1 BITTERS, SWEET!
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
2 I'M A-OK, YOU'RE A-OK
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
3 SECOND DIEGO
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