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Allie Pape

Our Top Picks For SF Cocktail Week

Indian summer is in full swing, which means it's time for another edition of SF Cocktail Week, which runs from next Monday, September 17, through Sunday, September 23. Our Cocktail Week was the nation's first, and though other cities have since jumped on the fun-having/liver-punishing bandwagon, the folks at the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail have continued to innovate, introducing lots of cool new events to complement some of their stalwart offerings. Here are five of our favorite events, all of which showcase the amazing bars, bartenders, and spirits that the Bay Area has to offer. 

Italian Cocktail Hour

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Dobbs Bar Opens in Hayes Valley: Hayes Valley is pretty short on watering holes, which is why the folks behind nine-month-old restaurant Dobbs Ferry decided to transform what was originally planned as a private event space into a cozy neighborhood sports bar. Featuring six TVs, draft beers, and a menu of creative shots, the new spot is ideal for catching a fall football game. If you're feeling peckish, they also offer bar bites from the kitchen like chicken nuggets and burgers. (Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m-1:45 am, Friday, 4 pm-1:45 am, Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-1:45 am, 409 Gough St., Hayes Valley.)

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Junot Diaz (This Is How You Lose Her)

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Family Winemakers of California Festival: Small, family-owned California wineries are the stars of this sprawling tasting event, which features more than 750 different wines sourced from over 20 appellations within the state. For the first time, many wineries will also be selling wine on-site, allowing drinkers to take home their favorite bottles after tasting. There's also a special new iSip lounge, with a paired wine and food tasting led by sommelier Courtney Cochran. Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door. (Sunday, September 9, 3-6 pm, at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, Marina.)

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Michael Chabon (Telegraph Avenue)

Tuesday, September 11, 7:30 pm, at City Arts & Lectures, Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Ave.)

Wednesday, September 12, 7 pm, at Diesel Bookstore (5433 College Ave., Oakland). 

Berkeley-based Chabon, who last plumbed Alaska in The Yiddish Policemen's Union, goes more local in his latest novel, the story of a pair of Oakland couples (one black, one white). The women run a successful midwifery business, while their husbands co-own a used vinyl emporium, but when a wealthy former NFL player attempts to open his own record shop on their block and an illegitimate son emerges (and becomes the object of affection for the other couple's son), their world will be turned upside down. Tickets for Chabon's appearance at City Arts and Lectures are $22-27; his Diesel appearance is free, and he'll also be appearing later in the fall at Book Passage in Corte Madera and Kepler's Books in Menlo Park. 

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. The Corner Store Opens: Located in one of the city's more unusual spots (the former Hukilau space at the corner of Geary and Masonic), this new restaurant offers classed-up comfort food like burgers and wedge salad, as well as an extensive cocktail program (all $9) with lots of housemade syrups and sodas. The Strawberry Blonde (gin, cilantro, strawberry syrup, Drake's hefeweizen) caught our eye, as did the Pickled Paloma (tequila, pickle juice, lime, salt, house grapefruit soda). They also offer traditional fountain treats like a black cow or a strawberry soda float, and grown-up desserts like the 50/50 (spiced rum, orange marmalade, vanilla ice cream). Seven draft beers and six draft wines round out the selection.

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Anne Elizabeth Moore (Hip Hop Apsara)

Tuesday, September 4, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Upcider: SF's First Cider Bar

Whether their focus is beer, wine, or a particular spirit, bars here have always enjoyed specializing. But despite our town's reputation as ground zero for drinking trends, we've never had a bar exclusively focused on cider– until now. Upcider is the brainchild of Ozzie Gundogdu and Omer Cengiz, Turkish natives who both moved to SF in 2004 and met while working at Les Joulins Jazz Bistro. When they noticed that SF was without a cider destination, the former roommates decided to strike out on their own and create one. "It was a missing concept in the market," says Gundogdu. "In the entire United States, there are just a couple of cider bars, and the Bay Area had none."

Drink Here Now: 5 Places to Sip This Week

1. Drink Here Now Bartends at Bottle Cap: Hi, I'm Allie Pape, and I've been writing the Drink Here Now/Lowering the Bar columns for the past three years. I'm breaking the fourth wall for a moment to let readers know that on Tuesday, I'm going to be on the other side of the stick for a change. I'll be participating in Bottle Cap's Charity Guest Bartender program, dishing up $5 Barbary Coasters (Flor de Cana rum, lime juice, ginger syrup, falernum, allspice dram). I'll be donating any tips I receive to Planned Parenthood Shasta-Pacific, which provides critical healthcare and screening services to low-income women across the Bay Area. The bar will also have live music from guitarist Craig Ventresco from 7-10 pm. I hope you'll come say hello, have a drink with me, and give a few bucks to this great cause! RSVP on Facebook to attend. (Tuesday, August 28, 6-8 pm, at Bottle Cap, 1707 Powell St., North Beach.) 

Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Litquake on the Peninsula

Sunday, August 26, 3-10 pm, at the Oshman Family JCC (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto). 

The Litquake festival in October is fast approaching, but before it arrives, the Peninsula will get its own miniature Litquake, with over 35 authors appearing to discuss their work. Panels cover topics like food writing, multicultural fiction, sex writing, and writing about life in Silicon Valley, with speakers like Ellen Sussman, Daniel Alarcon, Alan Kaufman, Matt Richtel, and Ellen Ullman. The event culminates with a talk by KQED's Michael Krasny (left) on the power of Jewish humor. Entry is free, except for the Krasny talk, which is $25 for members and $30 for non-members (tickets are here). 

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