When we say “oldies,” what comes to mind? Are the 90s old? What about the 80s? the 50s? what about the 1850s? Is this music on vinyl, or is it played on olde period instruments. The point is that it’s all subjective, really. Good thing there are plenty of “oldies” music joints all about and around Sacramento. After all, it is one of  the oldest towns in all of California. And just like a fine wine, Sacramento’s age allows for a variation in the definition of “old.” Whether your definition of “old” is more recent or more ancient, we have you covered. Here’s a short list of prominent establishments that will scratch that oldies itch, whichever way you define it.
The River City Saloon
916 2nd St, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-6852
www.therivercitysaloon.com

Taking “old school” to it’s logical beginnings, the fact that this saloon is in Old Sac is telling and appropriate. With foil ceilings and authentic decor, The River City Saloon is the oldest bar in Sac dating back to the 1850s. Old West style sandwiches and home brewed sarsaparilla straight from River City Brewing Company. Live olde time music is provided by local musicians.

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

Also part of the old Sac flora, the Back Door Lounge has all the retro flair of one of California’s oldest neighborhood in one of California’s oldest towns. A great food and decent cocktail menu is accentuated by a classic jukebox and a regular performer, Lee Diamond, who ushers in the weekend with Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra covers. Low light and atmosphere galore. That atmosphere makes this bar a notable staple in Sacramento life.

Hideaway Bar & Grill
2565 Franklin Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 455-1331
www.facebook.com/SactoHideaway

Speaking of old school jukeboxes, the Hideaway Bar & Grill is one of the best around. If you’re looking for a bit more, the Hideaway is mid century cool, with
plenty of parking, a tiki patio, pool tables, a great brunch on the weekend, live bands and DJs, and the bar is adjacent to the Sacto ArtWalk. A low pricepoint makes The Hideaway a dive bar staple in Sacramento.

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B-Side
1430 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 706-1830
www.b-sidesacramento.com

Located on the R Street corridor, the B-side is the newbie on this list inhabiting the former location of the Magpie Cafe. This downtown bar is all about vinyl, tapes and all things old school. Your DJ is your bartender at this local dive bar. Featuring DJ sets that celebrate soul, funk, lounge,and much, much more. This is, by far, one of the coolest new spots in Sacramento.

Dive Bar
1016 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 737-5999
www.divebarsacramento.com

And bringing out the more modern old school joint, the midtown Dive Bar. The jukebox is powered by a 6 foot tall iPod, and its claim to fame is that it’s the first of its kind in Sacramento. This dive bar is misleading in name, with its period chandeliers and distinctive lounge atmosphere. This spot surrounds its patrons with a state of the art sound system in all rooms, including around the bars massive aquarium.

Related: Best Bars With Jukeboxes In Sacramento

Christopher Millard is a freelance writer and cultural critic whose music reviews can be found on Examiner.com. He also works as a publicist for Valence Communications Group and is a contributor to the health and wellness magazine, Hybrid. Chris currently resides in Sacramento, California.

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