Drink Here Now
1. Playland Opens: Polk Gulch's latest boozing spot is named for the much-lamented amusement park that once graced Ocean Beach, but the items on offer here are of a more adult variety. The cocktail list includes a cotton-candy cosmopolitan and a Moscow Mule-like drink known as the Russian Bear, as well as a solid lineup of draft beers. Happy hour runs from 4-7 pm, with $3 brews and $4 well cocktails, and a special rotating $3 drink is available every Monday after 9 pm. (Monday-Friday, 4 pm-2 am, Saturday-Sunday 2 pm-2 am; 1351 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)
1. Rumors Opens: Courthouse types and fans of the Folsom corridor will be glad to know that another bar has arrived in the area (in addition to recently opened Raven). Rumors, on the corner of 7th and Harrison, is ostensibly a sports bar, but the atmosphere is pretty rarefied, with red walls, Edison-bulb lamps, and a mirrored back bar. All the regular sports-bar pleasures are still available, though, including flat-screens, pub grub, pool, darts, and cocktails like the Desert Heat (tequila, cucumber, jalapeno, lime) and the 1820 (rye, maraschino, lemon juice, orange bitters). Their happy hour, from 4-8 pm, features $3 beers and $4 well drinks. (Daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m., 398 7th St., SOMA).
1. Heaven's Dog Launches New Cocktail Menu: Though it's the least touted member of Charles Phan's empire, Heaven's Dog (pictured at left) has a lot in common with its ultra-popular Valencia sister, Wo Hing General Store, including a nouvelle-Chinese menu and top-notch cocktails. To match Wo Hing pina-colada master Brooke Arthur, Heaven's Dog has brought on Rickhouse alum Trevor Easter, who's significantly altered Erik Adkins' original menu while maintaining a focus on drinks inspired by Charles Baker's 1939 Gentlemen's Companion.
1. Hecho in San Francisco at the Ferry Building: If you're looking to do it up in style this Cinco de Mayo, look no further than Saturday's CUESA and La Cocina fundraiser at the Ferry Building. The $55 ticket includes access to an outdoor party area with seasonal meat and veggie tacos from Tacolicious, bites from 12 of the city's best Mexican restaurants and vendors (including Nopalito, Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas, La Torta Gorda, and Chaac Mool), artisan jello shots from Sweets Collection, tequila cocktails made with Don Julio, Cuervo Tradicional, and Mi Casa, and plenty of cold Corona. It's enough to give new meaning to the word fiesta.
1. Big Opens on Nob Hill: The ironically-named Big is a tiny slip of a place in a former hotel bar on Post Street, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in cocktail creativity. Barman Brian Felley (Fleur de Lys, Garcon) has transformed the space into a custom cocktail atelier: tell him what spirit or flavor you enjoy, and he'll whip up something special for you ($12-15, depending on ingredients used). There's no menu, and Felley won't make the same drink twice in a night unless someone specifically requests it. The space is colonial-chic, with red, white, and cream accents and a tattered American flag framed on the wall; a kerosene lamp above the door will be lit when they're open.
1. Local Edition Opens: The team behind Bourbon & Branch and Rickhouse has added a new spot to their portfolio. Newspaper-themed Local Edition (left) is housed in the historic Hearst Building's cavernous basement, which is also the former Call and Examiner printing room. The decor, as with its predecessors, is vintage-inspired and romantic; the vibe is 50's jazz club (red booths, dramatic lighting, curtains, cocktail waitresses in black frocks) meets old-school journalists' watering hole (period newspapers displayed in shadow boxes, typewriters lining the back walls).
1. Cerveceria de MateVeza Opens: MateVeza, which brews naturally caffeinated beer with yerba mate in Ukiah, has launched a beer bar and test brewery (left) just around the corner from Dolores Park, in the former Lilah Belle's space. Their eight drafts include all three of their own beers (an IPA, a black lager, and Morpho, an herbal collaboration ale with Mill Valley Beerworks), as well as rotating selections from Moonlight, Magnolia, and Marin Brewing. Once their 20-gallon brewing system is up and running, they'll offer 1-2 experimental drafts as part of their regular lineup. Also on offer: fresh empanadas from El Porteno, and a refrigerator case stocked with 100 different types of bottled beer.
1. Raven's Grand Opening Bash: The Folsom corridor between 7th and 8th has added another cool bar to its ranks. Raven has two personalities in its two stories: the downstairs is a charming craft-cocktail bar with a hip, speakeasy vibe, while the upper level is a high-energy dance club, complete with disco ball. To celebrate their grand opening, the Raven folks are throwing a party, with complimentary Tres Agaves tequila cocktails, appetizers, and a DJ spinning. Admission is free, but space is limited; RSVP here to get on the list. (Thursday, April 5, 6-8 pm, at Raven, 1151 Folsom St., SOMA.)
1. Fish & Farm's New Happy Hour: Fish & Farm, the restaurant in the Mark Twain Hotel off Union Square, is hoping to lure a few locals with a new happy hour focused on sustainable bites. On offer: $3 craft brews, $5 wine by the glass, and 2-for-1 featured cocktails like the Crystal Skull 14 (Crystal Head vodka, Cynar, agave nectar, lime, and allspice, topped with burnt orange), which recently won a Crystal Head vodka cocktail competition. Pair your drink with $3 bites like juicy pork skewers, housemade market pickles, or fish tacos. (Daily, 4-6 pm, at Fish & Farm, Mark Twain Hotel, 339 Taylor St., Union Square.)
1. Mission Bowling Club Opens: The blogosphere has been abuzz with the news that the long-awaited Mission Bowling Club has finally opened its doors. But while most reports have focused on the six lanes and the innovative food program by Mission Street Food's Anthony Myint, the MBC is also a drinking destination of note, with a full bar and cocktails developed by the team behind Minibar. (They've got plenty of space for non-bowlers, too, so reserving a lane isn't an issue if you just want to sample the fare.) Signature drinks ($10) include the MBC Cooler (rye, grapefruit, Dolin blanc, allspice, and soda) and the TBD (a combination of mezcal, jalapeno jam, and that will be named after the first bowler to score a perfect 300).