In the perfect amalgamation of “Sesame Street” and bar-hopping, a group of San Franciscans decides to tour the city’s bars from A-to-Z — literally.
By Joe Eskenazi
During a recent game of “flip-cup” – a team-based drinking game involving the draining and flicking over of flagons of beer, not unlike the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” scene in which Marion out-drinks the gargantuan sherpa – Sarah Ovies had an epiphany.
The 28-year-old University of San Francisco alum noted, perhaps in mid-swig, that there are 52 weeks a year in the Gregorian calendar and 26 letters in the English alphabet so – presto! – why not head out to a San Francisco bar starting with a different letter once every other week for a whole year?
And that’s how Ovies and buddies Sabrina Hanavan and Paul Dyson created AlphaBar SF. Starting with Amante on Wednesday, Sept. 12 2007 and concluding with Zeki’s Bar on Wednesday, August 13 of 2008, the trio hope to drink their way through the city from A to Z.
“We came up with the idea three or four weeks ago. Now we have an Evite list of 500 or 600 names,” said Ovies, who works in Online advertising and lives in Russian Hill.
She’ll be “stoked” to get 50 people to the debut Sept. 12 event (which you can sign up for here.)
“We’re not charging a cover and this is not for profit. We just want to see if we can get this to snowball and, hopefully, we’ll get people to come out and meet people.”
Incidentally, the semi-weekly drinking nights were scheduled for Wednesdays for a reason. First of all, Ovies didn’t have anything going on Wednesday. Second, “We’re not going about this to get totally shit-canned.I’ve got a serious job to wake up for in the morning. But I’m going to go out on Wednesday night and have a couple of beers and meet new people.”
April 23 of next year, incidentally, is a “sobriety week”; that’s the week a Q-bar would be called for and Ovies can’t find any bars in the city starting with Q. If any bars want to rename themselves for the night, however, she’s happy to nix the sobriety week.
Also, while her A-to-Z list is set, it isn’t set in stone. Unlike most French restaurants, substitutions are possible and even encouraged. And beer-only bars are not a problem.
“I don’t need any girly drinks,” said Ovies. “You can’t play flip cup with a martini.”