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Arts & Entertainment

This weekend: Live ‘Merry-Achi,’ holiday cocktails, giving back with haircuts and more

Heading into December there are no shortage of community events to take in, live performances to attend, and new restaurants to enjoy. In fact, there is so much going on that attempting to come up with a weekend plan might just send you into a FOMO tailspin. But don’t despair: We’re here for you.

Read on for our curated selection of choice happenings: An English barber shares the wisdom he gained from giving out haircuts for free, mariachi master José Hernández throws a Christmas party and much-hyped neighborhood cafe marks its first weekend in business, to name just a few.

Miracle at PCH
550 Sutter Street

Most years around this time, the Pacific Cocktail Haven is transformed into “Miracle at PCH.” That “miracle” didn’t happen in 2020 (did anything good happen in 2020?) but thankfully the holiday-themed libations—think eggnog, peppermint and plenty of glitter—are flowing once again at this TenderNob watering hole. The pop-up only lasts until the night before Christmas, so get your spiked hot chocolate while you can.

Do Something for Nothing
Author Talk w/ Joshua Coombs
Friday, Dec. 10 @ Manny’s

When musician and barber Joshua Coombes started giving out free haircuts to unhoused folks on the streets of London, he saw it as a way to give back to a community in need—and perhaps gain a better understanding of homelessness.

Coombes documented his first experiences on social media and organized them under the hashtag #DoSomethingForNothing, garnering a massive response. He was featured in the Morgan Freeman-narrated National Geographic documentary, The Story of Us, and has now put it all down on paper in his new book, Do Something For Nothing.

He’s plugging the book with an appearance and discussion at Manny’s, but that’s not the only thing he has on his agenda while he’s in the Bay Area: Just a couple days ago, he gave a San Francisco construction worker named Michael a rather impressive makeover.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Matt Sweeney
Friday, Dec. 10 @ Castro Theatre

The Castro Theater is once again hosting live music and we couldn’t be happier about it. Though the crown jewel of the Castro District reopened in late June—serving as a venue for Frameline45, the world’s largest LGTBQ+ film festival—we haven’t had a chance to catch a rock and roll show there since early 2020. On Friday the mellow and folksy Superwolves, a combo of Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Matt Sweeney, do their part to help bring the legendary venue back to life. San Luis Obispo band Little Wings will open, a group that claims they “completely imbibe” the beachy vibes of the Central Coast.

La Cocina Holiday Market Fundraiser
332 Golden Gate Avenue
Saturday, Dec. 11 @ La Cocina 

La Cocina, the all-woman, all-migrant business incubator, is hosting a fundraiser. The nonprofit has so far helped nurture a full-service bar, La Paloma, and is launching their Holiday Market this weekend. Their position in the Tenderloin is a welcome sight—on the same street as resource center St. Anthony’s and writing center 826 Valencia.

A Merry-Achi Christmas
José Hernández & Mariachi Sol de Mexico
Sunday, Dec. 12 @ Davies Symphony Hall

José Hernández, founder of Mariachi Sol de Mexico, leads his world-renowned group through a set of beloved Christmas tunes arranged for the traditional instruments of mariachi: violins, trumpets and guitars. The fifth-generation mariachi is likely to lead his players through movements from Tchaikovski’s Nutcracker Suite as well as contemporary classics, like “Feliz Navidad.”

The Madrigal | Photo by Joseph Weaver

The Madrigal
100 Van Ness Ave.

This upscale cocktail bar opened last Saturday just a block away from City Hall. Taking the place of former occupant The Corridor, guests can grab ritzy drinks like The Bowie, which features Italian bitter cynar, and the Cold Snaps, a vodka espresso concoction. Food options include charred quail tikka masala and Monterey squid risotto. 

1801 McAllister St.

This neighborhood cafe and restaurant has been much-hyped and has been open for all of zero days… officially, that is. Former sous chef of Lazy Bear and founder of the new shop, Matt Kirk, said the soft open last week went better than they could have hoped. Come for elevated takes on suburban staples, like Wonderbread sandwiches and boujee Twinkies. We’ve also got our eye on that breakfast cookie with Cinnamon Toast Crunch crumbled on top. Prepare for a long, long line.