1. Yelp Drinks Week: Just when your liver thought the Beer Week coast was clear, Yelp has launched another salvo with their annual week of 50% off cocktails, starring the "greatest hits" of some of SF's best bars. With 30 watering holes participating, choices abound, but a few of the drinks that caught our eye include the $5 Mikael's Moondance at 15 Romolo (white whiskey, apple-honey shrub, angostura bitters); the $5 Wry Rajah at Dosa on Fillmore (rye, vermouth, cherry liqueur, mango, chili); the $6.50 sage Sazerac at Fifth Floor; and $2.50 pints of Fat Tire at Hobson's Choice. The full list has even more great options. (Monday, February 27 - Sunday, March 4, various bars.)
1. The Rock Bar Opens: Fans of the Front Porch should be excited to learn that they have a new place to wait for their table (or order takeout): the Porch's owners have purchased the former International Club across the street, transforming it into the Rock Bar. Drinks include classics like the Sazerac, Vieux Carre, and Corpse Reviver #2, alongside a few originals like the Basil Mudstone (bourbon, Pineau, basil, lemon, and white tea). While the name derives from the rock-covered exterior wall of the building, the theme extends to the indoors, as both owners originally come from mining families. Don't miss the gold, spray-painted former phone booth out front. (Daily, 5 pm-2 am; 80 29th St., Bernal Heights/La Lengua.)
1. O3 Bistro & Lounge Launches Cocktail Menu: The Ozone Thai empire has added a third, more upscale restaurant to its lineup, appropriately named O3. The focus here is more Asian-fusion than Thai, with bar bites like braised oxtail tacos and a miso Caesar salad, and drinks like a wasabi Bloody Mary or the Far East Capirinha ($12), a mixture of rum, sake, lychee puree, chili, and lemongrass, topped with vanilla, lemon juice, and champagne. The upscale atmosphere makes it a nice stop before or after a show in the Civic Center area. (Monday-Wednesday, 11 am-11 pm, Thursday-Saturday, 11 am-2 am, 524 Van Ness Ave., Civic Center.)
1. Southern Pacific Brewing Opens: The Mission has received its very first brewpub (and SF, its first new brewery in a decade) in the form of Southern Pacific Brewing, which is headed by Speakeasy alums Chris Lawrence and Andy French. To start, they'll have five beers on offer: a wit, a golden ale, a pale ale, an IPA, and a porter ($3-5 each). Chef Tyler Moorish (Osteria Coppa) is heading up the menu, with bar snacks like crab fritters and charcuterie and big plates like wild mushroom lasagna and a pork banh mi. (Sunday-Wednesday 11 am-12 am, Thursday-Saturday 11 am-2 am; 620 Treat Ave., Mission.)
1. Quince Unveils New Lounge: If you can afford the indulgence, Quince has recently opened an ultra-luxe new lounge area, specializing in seafood and upscale bar bites. Royal Osetra caviar goes for $25 per 5-gram spoon, alongside oysters, a trio of crudos, a proscuitto platter, and other gourmet delights. Pair your snack with a glass of wine from their deep library, or a martini from the fully-stocked bar. (Monday-Saturday, 5:30-10 pm, at Quince, 470 Pacific Ave., Financial District.)
1. Comstock Saloon Launches Honky-Tonk Sundays: If you're in search of a dose of Southern comfort, the Barbary Coast vibe at Comstock is going redneck on Sunday nights, with old-school country LPs and hearty blue-plate fare. In addition to the regular menu, sous chef and chili champion Abe Sanchez will serve up his famed bowl of red, fried chicken, and BBQ. Best of all, the fun coincides with Comstock's regular happy hour, featuring $6 beer-and-shot combos like Anchor Steam and bourbon, $6 Derby cocktails, and two-for-one snacks. (Sundays, 4 pm-2 am; happy hour daily, 4-7 pm, at Comstock Saloon, 155 Columbus Ave., North Beach.)
1. Two Sisters Gets a Liquor License: Two Sisters, the charming, sibling-run Hayes Valley gastropub and lending library, has finally snagged a liquor license. With the help of bartender Michael Cicconi, they've devised a cocktail menu that includes four different kinds of Manhattans-- perfect for sipping alongside some savory bread pudding on a winter evening. (Tuesday-Thursday 4-11 pm, Friday 4 pm-12 am, Saturday, 1 pm-12 am, and Sunday, 11 am-10 pm; 579 Hayes St., Hayes Valley.)
With businesses like sunshiney interiors Room Service and liquid nitrogen Smittens ice cream, Hayes Valley is poised for its heyday. It's time — it's central, small, and adorable. A book exchange/bar/cafe is the perfect new neighbor wouldn't you say?
Come September, a charmer called Two Sisters Bar and Books will open. Conceptualized by Two Sisters, operated by Big Sister, curated by Little Sister, it's currently undergoing construction. Kindle break and read what Big Sister has to share...
There's something that my husband, a longtime restaurant industry person has taught me: When going out to dinner, have no fear.
Before I met Joe, I would never in a million years have attempted to go to the most popular restaurants in town, on say, a Friday night—with no reservations. But he never thinks twice about it. His attitude is, it'll work out, and it almost always does.