The old hillside moonshine Red's Pure Old Panther Piss was probably an inspiration for a whole hell of a lot of unseemly things—but one beautiful and unlikely thing that came from it was Paymaster. The eternally peeing cat that serves as chalkboard logo of this Slabtown bar takes its roots from the old moonshine label, from back when liquor was illicit and unclean. And while Paymaster is not really a dive bar—beer is craft and $5, and pitchers are at only a slight discount from this—nor is its clientele of roving Nob Hill bro-packs and countless post- and pre-wedding parties truly a dive bar crowd. But it is a wonderful ode to a dive bar, from its back-room pinball and spirit-animal vending machine to the strangely illicit-seeming TV room that feels like it's in a back corner, to its cigarette-rich, corrugated-top back patio stretching on forever like a Louisiana swamp house. Throw on a $5 fry box with many dipping options, a solid $8.50 cheeseburger and some seriously tasty, seriously boozy summer slushies and you'll know you hit pay dirt.
HAPPY HOUR: 2-6 pm daily. $5 cider, $4 crafts, $3 wells. $4 Sauza Gold.
ENTERTAINMENT: Goofball vending machine, pinball, the world's weirdest sports TV room, pool playing on the patio.