It’s September and that means one thing for sports fans — football time is here. This time of year sees large crowds at local sports bars and pubs on Sundays and Monday nights as fans gather to cheer on their favorite teams. While many people are on the hunt for the best sports bars to watch the games at this season, some non-sports fans are looking for a place to escape and enjoy a quiet evening out. If you are seeking out a non-sports hangout on a Sunday or Monday evening, check out one of these five Sacramento bars and lounges.
513 L St., Ste. 9
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Pre-Flite Lounge is described as “Sacramento’s best-known secret.” This underground mall lounge is a perfect spot to escape Monday Night Football and have a quiet drink with friends. This historic Sacramento gem has been around since 1972 when L Street was filled with airline carriers. Travelers would purchase airline tickets and then lounge in what is currently Pre-Flite’s lobby area. From there, they could take a shuttle to the airport. To give travelers something to do, the founders of Pre-Flite set up a bar allowing travelers to enjoy a “Pre Flite” before their flight. The bar was connected with massive oak doors, what serve as the entrance to the lounge today.
58 Degrees & Holding
1217 18th St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
Looking for an elegant glass of wine on a Sunday or Monday? Stop by 58 Degrees & Holding, one of Sacramento’s premiere wine lounges. It has an extensive selection of wines available by the glass — either in three-ounce tastings or a full-size, six-ounce pour. For some unique offerings, be sure to peruse the special selections available from the 58 Degrees cellar. Here you might find prime options like a 2007 Morlet “Mon Chevalier” Cabernet Sauvignon from Knights Valley or a 2003 Silvio Grasso “Bricco Luciani” Barolo from Piedmont. If you are heading out for the evening with a beer lover, don’t discount 58 Degrees as an option. It stocks an impressive selection of craft beers, including local brews on tap. Be sure to ask about the beer tasting flight.
Back Door Lounge
1112 Firehouse Alley
Sacramento, CA 95814
Head to Old Sacramento to the Back Door Lounge for an escape to the past. You may find yourself looking over your shoulder looking for Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra. This locals’ haunt is one spot that is even jumping at breakfast time. The Irish Coffee and gigantic portions of biscuits and gravy bring regulars back over and over for their breakfast fix.
2115 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Late-night eats, a full bar and a hookah lounge combine for a winning spot on Sunday and Monday nights during football season. The Kasbah Lounge on J Street is hooked up with the Tapas the World next door. The lounge opens at 5 p.m. daily and happy hour specials are available daily until 7 p.m. Kasbah Lounge is a great spot for socializing in a warm and inviting environment, whether you want alcoholic beverages or not. Kashba offers some great Asian and Middle Eastern options like North African Mint Tea, Pu-erh Tea, Turkish Coffee, Jasmine Pearls and more. On the alcohol side, look for Middle Eastern liquors, wines and beers.
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The Elixir Bar
1815 10th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dive bars are often the best escapes from overcrowded and loud trendy spots and The Elixir Bar is just that. This local haunt has a full bar with stiff drinks, but there is one thing that really brings locals back time and time again — the food. The Elixir has earned a reputation as a great spot for chicken wings and garlic fries — two ideal bar snacks to indulge in while enjoying a drink or two. And much like the Backdoor Lounge, The Elixir Bar attracts a weekend morning crowd for a sensational brunch and killer bloody marys.
Erin De Santiago is a freelance travel and food/wine writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. She is a regional membership coordinator for the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and writes for a number of publications in addition to publishing her own blogs. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents in search of the best food and wine around the globe. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.