Paying taxes is one of the things in this life you can be sure you’ll always have to do. If you have your ducks in a row, you’ll be among the lucky ones that gets a tax return check. Even though the money was always yours and Uncle Sam was just borrowing it for the year, many people see it as a bonus of sorts. No matter what people decide to do with their tax returns, there’s always a portion burning a hole in that pocket. Following is a list of some places that will be happy to take some of that cash off your hands for you. Each of these bars have their own appeal and individual characters.
Old Tavern Bar And Grill
1510 20th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 444-5595

Old Tavern is going into the dive category. This neighborhood haunt is a haven for locals and regulars. If you’re looking for a low key, drama free experience while spending that tax return money, this is the place for you. Old Tavern is known for cheap and strong drinks. Throw some of that money in the jukebox, grab your drink and head outside to the smoking patio if that’s your thing. Old Tavern Bar and Grill is the perfect example of a place that keeps things simple. The grill menu is a testament to the simplicity. There’s also no website or Facebook page so if you’re looking to fall off the grid, Old Tavern Bar and Grill is your place.

Fanny Ann’s Saloon
1023 2nd Street
Old Sacramento, 95814
(916) 441-7189
www.fannyannssaloon.com

Fanny Ann’s has been an Old Sacramento staple for 42 years. This bar has plenty of personality and a life of it’s own. The bar was named after the famous steamboat built in the 1880s that played a role in history from putting out fires and delivering supplies to Civil War troops. If you happen to be spending your tax return on a Wednesday then swallow some liquid courage and get up and test your karaoke skills. Fanny Ann’s also has some the best bar grub in all of Old Sacramento featuring awesome burgers, sandwiches and appetizers. You could spend hours at Fanny Ann’s just looking at all of the different things they have hanging all over the walls in this two level bar.

Brookside Restaurant And Bar
9819 Horn Road
Sacramento, CA 95827
(916) 361-1797
www.brooksidedining.com

Brookside has a pretty unique set up. As soon as you walk through the front door, your’e in the bar area. This place seems more of a bar than restaurant as the bar being the first thing you see. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as the bar is always full of life. Talk about a place to spend that tax check. You can enjoy anything Brookside has to offer propped up on a bar stool at this neighborhood bar meets local eatery. Brookside also has a happy hour to be reckoned with, offering different themed specials going from 3 to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

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The Limelight
1014 Alhambra Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 446-2236
www.lielightsac.com

Here is a place where you could easily blow your entire tax return in one sitting. You can have drinks, breakfast, lunch or dinner at Limelight. Don’t forget that Limelight is also a card room so the gambler inside of you will certainly see some satisfaction here.The menu is also a lot more creative than you would imagine for a bar that comes off like a dive. Things like artisan pizzas, snapper tacos, chicken apple salad and, chicken parmesan all grace the menu. The Limelight will most likely make you lose track of time.

Makenzie’s Sports Bar & Grille
3645 Fulton Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 481-4653
www.hagginoaks.com

Last but certainly not least is Makenzie’s Sports bar & Grille, located at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex. Most eateries on a golf course are usually members only. At Haggin Oaks the course is open to the public and so is Makenzie’s. Makenzie’s is always showing local sporting events on their flat screens and offers a nice escape from the urban backdrop you may want a break from in the downtown and midtown areas.

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As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for Examiner.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.