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San Francisco Drunkest Neighborhoods, Ranked

Scott Lucas | July 24, 2014 | Story Clubs and Bars

Pisco sours. Anchor Steam beer. Shots of Fernet. San Francisco is a debauched, debased, just plain drunk-ass town. But which neighborhoods are home to the most committed tipplers? Though we can't hook everybody up to Breathalyzers to find out scientifically, we can do something else. Thanks to data from which the Chronicle wrote about this morning, we can tell you the zip codes where people spend the highest percent of their paychecks on drinking in bars.

Here's the ranked list, with some handy analysis to follow:

1. North Beach (94133): 1.93%
2. Nob Hill (94109): 1.88%
3. Castro and Noe Valley (94114): 1.86%
4. Bayview (94124): 1.84%
5. Financial District (94104): 1.84%
6. Hayes Valley and the Tenderloin (94102): 1.80%
7. SoMa (94103): 1.78%
8. Chinatown (94108): 1.75%
9. SoMa (94105): 1.72%
10. The Haight (94117): 1.68%
11. The Marina (94123): 1.67%
12. West Portal (94127): 1.60%
13. Pac Heights (94115): 1.58%
14. Potrero Hill (94107): 1.58%
15. Visitacion Valley (94134): 1.53%
16. Inner Richmond (94118): 1.52%
17. Outer Richmond (94121): 1.49%
18. The Mission (94110): 1.47%
19. The Presidio (94129): 1.44%

20. Inner Sunset (94122):
21. Ingleside-Excelsior (94112): 1.41%
22. Embarcadero (94111): 1.39%
23. Lake Merced (94132): 1.19%
24. Twin Peaks (94131): 1.19%
25. Outer Sunset (94116): 1.16%

So, what did we learn? Overall, that the richer the neighborhood, the busier the bars. For every extra dollar of income, there was an increase of a cent and a half in boozing. (If you're curious, and super geeky, see our linear regression in the photo at right). There are a few poorer neighborhoods—like the Bayview and the Tenderloin—which showed up high in the rankings. But that's because their monthly incomes numbers were lower. In absolute dollar amounts, the Bayview spends among the least at bars in the city. Conversely, there were some neighborhoods with lower incomes that weren't spending much out at bars—like the Outer Sunset, Lake Merced, and Ingleside-Excelsior. These spots make up what we are calling the city's "Boring Belt," the L-shaped stretch of land in the city's west and south, where hard-working folks spend their money on other things besides booze. (What those things might be, we can hardly fathom.) There's no statistical relationship between the income level of a neighborhood and the percent of income spent at bars (that is to say, poor neighborhoods don't necessarily spend a greater or lesser percent than rich ones do).

One area that was harder to puzzle out was the Mission. Isn't that Party Central? Then how could it be so low on the list? Our best guess: It's not the size of the party, it's the cheapness of the drinks. And they don't get much cheaper than in the Mission.

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