Our annual Bay to Breakers liquor store map is back for 2023, along with tips on navigating the likely enforcement hotspots where you run the risk of getting your booze confiscated, and which parts of town will be gated off to keep the drunken runners out.
SFist has been publishing our Bay to Breakers liquor store map every year the race has been held since 2008, in an effort to help you restock your booze, smokes, and sundries when you are deep in the pastoral areas of Golden Gate Park.
But over the years, race organizers have placed a few barriers to partying and have confiscated people’s open containers, or fenced off certain parks or areas where revelers tended to congregate (or publicly urinate), like Alamo Square Park. These crackdown tactics have been far more successful than 2011’s hilariously ineffective “sobering tents,” which only provided fodder for costumes.
The Bay to Breakers liquor store map is back again, and is at the bottom of this post. But we are also here to warn you that there will likely again be multiple spots where security will be stationed, and they will likely confiscate any visible open containers — or cases — of alcohol you may be toting.
WHERE DO THEY CONFISCATE ALCOHOL AT BAY TO BREAKERS?
Right at the Start gate is one place. Above we see the Start Line arrangements from last year, and yes, security was checking bags and backpacks. (There had been a mass shooting the day before.) This led to an approximately 10-15 minute wait before you could access the race course, and it will likely be structured similarly this year. Your best bet is to hide the alcohol somewhere on your body, or transfer it to unmarked water jugs, running belt containers, or Camelbaks.
And as a reminder, BART and Caltrain are both running early Bay to Breakers trains on Sunday morning to get to that start line.
There was also a battalion of fun police confiscating alcohol last year at Hayes and Steiner Streets, right at the arrival to Alamo Square Park. What appeared to be privately hired security was “forcibly taking away... drinks and tossing whole boxes of Coronas, etc., into the bin,” as we reported at the time, and they “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!”
Again, you’re advised to simply carry any alcohol in an unmarked container. Or if you can’t do that, perhaps take a detour around Hayes and Steiner streets, or send an envoy ahead of your party to alert your group to the whereabouts of any security, so you don't waste your money on beer that's about to be tossed.
WHAT WILL BE GATED OFF AND CLOSED FOR BAY TO BREAKERS?
For the last several runnings of Bay to Breakers, Alamo Square Park has been gated off and closed for the duration of the race, as well as being equipped with signs reminding you “No Public Urination.”
The Bi-Rite Market Divisadero will also be closed until noon on Sunday, which is a shame, because years back they embraced the race and were selling booze directly from the ice cream counter. The Bi-Rite storefront will likely not even be accessible from Divisadero Street, as the sidewalks have been gated off on that street the last few years.
There will also probably be gates around the racecourse-facing northern end of the Panhandle on Fell Street. That area had previously been one of the race’s most notorious stretches for public peeing and drunkenness, though traditionally, those Panhandle gates are taken down after the runners pass, and the Panhandle has a pretty big informal post-Bay to Breakers party on Sunday afternoon.
And while the sidewalks are also gated off on the residential side of Fell Street, some enterprising youngsters may sell you a hot dog through the gate.
BAY TO BREAKERS LIQUOR STORE MAP 2023
And here it is, your 2023 Bay to Breakers Liquor Store Map! The race course appears in blue, the convenience and grocery stores appear as purple beer icons. As you see, there are plenty of liquor stores right on the race course until you get to the Panhandle. Once in the Panhandle, you can break a couple blocks north to get your refills, and once you’re in Golden Gate Park, you can use this map on your phone to navigate to the nearest store. (The Safeway at Seventh Avenue and Cabrillo Street is your closest and easiest option.)
There are only two minor changes to this year's map. In the Central Richmond, Balboa Bi-Rite (2440 Balboa) has a sign on the door saying “Close for Vacation,” and Better Food Market (3149 Balboa) has a sign saying “Sorry, will be closed emergency 2-3 days.” As such, both have been removed from this year’s map.
Bay to Breakers starts at 8 a.m. Sunday at Howard and Main Streets. Do be sure to bring some water with you in one of those unmarked containers, and be sure to use one of the ample porta-potties being provided. Because you don't want to see pictures of yourself peeing all over the internet on Monday morning.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist