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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink for Cheap (or Free) This Week

The market may be climbing alongside the temperatures, but for the out-of-work, terminally broke, or simply bargain-minded, a deal's a deal-- especially when it comes to the price of a drink in the city. That's why we've brought in Allie Pape, editor of the late, much-lamented sf.myopenbar.com, to give you the scoop on the five best weekly bets for free and cheap drinks in SF. She'll offer a mixture of events-- happy hours, promotional parties, awesome BYOB opportunities-- that will ensure the maximum buzz for the minimum price. If you're hosting an event or just have a great tip, be sure to write her.

1. Shecky's Girl's Night Out: We tend not to trust anyone named Shecky, especially when he's mixing the cocktails, but sources have assured us that this weird-sounding event is actually sponsored by a shopping-centric e-mail list. Anyway, if you want to buy clothing, discuss which one of you is Samantha and which is Charlotte, and drink free Day Glo-colored cocktails, sign up here and they'll let you in for bupkis. Oh, and don't mind me, I'm just over here resenting modern notions of femininity. (Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 18, 5-10 pm, at Fort Mason, Marina Blvd. and Buchanan St., Marina.)

2. Just.social: If you'd like some civil liberties with your free booze, be sure to check out the ACLU's function at Elixir, where free drink tickets will be handed out to the first 25 attendees. It's part of a campaign to bring young blood into the organization. As Frank Black once said, "Politics go so good with beer." Be sure to tell them about the time you went down south and held peasants in your arms. (Thursday, June 18, 6-8 pm, at Elixir, 3200 16th St., Mission.)

3. Matcha: The Asian Art Museum's appeal to hipness (held on summer Fridays) is always a good bet, but with a built-in tippling component, it's especially hard to pass up. True Sake, the Hayes Valley spirits shop, will be offering tastings of various vintages, plus a talk on the relationship of sake to the samurai, subjects of the museum's current exhibit. (We hear it makes hara-kiri significantly easier.) $10 buys admission to the exhibits, tastings, and talk, with additional sake cocktails available for purchase. (Thursday, June 18, 5-9 pm, at Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, Civic Center.)

4. Crushpad Open House: The make-your-own-wine emporium opens its doors once a year to show off its wares and attract new customers. Even if you don't have the time or the money to crush your own grapes, however, no one's stopping you from trying the selection of 30+ wines and nibbling on some free hors d'oeuvres. This is the most fun you'll have winemaking since that YouTube video where the woman fell out of the bucket. (Saturday, June 20, 2-6 pm, at Crushpad, 2573 3rd St., Dogpatch.)

5. Cassis Happy Hour: For those who enjoy happy hour in only the classiest possible establishments (see #1), this French restaurant offers 2-for-1 beer, wine, and well drinks in the early evening. A rare deal for the Pac Heights/Marina drinkers; we'll see if it becomes as tooth-grindingly packed as City Tavern on a Tuesday. (Daily, 5:30-6:30 pm, at Restaurant Cassis, 2101 Sutter St., Pacific Heights.)