Things can get hectic as Thanksgiving Thursday approaches, with trying new recipes, making travel plans, getting the house ready, planning family gatherings and helping the kids trace around their hands to make paper turkeys. By the time the night before Thanksgiving, also known as Black Wednesday, rolls around, many just want to visit with old buddies before the festivities begin the nest day. These local establishments are perfect spots to catch up with special friends; just call ahead for hours, as things can change around the holidays.
Coin-Op Game Room
908 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 661-6983

For those who recall being shooed into the basement to play so they didn’t get in the way of holiday dinner preparation, Coin-Op with feel like being at home. The bar has more than 40 pinball and arcade games, mostly classics from the ’80s – ’90s. Bring a few old friends to enjoy a brew, wine or specialty cocktail; the latter includes The Right Touch, made with vodka, crushed basil, strawberry lemon and absinthe, a Hot Knife of chili liqueur, mezcal, pineapple, lime and cinnamon or the seasonally appropriate Fall Punch, with rum and bourbon mixed with cinnamon, grapefruit, lemon and mole bitters. And while the limited menu features the ubiquitous hot wings, there are several unique salads, house-cured olives and two flavors of surprisingly good pizza by the slice.

The Virgin Sturgeon
1577 Garden Highway
Sacramento, CA 95833
(916) 921-2694

Virgin Sturgeon is a unique spot to take old friends and out-of-town guests on Thanksgiving Eve. For more than 30 years, this floating restaurant has served good food and reasonably priced drinks in an unpretentious, quirky and convivial atmosphere. Typically open through 2 a.m., the bar counts locals and boaters among its regulars; while people of all ages come to the Sturgeon, the place is not part of the trendy Sacramento club scene. Floating above the Sacramento River, the view from this rustic bar is intriguing in all kinds of weather. It is tucked away off the Garden Highway; once there, patrons enter via a former Pan Am Airlines gangway from SFO.

Related: Watch Sports For Free: Top 5 Sports Bars In Sacramento

Berkley Bar
515 Pavilion Lane
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 922-2870

Berkley, a Paragary restaurant, is designed to have the feel of a casual neighborhood tavern with upscale drinks. The bar features excellent wines and a rotating selection of beers on tap and by bottle; despite the eminence of the selections, prices at the bar are rather reasonable. Specialty cocktails also rotate, and have included Hurricanes, a maple Old Fashioned and elderflower gimlets. The bar menu also includes custom sangrias and house-made infusions like peach bourbon and habanero pineapple tequila. Since the next few days will likely involve a lot of turkey, try the salmon BLT, pizzettas, street tacos, grilled polenta or Cubanos on Black Wednesday.

Capitol Beer And Tap Room
2222 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 922-1745

Capitol is a unique combination of a beer lover’s bottle shop and neighborhood pub, making it a perfect stop on Black Wednesday. Choose from a vast selection of bottled craft brews from refrigerated cases in the front, and take them home to share with friends. Or bring the friends with you and head past the cashier, to enjoy more than 20 beers on tap and more in bottles in the tap room to the back. The selection is truly awe-inspiring for craft brew fans, and the atmosphere is fun and casual.

Samuel Horne’s Tavern
719 Sutter St.
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 293-8207

Kick back for Pre-Thanksgiving drinks in the relaxed and welcoming environment at Sam’s. The rotating tap has featured favorites from locals like Bike Dog Brewing Company, Loomis Basin and Two Rivers Cider, and there is wine, cocktails and more bottled beers. There is an impressive selection of American whiskies to sample, and snacks such as bacon and bleu cheese fries, Horne Dog franks and roasted serrano mac and cheese will tide you over until the turkey feast on Thursday.

Related: Best Bars With Jukeboxes In Sacramento

Post Author: Valerie Heimerich.

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