July 31 2013 12:27 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Photo by Dirk Hansen


There's no shortage of craft drinking in San Diego these days—it's like you can't turn around without bumping into a mustachioed minstrel slinging some concoction assembled from strange and disparate ingredients. Hell, we even did an entire issue devoted to the act of indulging in unique and Wonka-esque beverages (these schnozberry-infused bitters taste like schnozberries!).

But, hey, there are few things we like more than drinking in the sun, so why mess with a good thing?

From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, El Dorado Cocktail Lounge (1030 Broadway, Downtown) will host its third annual Craft Beer & Cocktail Showcase. (Full disclosure: CityBeat is a sponsor.) The event boasts an impressive line-up of talented bartenders from all the hot joints around town—including Craft & Commerce, Polite Provisions and Noble Experiment—as well as drink-slingers from San Francisco's famed Bourbon & Branch. There will also be live music, an art exhibition by Robert Dove and a dunk tank— because nothing bad has ever happened when you mix booze with baseballs and the potential for drowning.

If all this sounds unlike the stiff-collar, exclusive reputation that craft-cocktailing is known for, it's because it is. Inclusion and welcoming newcomers, says El Dorado manager Steve Tuttle, is more important than flaunting craft elitism.

"A lot of people involved in any craft scene take [it] very seriously," Tuttle says via email, "which is great, but there should be a focus on guest experience first and foremost. Creating a fantastic beer or a well-balanced cocktail is a thing of beauty, but creating a great atmosphere and fun environment is even more exciting.

"If you're new to the scene," Tuttle adds, "we want you to feel comfortable, try new things, have a great day, have fun with new and current friends, and hopefully come back for more."

Advance tickets are $20, or $30 at the door. Price includes 10 beer tasters and two cocktails. eldoradobar.com


East Coasters seem to uniformly think we're all shallow and vacant out here in Southern California—and that certainly might be true, in part. But multimedia artist John Antoski, who hails from Alberta, Canada, is using the "vacuous aesthetic" of Southern California as the basis for his new show, I'm A-OK, at Subtext Gallery (2479 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy). Antoski's creations, inspired by So- Cal's sunny façade, take on various, often ironic or satirical forms, be they illustrations, paintings or, most notably, his humanoid-cube-shaped and recontextualized surfboard-fin sculptures. I'm A-OK opens with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, and will be on view through Sunday, Sept. 1. subtextgallery.com 


San Diego's rife with fodder for ridicule. Folks here freak out when the weather's slightly unpleasant, flip-flops are considered dress shoes and our mayor can't seem to keep his hands, or his tongue, to himself. So imagine the ripping we'll get from the comedians of the famed Second City improv troupe during The Good, The Bad and the I-5, a San Diego-specific comedy show opening Tuesday, Aug. 6, at La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Forum (2910 La Jolla Village Drive at UCSD). Second City writers spent some time researching San Diego and are ready to tear it a new one, affectionately. The show will run through Sept. 1. Tickets are $15 to $50. lajollaplayhouse.org

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28