Coda's Owner Explains Tequila Pricing Structure

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Price Varies: the Margarita
​After I wrote about the opening of new SF jazz club Coda , I got a call from owner Chris Pastena to clarify a few things. First off, Pastena was perturbed that I bitched about paying $14 for a Cazadores margarita, about twice what I was expecting. "We don't even carry Cazadores," he said in a voice mail left on my cel phone. "I'm not sure what happened." However, he added, "14 for a margarita, if it's an anejo, is a really great price."

In a subsequent phone conversation, Pastena speculated I may have been served a Herradura margarita instead of what I actually ordered and not informed by the bartender. He went on to note that, while Coda does carry top-shelf anejos which run $16-$17 a pop, they also have 100% agave tequila in their well, which goes for about $7. Furthermore, "if we do offer a higher-end, we'll also bring in a silver," offering tequila drinkers a choice between quality and value. OK, fair enough.

Pastena also wanted to emphasize that his club is "trying to be musician-friendly," and to that end, he explained, 90% of the door proceeds go directly to the bands, with 10% covering the door person and the sound person. "So when you pay a cover charge at Coda, you're actually helping to support local music," he said. Ok, got it. Thanks for clearing that up, Chris.

Moving forward, in looking at Coda's calendar, it seems that admission for upcoming shows by Kenny Brooks, the Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Alphabet Soup, 8 Legged Monster, Pleasuremaker, and Stanley range from $7-$10, so one could actually pay more for a drink than for the cover. Not bad for live music, since one could easily cough up 10 bones just to see a DJ.


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