2565 Franklin Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
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.
1928 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
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.
649 E. Bidwell St.
Folsom, CA 95630
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.
Sacramento, CA 95817
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.
1112 Firehouse Alley
Sacramento, CA 95814
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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