Happy 100th Bay to Breakers, liquor lovers! Once again, Exercising While Intoxicated has thoroughly surveyed your Bay to Breakers race course map and noted for you the locations of all the liquor stores along the course. Also detailed are the off-course liquor store locations near the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park, areas of the race where things get desperate and it’s hard to find a liquor store to save your life.
Longtime Bay to Breakerers know the sheer hell of trying to find a liquor store in the remote and pastoral rolling acres of Golden Gate Park. Once runners hit the park, everyone’s stash of booze and smokes is beginning to run low, and a deep sense of collective anxiety sets in. People have gotten lost for hours in those Richmond and Sunset avenues — losing their friends, desperately jonesing for more cigarettes or booze, and finding no relief. A few liquor stores are actually out there, but they are massively difficult to find without an ingenious reference toll such as this that I have crudely Photoshopped and posted for you here.
WordPress has been wonky with images lately, so click here for the full-size version. Android and iPhone users, you need this fucking thing.
Bay to Breakers race course liquor store availability can be broken down into three distinct phases. Miles 1 and 2 of the race course offer very few liquor stores open at 7am on a Sunday, but you don’t care because you still have the booze you initially brought with you. Mile 3 is Hayes Valley, Hayes Hill, and NoPa, a veritable Miracle Mile offering open-for-business liquor stores on practically every block. But then nothing — after you complete Mile 3, you will not see one single open liquor store at any point on the race course from here on. Srsly people that’s not even halfway!
The white numbers on the map correspond to the Liquor Store Roster further down this post. A couple other things to explain first…
This year’s Liquor Store Map offers expanded coverage of the difficult and disorienting Golden Gate Park area, calling out the quickest and easiest liquor store round trip Sweet Spots. These Sweet Spots are noted on the map with a little blue liquor bottle. These Sweet Spots offer round trips to stores with beer, hard liquor, wine, and cigarettes, in as little as ten minutes!
Also noted are those frustrating traps I call False Hope — establishments that look like they would sell booze, but don’t. They’re either not open yet, or they do not sell alcohol. These insiduous traps are noted as black numbers on the map.
There is one new liquor store on this year’s updated map — Harvest Urban Market at Howard & 8th Street. This is an extremely upscale and shi-shi yuppie organic food market, so it’s going to be an interesting culture clash. They open at 7:30 on Sunday morning, so depending on your pace you may have already passed it.
Golden Gate Park Liquor Store Sweet Spots
The best defense against Golden Gate Park alcohol famine is to just stop in the Panhandle, before you head into the park. As you’re dancing to those DJ house parties at generous Panhandle households, remember that the liquor stores in the streets to your immediate North are the quickest and easiest places to stock back up for the rest of the race. These are Nos. 16-22 on the above map.
But if your stash ends up depleted in Golden Gate Park, these Sweet Spots offer the quickest and most painless routes to open liquor stores. They are marked on the map with a blue bottle.
Right Before the DeYoung
Notice how you can barely see the top of the DeYoung in the photo to the left? At the moment you can see the top of the DeYoung, that’s where you want to turn right into The Richmond. 8th Avenue juts into the park at this point, intersecting directly with the race course. Hang a right onto 8th Ave. and walk one block north to Cabrillo. Turn right again at Cabrillo, and you will immediately be at a Safeway (No. 26 on the map). I don’t think they have public washrooms. Round Trip: 10 minutes.
Right after you see the waterfall, there will be an overpass — that’s Crossover Drive. You want to take it South toward The Sunset, going North will put you in a horribly unnavigable situation. You’ll have to follow a little forest path up the hill to access Crossover Drive, but it’s not hard. Crossover Drive will pop you out down in the Sunset at 19th Ave., where liquor stores No. 30-36 on the map are right at your disposal. Round Trip: 20 minutes.
If you don’t recognize Spreckels Lake, then just look for a lake with First Aid tents. Go off course and walk the perimeter of the lake over to 36th Avenue, you are totally able to see Fulton Street from where you are. From Fulton and 36th at the edge of the park, walk North up 36th Ave. for two blocks and you’ll see Balboa Produce Market (No 42). Also on Balboa St., Balboa Liquor & Deli (No. 43) is one block to the West. Round Trip: 15 minutes.
