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Bars & Clubs

Best Place to Hide Out From the Shopping Hordes of Powell Street 

The Tempest

If you live in San Francisco and ever venture to the vicinity of Powell and Market on a Saturday afternoon, you know what we're talking about. Maybe your mom is in town and wants to see Williams-Sonoma, or you need a new dish rack from Target. Whatever the reason, after about 30 minutes around here, you've had it: The sidewalks clogged with Midwesterners, the din of competing street musicians, the backpacked Euros trudging forward in large groups while looking only at their Lonely Planet guides. You need out of commercial district/tourist central San Francisco, and fast. Luckily, the Tempest is but a short stroll down Fifth Street. Here you'll find the sort of bar atmosphere you probably take for granted elsewhere in the city, but desperately need now: loud music, colorful regulars, bottom-dollar drinks, a pool table, dilapidated furniture, graffiti-splattered bathrooms, and excellent bar food you grab from next door. Sounds like heaven, doesn't it? Well, the self-proclaimed "cheapest bar in San Francisco" just might be — and its proximity to the most exhausting part of the city only helps the Tempest's case. After a couple rounds in here, you'll probably forget about whatever stupid thing you needed at Target.

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