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We Love the Nightlife: Romantic Cocktails and Nightlife

Try Plum Bar’s take on the champagne cocktail; sip a glass of wine while painting a picture; and more bar and brews news.

Samantha Schneider

Not to be shameless, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I think I know a place where you can find offbeat ideas. Check out 13 Great Dates from our February issue. If you’re flying solo or beer is more your thing, there’s still plenty of time to get involved with SF Beer Week events. Top weekend picks include the fourth annual chocolate and beer festival and the Celebrator 25th anniversary party, but check out the whole list here. And if that still doesn’t sound good, check out some of the events below.

National Margarita Day

Wasn’t I just saying that every other day is national [insert drink name here] day? I wasn’t kidding. Hot on the heels of national Pisco sour day, Tuesday, February 19, is national margarita day. Pretty convenient timing for all those taco Tuesday deals, right? If you want to join an actual celebration, Dixie Restaurant in San Francisco is holding a live agave harvesting and margarita making demonstration, from 6–8 p.m. (1 Letterman Dr., San Francisco). Or, head to your favorite watering hole or Mexican restaurant to indulge the old-fashioned way. My favorite taco Tuesday and margarita deals are at Maria Maria and Moresi’s, if you need a place to start. 

More sausage and beer

East Bay Express took an in-depth look at Hog’s Apothecary, coming to Temescal in late April or early May. The upcoming sausage and beer joint will feature made-in-house sausages, 36 taps for beer, three non-alcoholic taps, dartboards, and a shuffleboard table. Read the lengthy preview here.

375 40th St., Oakland.

Courtesy of Altamont Altamont Beer Works officially open

Speaking of beer, Livermore brewery Altamont Beer Works opened its taproom last week to what sounds like quite a crowd, judging from its Facebook page. It will have limited hours this week due to Beer Week festivities, but as the first Livermore brewery since Prohibition, it’s definitely worth checking out once things settle down.

2402 Research Dr., Livermore, altamontbeerworks.com.

A boozier Hawker Fare

As a longtime believer in the restorative properties of Hawker Fare’s rice bowls, I suppose it’s only fitting that the restaurant can now contribute to my hangovers. According to its Twitter page, Hawker Fare received its liquor license, which means it can start serving items such as punch bowls and jello shots. Sorry, liver.

That Bar goes Irish and Yacht Club switcheroo

Ethan dropped two pretty big nightlife tidbits last week. First, Danville’s That Bar is becoming McGah’s Pub and Pianos. As of March 17 (St. Pat’s), the bar will have a new focus, specifically on Irish food and drink. The name comes from Eddie McGah, a former minority owner of the Oakland Raiders and relative of one of the owners. Don’t worry, pianos are expected to keep dueling.

Secondly, Diablo Best of the East Bay–winning bartender Jay Crabb is leaving Walnut Creek Yacht Club. While it originally sounded like he was exploring opening his own bar, it looks like he’s landed at Alameda’s Forbidden Island in the meantime, acting as co-manager. Back over at Walnut Creek Yacht Club, Greg Palomo—who’s been with the restaurant for five years—will fill Crabb’s shoes. 

Sip and swipe

We mentioned it in our Great Dates guide, but Canvas and Cabernet officially opened in Walnut Creek last week. Enjoy a glass of wine while producing works of art ranging from Paris at night to my favorite, a trio of retro martini glasses. Check out the class list here.

1421 Locust St., Walnut Creek, (925) 287-1614, canvascabernet.com.

Courtesy of Canvas and Cabernet

Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Finally, if mixed drinks are your idea of romance, I suggest hightailing it to Plum Bar in Oakland. Alfie Turnshek-Goins, co-manager of the bar, created a champagne cocktail for the occasion. He combines cognac, house-made cherry liqueur, and a dash of bitters, pours the mixture into a champagne coupe, and finishes it off with a champagne float. The drink is ‘a little of the sweetness of love with some of the bitterness of love,” he says.

2214 Broadway, Oakland, (510) 444-7586, plumoakland.com/bar.

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