We're dedicating our weekly Lowering the Bar roundup to Pride this week. Here's our roundup of the 5 top places to drink for free or cheap during the festivities.
1. A&PI/Trigger Reception: The Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center happens to have two of the biggest names of Pride under its ethnic umbrella: the parade's grand marshal, writer Helen Zia, and Lt. Dan Choi, who recently made headlines when he came out and was promptly booted from the Army under "don't ask, don't tell." As if the luminaries at this party weren't enough, free champagne and appetizers will also be on offer. E-mail Sara Kunitake to get on the list; if it's too late for this event, there's also an A&PI Pride Kick-Off Party on Thursday to try for (see the sidebar of the link for details). Wednesday, June 24, 6-9 pm, at 2344 Market St., Castro.
2. SF Bay Guardian Queer Pride Happy Hour: The venerable alt-weekly celebrates all things gay (and food-related?) with Peaches Christ, pulled pork, and a DJ from a group named CHILIDOG. (We'll leave it to you to come up with some food-themed metaphor for the rear end of your hookup partner.) The drink specials haven't been elucidated, but games and prizes are promised, and that's not even a reference to the sexual escapades that will surely ensue. Thursday, June 25, 6-9 pm, at Pilsner Inn, 225 Church St., Castro.
3. Lives in Transition: For the more serious-minded Pride contingent, Good Vibrations' new photo exhibit is a look at the many incarnations of Polk Street, former epicenter of gay life in SF. The neighborhood has changed numerous times since, veering into prostitution and drug trafficking before making a sharp right into Yuppieville. As a concession to the current occupants, there'll be free wine and hors d'oeuvres to go with the gritty photography. Thursday, June 25, 6 pm, at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk St., Pacific Heights.
4. Pink Pleasure Party: Good Vibrations is this week's MVP, offering a doubleheader of events with free drinks. (We can only hope that this gesture will also ensure a doubleheader for you, the attendee.) This party is specifically aimed at the lovely lesbian ladies, with free "beverages and bites," prizes, go-go girls, and of course, a panoply of sex toys available for purchase. It's enough to make the straight girls wish they were back in college again. Saturday, June 27, 8-10 pm, at Good Vibrations Mission, 603 Valencia St., Mission.
5. Tropisueno: Just how well-meaning are those straight friends of yours? If you're saddled with a few this weekend, put them to the test with a trip to Tropisueno. The deal: bring in five friends for drinks at the bar, and you, the host, get to drink for free all night. (Don't plan on eating, though, as this deal doesn't apply to those with dinner reservations.) Located near the parade route, this Mexican restaurant is particularly well-known for its panoply of tequila drinks, making it equally ideal for the Pride patron who needs a little post-parade lubrication. Daily, evenings, at Tropisueno, 75 Yerba Buena Lane, Downtown.