The Windmill and Finish Line
When you see the windmill, you’re almost done with the race! There’s actually a big huge Safeway (No. 52) right on the other side of that windmill. It may make more sense to just go another 1000 yards and finish the race, at which point you can hit the Beach Chalet (No. 53) and their always-awesome Bay to Breakers after party. It’s an obvious place to re-group, they have B2B drink specials, and Santa Cruz dream-pop hotties Wooster rocking the fuck out of the rest of the day. Round Trip: 10 minutes.
Bay to Breakers Liquor Store Roster
Now that we’ve covered the bigger-picture matters, here is a detailed roster of each liquor store shown on the course map. Good, open, fully-functional liquor stores appear as white numbers with black outline, False Hope traps appear as black numbers with red outline. Each number on the map corresponds with a liquor store name and cross-street below.
1 – The Gold Club – False Hope! – (Howard & New Montgomery) They’re totally not open until 7pm tonight. They shouldn’t even be on this map! I just know that when you walk by, you can’t resist woot-wootin’ and hollerin’.
2 – Yerba Buena Market – (Howard & Sixth St.) FINALLY! Your first open liquor store on the race course! Expect to wait in line.
3 — Harvest Urban Market – (Howard & Eighth St.) This store has glass doors and a delicate all-glass exterior, and the glass doors politely ask “Please Use Natoma Street Entrance”. Oh, do they have another thing coming.
4 -The Chevron/Andretti Speed Mart/Burger King/Starbucks Blight – False Hope!– (Howard & Ninth St.) You can see it coming from far away, and it really looks like it should have beer! But you get there, and it doesn’t. Happens to lots of good people every year. Useful only for cigarettes and their dynamite array of blinky toys.
5– Go Go Market – (Mission & Ninth) Only the third liquor store open on a Sunday morning, and we’re already nearing the two-mile mark. Shocking, huh? They’ve been open since 6.
6 – Civic Center Market – False Hope! – (Market & Larkin) You won’t find them open unless you’re already trailing the race by a solid two hours.
7 – Anna’s Market – False Hope! – (Hayes & Gough) Also does not open until 10 a.m. If you’re running, or even managing to walk forward, you’re long gone by then.
8 – Nabila’s – (Hayes & Laguna) This is your last one before heading up Hayes Hill.
9 – Hayes Market – (Hayes & Buchanan) They finally took the apostrophe off the word Hayes! They realize it’s a name and not a possessive singular!
10 – H&W Market – (Hayes & Webster) Now there’s a liquor on every block and it’s like an embarassment of riches.
11 – Tim’s Market – (Hayes & Fillmore) Now you’re on a block that has two.
12 – In & Out Market – (Hayes & Fillmore) This being the other one.
13 – Divisadero Farmer’s Market – (Hayes & Divisadero) Runners will have just completed Hayes Hill, so it’s surely Miller Time.
14 – New Star-El Liquor -(Fell & Divisadero) Last liquor store directly along the race course route! That is just astonishing to me. There are still more than four and a half miles left.
15 – Faletti Foods – (Broderick & Fell)
16 – Nimer’s – (Fulton & Lyon)
17 – Parkside Market (Hayes & Lyon)
18 – Home Service Market – (Hayes & Central)
19 – Fulton Food Shop – (Fulton & Mason)
20 – Deli Plus – (Hayes & Ashbury)
21 – Cindy’s Market – (Hayes & Cole)
22 – Lucky – (Fulton & Masonic) I’m recommending you skip off the course in the middle of The Panhandle (at Masonic) and venture up to the Lucky Supermarket at Fulton St. You should seriously stock up here. You’re about to enter Golden Gate Park. Any veering off the race course to buy booze once you’re in that open, pastoral park will involve a lengthy round trip, and who knows if you’ll even find your people again. You should buy however much here you think you need to finish the race, and devise some way to carry it all.
23 – Parkview Market – (Frederick & Stanyan) Now you’re in Golden Gate Park, and you’re heading way out of your way. Can you make it to 8th Ave.? It’s a much shorter time investment.
24 — Drink Liquor — (2nd Ave. & Balboa) Yes, there is actually a liquor store called Drink Liquor! Unfortunately, it is one of the furthest off-course liquor stores on this whole map.
