Best Bars With Jukeboxes In Sacramento

April 28, 2016 5:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The first jukebox was invented in the late 1800s, and Sacramentans have always loved being able to hear their favorite songs just by dropping in a coin or two. From free-standing Wurlitzers made of neon to tabletop versions at the local greasy spoon, jukes are just hard to resist. Films like “Grease,” “Back to the Future” and “Good Fellas” all feature the glowing musical machines, and the U.S. Library of Congress even has a free National Jukebox for songs, instrumentals and spoken word recordings from 1901 – 1929. Although DJs and live band performances have taken over at many places in Sacramento, others maintain the tradition. While jukeboxes are often enjoyed at “dive” bars, it is important to remember that one person’s dive is another person’s little slice of heaven.
Hideaway Bar & Grill
2565 Franklin Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 455-1331
www.facebook.com/SactoHideaway

Hidden behind an unassuming façade in Curtis Park, lucky locals will find a paradise of tiki-bar vibes, retro kitsch, pool tables and a cool digital jukebox. The latter leans towards rock, old school and rockabilly, and the bar periodically features live bands and DJs as well. Prices are reasonable, and the staff and customers are friendly and relaxed. Snack on sliders, fried pickles and nacho-style tater tots, or choose from a surprisingly epicurean menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees and vegetarian options. Hideaway is open 364 days a year, only closing on the 4th of July.

Mercantile Saloon
1928 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 447-0792
www.facebook.com/The-Mercantile-Saloon

The saloon is a popular gay bar in downtown Sacramento; regulars Kim and Josh say the Merc jukebox plays “the important stuff,” like favorites from Cher, Britney Spears and Whitney Houston. The drinks are well known to be strong and inexpensive, and the employees offer exceptional customer service. The environment in Mercantile Saloon is friendly, exuberant and casual, and while the bar can get crowded pretty quickly, there is a covered outdoor patio for additional seating.

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Churchill Arms Pub
649 E. Bidwell St.
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 984-3706
www.churchillarmspub.com

Pub customers can relax with a pint while listening to jukebox tunes, shooting billiards or playing darts with a few pals. The pub has HD flatscreen televisions which show American sports as well as English football, golf and rugby. There are 18 beers on tap and many more in bottles; the selection includes brews from all over the world. The Churchill Arms kitchen serves up authentic English pub food, along with classic American comfort food. The portions are large and, appropriately enough, the fish and chips are among the patrons’ favorite dishes. The pub is open until 2:00 a.m. every day, and dogs are always allowed to hang out with their people on the outdoor patio.

Arthur Henry’s Supper Club & Ruby Room
3406 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 737-5110
www.arthurhenrys.net

This singular Oak Park establishment has a unique vibe, with swanky décor reminiscent of an episode of “Mad Men.” The Ruby Room bar, with soft red lighting, large portraits of topless ladies and a glowing neon jukebox, is part of the picture. The rest of the club includes a piano, “Mod Squad” reruns on a black-and-white TV, low lighting and the occasional jazz performers. Patrons can choose from veggie skewers or excellent cuts of meat, and then season and cook the food on the club’s custom grill. Only cash is accepted, but there is a no-fee ATM if case you forget.

Back Door Lounge
1112 Firehouse Alley
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-5751
www.facebook.com/pages/Back-Door-Lounge

The walls of this Old Sacramento speakeasy are covered in red and gold wallpaper, and the room has gilt mirrors and other divey accoutrement. The jukebox includes everything from Sinatra to current hits, there is also karaoke occasionally and local crooner Lee Diamond sings on weekend evenings.

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers business, employment, animal rescue, volunteerism and nonprofits. Her work can also be found at Examiner.com.