Can one person drink at every bar in San Francisco?


One often hears people say that San Francisco has more bars per capita than any other major city in the U.S. Is that even true? (Edit- Many you have linked to various articles showing this isn’t factually true, but for many San Franciscans it is emotionally true. Anyway, it’s just something I heard over and over again when I first moved here, probably from people who were drunk.) I don’t know, but there are certainly more bars here than one can easily count. And I don’t plan on just counting the bars, I plan on having a drink at every single one of them.

How long will this take? Is it possible to keep up with bars constantly closing and opening? I have no idea, but here is my plan:

Like all big projects, breaking this down into smaller projects will help keep me from getting overwhelmed. My plan is to tackle one neighborhood at a time, going to at least a bar a week. I haven’t decided exactly what the borders will be, (other than the obvious ones of Bay and Ocean,) but I have decided that I will only count stand alone bars that serve alcohol, (i.e. no restaurants or wine bars.)

Wish me and my liver luck!


37 responses

  1. Great, great, astounding idea. Could I ask you a few questions about EBISF?


    January 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

    • everysfbar

      Sure! Email is myluckynumbersone(at)gmail.

      January 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    • everysfbar

      Just wanted to let you know that I am changing the name of my blog to The San Francisco Bar Experiment. The old url will still work, but within a day or two the new url should also be functional. There was some confusion with another website with a similar name, so I decided to change mine as an easy fix. My blog will be updated every day with new bars and photos.

      January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm

  2. soma33

    where u wasted when you were watching that julia and juliette movie when you came up with this idea?

    January 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm

  3. Rich

    My friend once bet me that I couldn”t drink at 100 bars in SF in 1 month. I went everyday hitting happy hours, and drinking during the day at lunch and of course, a few in the evening. I went into bars I would never think of going into just to add it to the list. I got to 73. Good luck!

    January 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

  4. Do you have a twitter account we could follow these shenanigans at?

    January 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    • everysfbar

      No twitter yet, not sure how I feel about it. I’ve never had an account with them, but it’s a thought.

      January 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  5. Last of the Moh8ins

    Jeez, sounds impossible. Good luck. Drink lots of water. I can’t wait for you to go to The Saloon, in North Beach. It’s the oldest bar in San Francisco, and some would say it’s one of the best blues bars in the state. Edinburgh Castle was my regular hang out spot, probably.

    January 6, 2010 at 9:25 am

    • everysfbar

      I love dancing at the Saloon!

      January 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm

  6. Saw you featured in Thrillist. Great idea, good luck. I know you said that you don’t do Twitter, but it might be fun to keep up with you on there. And while this seems like it might be a solo endeavor, tweetups and group fun at the bars could be pretty sweet.

    January 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

    • everysfbar

      I’m still considering the twitter thing. Maybe!

      January 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm

  7. Jeff

    Two guys did this in Seattle a few years back and I followed their progress on their site. It was entertaining.

    Looking forward to your adventures! Did you contact the ABC for a list or are you just winging it and trying to find them all on your own?

    January 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

    • everysfbar

      I’m using Yelp so that I can find the bars by neighborhood and eliminate ones that don’t meet my criteria.

      January 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      • Drew Henson

        And what’s your criteria? No sucky bars? Or just the restaurant / wine bar one? I think you should go with the “no bars that suck” criteria; if you end up at a bar that sucks, you’ll have to strike that from the list, as if it never existed, and keep going until you find a good bar the end the evening!

        June 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      • The whole point is to experience every bar in the city, and suckiness is subjective. Going to bars I would never normally choose to patronize is part of the fun!

        June 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm

  8. Shuryn R.

    Are you going to write reviews about these bars on sites like Citysearch, Yelp, etc?

    It would be fun to get tweets on the bars you are visiting as it happens.

    Good luck!

    January 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    • everysfbar

      I’m not actually writing reviews, there are enough of those out there. I’m writing about the experience of actually going to every bar in the city,

      January 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm

  9. lisa v

    Good Luck! I’m already entertained so it will be fun to keep up with you!!

    January 6, 2010 at 7:37 pm

  10. Armando

    Love what you are doing! My favs are Philosopher’s Club, Gino and Carlo, Sodini’s, Italian Athletic Club, Noe’s Bar, Elixir, O’Greenbergs, Blooms,Il Pirata and Glen Park Station. I would like to meet you at anyone and buy a few rounds.

    January 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm

  11. I would love to see you and Broke-Ass Stuart join forces in some marathon-city-wide-not-quittin-til-our-livers-weep binge.

    January 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

  12. I'm down

    This is a really good idea – I know, because I had it with my brother years ago. We never did it, or even tried, but it engendered many a good conversation, reminiscing about bars we visited, bars that are gone, bars we got hammered in, puked in, etc.

    We also were developing criteria. I mean, there’s no point in searching out bars in the outer outer sunset – who cares? Sure, Glen Park may technically be part of the city, but again, not mandatory. I imagine there are some good bars out there, but its an extra credit neighborhood.

