Skip the beers this Friday night and head to The Riddler, a newly opened champagne bar in Hayes Valley that’s having fun with extravagance. Then hit the Mezzanine for Dirtybird Quarterly, a dance party that celebrates the city’s most beloved house music label. Go (super) retro at the 17th Annual Edwardian Ball, or catch old heist flicks at the Noir City 15 film festival. Finally, head to Berkeley for some belated New Year’s goal setting.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
January 15 | Now open: Champagne bar
Ordinary bars come a dime a dozen in San Francisco, but The Riddler in Hayes Valley is already a standout. A new woman-owned and operated champagne bar with equal parts irreverence and elegance, The Riddler is a place where you can chase a bump of caviar with a shot of beer, inhale a bong full of champagne, or splurge for a Jeroboam of something rare. If you get hungry, order the signature waffles, which are made out of Tater Tots.
528 Laguna St., San Francisco | website
January 20 | Music
Here’s a perfect party to consider should you need to dance off this historic day in the United States. San Francisco’s own Dirtybird record label of house music mavericks is internationally known and in demand, which ensures the quarterly party at the Mezzanine is packed with good energy and happy feet. This week, resident artists J. Phlip, Justin Martin, and Christian Martin welcome guests Mikey Lion and Pork Chop from the likeminded Desert Hearts crew in San Diego for seven hours of funk.
9:00 PM - 4:00 AM | 444 Jessie St., San Francisco | $20 | website
January 20 - 21 | Dance
The 17th Annual Edwardian Ball
If escapism would be a welcome addition to your weekend, the 17th Annual Edwardian Ball will transport you through time to 1901, when King Edward VII ruled England and the fashions were quite fanciful. This modern interpretation of an Edwardian ball was created to honor the author and illustrator Edward Gorey (1925-2000), who captured this time period in imaginatively twisted detail. If you have no idea what this all means, don’t worry; a daytime shopping bazaar will get you properly suited, booted, and ready to experience a true throwback that’s also a humorous San Francisco tradition.
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM | Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter St., San Francisco | From $85 | website
January 20 - 29 | Film festival
Noir City 15: The Big Knockover
This year’s edition of the Noir City film festival is called The Big Knockover, which is an outmoded but wonderfully chic way of saying it’s a collection of great crime movies culled from around the world. Hollywood has always adored an epic heist or caper gone awry, and this week the Castro Theatre will be home to half a century of the coolest (and possibly campiest) ones. Ticket options include an all-access Noir City Passport so you can binge-watch the old-fashioned way.
429 Castro St., San Francisco | From $12 | website
January 21 | Escape the city
New Year’s Japanese Calligraphy “Kakizome” Workshop
Kakizome is Japanese calligraphy that’s usually performed on the second day of the new year, but calligraphist Aoi Yamaguchi will belatedly teach that spirit of freshness and renewal this weekend in Berkeley. You’ll kick off your shoes, relax your feet, and eventually emerge with proper basic techniques (including how to hold a calligraphy brush in the first place) as well as a large art piece inspired by your own personal mission for 2017.
11:00 AM - 1:30 PM | Atelier Towa, 1450 Fourth St. #11, Berkeley | From $95 | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.