells and drafts, and $5 Hennessy and Belvedere cocktails. They also make a bacon Bloody Mary. Plus, it's out in the Sunset, so: parking! Well, responsible drinking and parking, we hope. (Sundays, 10 am to close, at Avenue Lounge, 1334 Noriega Ave., Outer Sunset.)

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