25 — Golden Bear Market — (6th Ave. & Judah)
26 – Safeway – (7th Ave. & Cabrillo) This is THE easiest way to get liquor once you’re in Golden Gate Park! Just turn left out of the park at Eighth Avenue, right when you see the DeYoung.
27 — Stand-Bi Market (8th Ave. & Judah)
28 – 828 Irving Market – (9th Ave. & Irving) You really should just turn around and go back to Safeway, but if you feel the need to be making forward progress there will now be a string of liquor stores in the Sunset.
29 — Judah 9th Ave. Liquors – (9th Ave. & Judah) Here is the next.
30 — Royal Food Store – (9th Ave. & Judah)
31 – Sun Valley Market – (10th Ave. & Irving) Can you make it to 19th Avenue? You should really try instead of doing this. This involves cutting off the race course at the DeYoung Museum, picking up MLK Drive and taking that down to until it turns into 9th Ave., and then cutting up to 10th. The 19th Ave. option involves a lot less extracurricular travel. This is way more trouble than it’s worth, but you do have the option.
32 – Eddy’s Discount Liquor – (11th Ave. & Irving) See above, add one block of pointless extra travel.
33 – Andronico’s – (Funston & Irving) There are some serious bull in a china shop possibilities here for you all hammered-ass drunks in this high-end gourmet grocery store. They have beer and wine.
34 — Europa Express — (15th Ave. & Irving) An all-Russian liquor store for the fluent Russian speakers among you! They have Russian vodkas like Beluga, Rublevka, and other things I can’t pronounce because their labels are in Cyrillic. There’s another Europa Express at the end of the race.
35 — 17th Balboa Market — (17th Ave. & Balboa)
36 — Handy’s — (19th Ave. & Irving) Last chance for liquor until 25th Avenue! And do you know for sure you’re even going to make it that far?
37 — Sunset Super — (25th Ave. & Irving) If you somehow miss the turn-off at 19th and manage to make it through all the heavy brush and chain link fences, there’s another beer-only option a little further down the Sunset. They have regular domestic beer — but every single grocery there otherwise is full-on Chinese. It’s all Pocky and sea animal-flavored fried chip snacks. On the plus side, you can score rice wine and Chinese liquor.
38 – Balboa Bi-Rite Market – (26th & Balboa)
39 – Judah Mini Market — (28th & Judah)
40 — Sunset Strip Liquors — (31st Ave. & Judah)
41 – Better Food Market – (32nd Ave. & Balboa)
42 – Balboa Liquor & Deli – (36th & Balboa) This is your Spreckels Lake turn-off. Very easy! Ten minute round trip!
43 – Balboa Produce Market – (37th & Balboa)
44 — Charlie’s Market –(41st Ave. & Irving) When the course veers hard to the right past the buffalo, you have this 20-minute round trip option. When the course turns right, you turn left and take MLK South to Lincoln. MLK puts you out right at 41st & Lincoln, and Charlie’s is one block down 41st at Irving.
45 – Richmond Market – (41st & Balboa)
46 – 7-11 – (46th Ave. & Judah) This one does not have liquor. It is a 7-11. It has beer and cigarettes.
47 – Western Sunset Market – (46th Ave. & Judah) This one has liquor! This is the closest Finish Line-area liquor store with liquor!
48 – Your Market, My Deli – (48th & Kirkham)
49 – 76 Food Mart – False Hope! – (Lincoln & La Playa) Yes, that big orange 76 will look awfully alluring. But they don’t have beer, just snacks and cigarettes!
50– Europa Express – (LaPlaya & Balboa)
51 – Freddy’s Ocean Beach Deli – (LaPlaya & Balboa)
52 – Safeway – (LaPlaya & Fulton) – Right on the other side of the windmill! But you should just finish the race and then come here. You have, like, four more blocks!
53 – Beach Chalet – (Fulton & Great Highway) A great place to regroup once you’ve finished the race is the Beach Chalet and it’s notorious after-party. They’ll have no cover, Bay to Breakers drink specials, and live music from Wooster. Let your people come together and devise further party plans after you’ve all finished the race.
If you notice any omission or mistakes, please let me know in the Comments! This is a one-person project, and I am not the most detail-oriented tack in the book.
Lastly, it’s obviously incumbent on me now to develop this thing into a working mobile app. Of course I am clueless in this regard. UI peeps or mobile developers, who among you will work for booze?