Annual San Francisco (SF) Snuggie Pub Crawl
Who doesn't love a Snuggie? The silly, cozy blanket with arms has become one of those items that almost every home seems to have. And, you may not realize it, but the Snuggie™ Pub Crawl is increasingly becoming nearly as popular as the product itself. Hosted in cities around the world, this is a bar crawl in which everyone who attends comes wearing a Snuggie. Sometimes the Snuggie is altered into another costume: an infamous one here was the Lady Gaga Snuggie outfit created and worn by Laura Wullschleger (and pictured to the right).
We all know that San Francisco is a city that loves its costumed and themed events. I've heard it said that you know you're in San Francisco when you have more costumes than business clothes in your closet. So it's no surprise that the Snuggie bar crawl took off here with a vengeance. In fact, it's looking like it very well could be an annual event since its been successfully held the past two years in a row.
When annual events are this young, it's hard to tell if they'll stick around. And it's tough to say whether they will continue on in the same fashion. For example, this has been a Polk Street pub crawl but I could easily see future versions taking place somewhere else in the city. So, that's something to keep in mind if it's an event that interests you. You'll want to check the details in Feb/March of each year to see if it's going on and where. You can keep track of that on the San Francisco Snuggie Pub Crawl Facebook Page.
Pub Crawl Map for 2010 Snuggie Pub Crawl
The 2010 Snuggie pub crawl kicked off here.
The Snuggie crew heads to a more upscale spot.
One of my favorite Polk street watering holes
Dance in your Snuggie at Vertigo!
Catch a band or play some pool in your Snuggie at Hemlock.
The 2010 Snuggie Pub Crawl ended at Blur.
Guide to the Pub Crawl Hot Spots
The eight bars that were featured in the 2010 Snuggie Pub Crawl make a great Polk Street pub crawl even when this annual event isn't going on. Here's a guide to those bars:
A. McTeague's Saloon. Some of the best divey bars in San Francisco are the ones that are called "saloons". It's a tribute to the Wild West days of this region. McTeague's exudes some of that wild ambience although notably the name of the spot comes from a novel. According to the bar's website, the novel is "the story of a young dentist of questionable character who opened a practice on lower Polk Street". So you get some interesting history along with your beverages at this bar. As far as bar perks go, it's got a jukebox, pool table and good happy hour specials.
B. Mayes. I've only been to Mayes Oyster House once. It seemed oddly fancy for Polk Street. It's not that it's super fancy but the people there were a bit more dressed up than in a lot of the divey Polk Street bars (although I guess that wouldn't be the case during the Snuggie pub crawl!) It's known for its oyster specials and happy hour drinks including an ALL DAY happy hour on Sundays. It has a lot of room compared to most bars in this area. And there's a small dance floor with a DJ.
C. Lush Lounge. I was a fan of the old location of Lush Lounge on Polk and Post, personally. Sure, it was a dive, but that was the charm of it. I haven't actually been to the new location, yet, although I keep meaning to check it out. I've heard it's a good spot with better interior decor and a design that allows for less crowding around the bar in the old spot. I do know that I love every drink I've ever had at Lush and that the bartenders there have always been super cool.
D. R Bar. There are so many bars on Polk Street that I have to confess I haven't been to them all. This is one of the ones I've missed out on so far. What Yelp tells me about it is that it's a laidback bar with a jukebox and a good price on beer. It apparently draws a young crowd and gets very crowded on weekend nights.
E. Aces. I'll be honest; I've never even heard of this bar other than seeing it listed on this year's Snuggie Pub Crawl. Its website tells me that it has oversized leather couches, large screen plasma TVs, an art gallery area and a jukebox. Yelp tells me the bartenders are good, there's a free barbecue on Sundays and its reminiscent of a New York neighborhood bar.
F. Vertigo. Back to some bars I know well, kicking it off with Vertigo. This place has a small dance floor with good music playing overhead. I've been told that it sometimes hosts interactive video game nights although I haven't been able to confirm that. I will say it has a cool outdoor area and good drinks.
G. Hemlock. Hemlock is a great Polk Street spot. It's roomy enough to accommodate the crowds. There's usually live music in the back room that has a small cover fee. There are pool tables and areas to sit. I can't say that the drinks are out of this world or memorable but they aren't bad either.
H. Blur. Personally I'm indifferent to Blur but it's a popular Polk Street bar. The two-for-one happy hour special is one reason for that. It's comfy, laidback and relaxing although it gets crowded quick. It has "fancy" drinks (like cucumber caipirinhas, blueberry mojitos and blurry samurais). It also has good pop music.
Notably, the 2009 version of the event included fewer spots but three of these were on the list (McTeague's, R Bar and Vertigo) as were two other spots: Shangai Kelly's and Rouge. Future annual Snuggie events, if hosted on Polk Street, will likely include at least some of these same spots.
2009 Snuggie Pub Crawl!
More Snuggie Pub Crawl Details
So, now you know the down low on the spots that were featured in the 2010 Snuggie Pub Crawl. Maybe you want more details about the crawl itself? Here are some of the details:
- It happens in March. Yes, it's a bit chilly to wear a Snuggie so layer up underneath it (although the bars are usually warm).
- Several hundred people attend. It was 200 in the first year (2009).
- A Snuggie is required. And you are going to be booed if you think that you can pass off a Slanket as a Snuggie!That said, everyone is encouraged to alter and dress up their Snuggies to create cool costumes. In addition to the Lady Gaga costume mentioned before, past costumes have included Snuggie wizards, Roman soldiers and Alice-in-Wonderland inspired getups.
- There are costume prizes. There are prizes for costumes awarded in four categories: Best Male, Best Female, Best Group or Couple and Sluttiest Snuggie. The costumes are judged for creativity with incorporation of the Snuggie into the costume. (So you can't just throw a Snuggie over a great costume). Regardless of what the prize is, you get to let people know you won a Snuggie pub crawl costume contest.
- This event isn't a part of the national Snuggie pub crawls. Originally it was supposed to be but the national crawls, started by a group in Chicago, were charging $20 entry fees to participate. San Francisco organizers weren't all about that so the seceded from the group.