    There was also the question of what counted as a proper visit. We debated the “shot and a beer” qualifier, although it would certainly reduce the number of bars you could hit in a night, if you were trying to be efficient. But simply getting a beer seemed, well, too light. You could be in and out of a bar with you or it having left the slightest impression. A mixed drink…? Hard to say. I think it’s a man-up situation: Shot and a beer.

    I think 50 bars a month is doable, respectable. You could keep your job and get it done. 100 bars a month is truly ambitious, especially on the shot and a beer regime. I could do it.

    If you’re looking for a partner in crime some night, ready to go get 5 shots and 5 beers on Divisadero (uh oh, a lot of beer/wine only licenses out there), the lower haight, or even downtown, give a holler.

    February 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    • While yes, technically I could go to 50 bars a month, I would need someone to bank roll that. I make less than the minimum living wage for San Francisco. It would be easy for someone with money to do this, but I have to be really creative to even afford 20 bars in a month.

      February 3, 2010 at 8:57 am

  13. Just happened upon the website, thanks to your tweet about the poll (I voted Castro), and after reading these comments, thought I’d update others landing here by letting them know you have in fact signed up 😉

    That’s how I found you!

    All the best,
    A fellow lush & fan of all the fabulous bars our fine city has to offer

    March 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    • ahhaha! wow.
      This is a total worlds colliding moment. Hey Willo.
      The genius behind this experiment is my very good friend.

      May 7, 2010 at 11:03 am

  14. kazzadraskmedia

    Hi. I added you to the blog roll on CheapandEasySF:

    We pick one SF local event per day and highlight it — really local stuff only. If you have time, please check it out and if you would like to link back to us that would be awesome.

    Cheers — you’ve got a great experiment going!

    April 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm

  15. @Conan Heheee – nice! But surely no surprise that I’m on a blog about drinking in bars all over SF, right? :p

    Hoping to see you at the show tonight!

    May 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm

  16. Hi, the twitter is going to be fun. I love the castro, I also frequent Diva’s in the tenderloin district and a new bar that replaced the Jet called Trigger. I should probably broaden my horizens. I been to the Q bar on castro but found it very small, and conjested, the crowd was also very juvenile. I’m 6’2″ and 43 years old so I need space, and a 20 to thirty something crowd to mingle with. Why hit all the places by yourself? Let us help you. We can tell you about our favorite spots and send you pics etc. and you could kind feature those and cross them off the list and visit the ones not listed and still hit some we tell you about and maybe write a response. That would be so fun. anywho, good luk!

    May 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm

  17. Best idea for a blog…ever. Thing is (actually not such a bad thing if you ask me)…you can probably spend the rest of your life going to SF bars and never come close to hitting them all. Good luck and I hope you don’t mind if I steal the concept and do the same up in Seattle. Been looking for some kind of project to get me writing more and this could be the answer.

    May 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

  18. Jeff

    @ Beer Retard: Two guys did it in Seattle back in ’02. I followed their website the whole time. It was interesting. Unfortunately, the website is closed now, but here’s the post from when it was a Yahoo! Pick. (

    Post here again if you end up doing your site. Love to check it out.

    I’ve planned on doing it for Marin and Sonoma counties here in CA ever since I saw their site in ’02, but never got it off the ground. I recently started the site, but haven’t officially kicked off the adventures. I’ll post the link when I do.

    May 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

  19. Jeff

    Oh, I just checked and was able to see some of their site. Here’s the weblog from the site.

    May 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm

  20. Jeff…thanks for letting me know about 570 bars and finding the archived stuff. Too bad they didn’t keep the site up.

    I’m definitely doing it and a couple friends are gonna do one for Sacramento. I probably won’t get it going for about a week or so, but it’ll start out here when I do:

    May 27, 2010 at 9:55 am

  21. Hello SFbarexperiment,

    Just wanted to say I love what your doing! You are one of the reasons why I stared my own experiment with my group of friends. ( I know 30 bars in 30days in SF is just a drop in the bucket, but we plan on doing the next 30 days soon. Keep on doing it! You are an inspiration…
    Rally Oh of the All City Project.

    July 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  22. Good luck! 🙂

    November 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  23. Hi Heather,

    We just came across info about your kickstarter campaign for your Tenderloin Bar Experiment on the Tenderblog site and would like to help promote your fundraising efforts on the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District Facebook page:

    Just send us what you’d like to have posted via our website contact page: with info. about Tenderloin specific activity and we’ll get it up on the page.

    Best of luck with your project!


    January 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

  24. From one person attempting to go to every restaurant (2,000+ so far) to another person attempting to go to every bar, best of luck in your adventures. This is why we live in this fabulous 7 x 7 paradise, no?

    February 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

  25. Wow. San Fran, huh?

    I’m one of the guys who did this thing in Seattle 8 years ago. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun. I hope you’re doing well with it.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:09 am

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