SFNews’s Bay to Breakers Liquor Store Map is back and ready for this Sunday’s annual running of the naked and drunk yahoos, plus we’ve got tips on how to conceal your booze, and where to expect those pesky law enforcement checkpoints.

This Sunday’s Bay to Breakers race brings back what may be San Francisco’s drunkest annual event, and is certainly SF’s drunkest 8 am Sunday morning event. The loony footrace where most people aren’t really racing is also known as “Straight Pride” for its intoxicated, mostly heterosexual and sometimes boorish participants. To help you be intoxicated but not boorish, we’ve got some tips on how to avoid getting your booze confiscated, where to buy more alcohol when you’re in the outer reaches of Golden Gate Park, and other Bay to Breakers hooligan decorum.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

There will be early BART trains running to get you to the 8 am Starting Line at Howard and Main streets, where the tortillas will be flying. But that’s just the beginning of your 12 kilometers of tipsy debauchery.

Be aware that race organizers have figured out how to nominally deter the partying. They now confiscate people’s visible open containers, crack down on wheeled contraptions, and fence off certain parks or areas where revelers tend to congregate (or publicly urinate), like Alamo Square Park and the Panhandle. Here’s how to avoid that trouble, and also how to avoid the trouble of running out of alcohol.


THE BAY TO BREAKERS LIQUOR STORE MAP

An SFNews tradition since 2008, when Matier & Ross complained about it in the Chronicle, our Bay to Breakers Liquor Store Map is back and fully updated for 2024. There are plenty of liquor stores right on the race course for the first half of the race, but once you pass Divisadero Street’s New Star-Ell Liquor, you will not see any more stores selling alcohol. Once you’re on Fell Street and in Golden Gate Park, the purple “beer mug” icons show where you can buy more alcohol or snacks to refresh your stock.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

Also be aware that they now place fences on both sides of Fell Street, to keep you out of the Panhandle in the morning, and to prevent you from trashing people’s houses on the north side of Fell Street. So if you're buying alcohol in NoPa (and the Fulton Street Lucky Supermarket has great deals), you will have to head up Masonic Avenue or Shrader Street, where there are breaks in the fence.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

There will likely be enterprising youngsters trying to sell you hot dogs and such on the other side of those Fell Street gates. And the gates are generally removed from the Panhandle by noon Sunday, where a very lovely afterparty generally comes together in that park.  

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

As usual in recent years, the Divisadero Bi-Rite will be closed during Bay to Breakers hours on Sunday morning. This is too bad, because that store used to sell booze right out of their ice cream counter window some ten years ago.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

WILL THE POLICE BUST ME FOR DRINKING?

They might, but it's more likely they’ll just make you dump your booze. Your backpacks or bags will probably be checked at the gates near Howard and Main streets, so make sure your alcohol is in some manner of unmarked container. Also, there are usually private security guards stationed near the top of Hayes Hill at Alamo Square Park, and they will confiscate alcohol. As we reported in 2022, one security guard “even pulled a couple aside pushing a stroller with a live child in it, in order to grab the bottle of Champagne they had tucked underneath the kid. The nerve!”

Another guy who had duct-taped forties to his hands also was forced to empty those.

At the expense of pointing out the obvious, you should simply conceal your alcohol so police and security cannot tell that you have it.  

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

WHERE ARE THE GATES, AND WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO KEEP YOU OUT OF?

We mentioned there will be gates on both sides of Fell Street, though the Panhandle gates are generally removed by noon Sunday. The city generally also gates off Alamo Square Park, which many “runners” used to just use as a giant open-air toilet. There are now porta-potties usually placed there for the event, and hilariously, signs reminding you “No Public Urination.”

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

SHOULD I REGISTER FOR BAY TO BREAKERS?

If you can afford it, yes, because the two lost years of the pandemic have been financially tough on the race and the marathon industry generally. Registration is now $95 per person, and you would have to pick up your bib at the Sports Basement in the Presidio or Berkeley. You also get a very nice shirt (last year’s is seen above), a medal at the finish line, and one complimentary beer at a beer garden near the finish line. Though that beer usually runs out well before noon.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

CAN I JUST CRASH AND NOT PAY FOR REGISTRATION?

You can! Gavin Newsom did it back in 2010, before he had presidential aspirations to worry about.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

So do take this advice into account, and try to be a good citizen, regardless of the event's slapstick irreverence. But as a reminder, do not litter, do not pee in public, do not taunt the bison in Golden Gate Park, and do realize that LSD might not be the best drug of choice for this event.

Some welcome news: Sunday morning is expected to be sunny and clear, with temperatures of nearly 60 degrees.

Related: Photos: Bay to Breakers Returns In Its Full Drunk-As-Hell-at-8 a.m. Glory [SFNews]

Images: Joe Kukura, SFNews