A once a week crawl up and down the sidewalk, searching for the city's best bars. Courtesy of barrespondent Drew.
Sunshine! I remember that! As much as we love the dank, seedy darkness of most dive bars, it's nice to occasionally take it outside. No, not exercise or anything silly like that, but rather to find bars that have back patios where you can get a little vitamin D along with your vitamin drunk.
Whether it's playing a game of ping-pong, dealing a game or two of cards or just celebrating a relative lack of rain recently, San Francisco offers a ton of bars with back patios and outdoor areas. Picking the best one is sure to get people racing for the comments section telling us we're nuts, but that never stopped us before. Find out our favorite sunny oasis after the jump.
Finnegan's Wake, on Cole and Parnassus, is a great neighborhood pub in its own right, but walk outside in back and you're greeted with a wonderful outdoor paradise for those who are half in the bag before sunset. Six or seven picnic benches and a massive ping-pong table await those brave enough to stroll past the restrooms and venture out into the open. It's well spaced, so even if there's 10 or 12 people in back it doesn't feel crowded and is built on a gradient so you don't get that German beer garden feeling that some back areas have (I'm looking at you, Zeitgeist).
The bar staff at Finnegan's is super friendly and expert at what they do. There's a great beer selection and ample televisions and pinball should the outside world not be your first option. If you are going out back, however, just give them your I.D. and they'll happily give you a couple of table tennis paddles and a supply of day-glo orange balls (these really come in handy if you're playing into dusk).
So as April showers gradually turn into 'Oh my god, how did I get so pale?', find yourself a place to hang outside once in awhile. It'll sure look a whole lot more convincing than those spray-on tans.