Archive for Bars & Pubs
you’ll find something big
and something small
and both, well, equally swell.
Or perhaps it’s the Yin to the Yang
where the 16 & the L intersect
like a small sip of succulent wine
to a gigantic salt-dusted pretzel.
Or a large screen TV to a small plate of salami and cheese.
The Grand is actually the yin in this riddled poem, and although it’s bite is mighty, it’s more the size of Minnie Mouse than its kitty corner counterpart, Firestone Public House.
To sum it up, you go to Firestone for the large television murals on the walls, extra-large Bavarian pretzels meant to be shared (unless you’re germaphobic), a good beer selection and ample-sized outdoor patio, fair food, prices and service. Coined a sports bar and pub, it has a slightly sleek, industrial feeling.
As for the Yin, the small, the katty to the kitty, the Grand Wine Bar is a glass half full – or empty kind of place – depending on how you like it. They offer glasses of wine by the half pour and full pour, as well as bottles and preliminary sips. Champagnes, beers, small bites, a cute little patio, and wine sampling with Jason really round out the flavors on this one. But be forewarned that it’s easy to miss, although not really that hard to find – ironically.
A popular river restaurant, bar, hangout and boat dock, Crawdads is a well-known party place amongst boaters, river rats and restless after-work crowds. Featuring live music during the summer months, Thursdays through Sundays, the often-serene place gets more boisterous as the night progresses. Happy Hours feature good drink specials while weekends feature $2 Bloody Marys and Mimosas (with the former being much better than the latter). The food is hit or miss or just-missed-the-mark, probably just depending on what you order. The service is usually friendly and good, and the beers wet and sloppy. The scenery? The clencher that makes this place continue to draw them in from both land and sea.
It was Dawn’s 40th birthday. She wanted to get her friends together to celebrate. So adorned with tiara, boa and free drink tickets, she boarded a limo bound for anyplace fun. First stop: The Corner Restaurant & Bar in East Sacramento. It wasn’t crowded, but full enough to be standing room only for eight 40-is-the-new-30-year-old chicks. We ordered a round of drinks to begin the night. Some of the patrons seemed a little uncomfortable about our presence, as if we were going to disturb their quiet, serene atmosphere. While I can’t say I blame them – they probably thought we were a bachelorette party, hell-bent on one last hurrah – it was the first stop, people! How much trouble were we going to get into that early?! Anyway, a few others at the bar were really friendly, just wondering where we were headed next. Before we slipped out the door, however, the bartender bought us all a round of no-named pink shots that tasted a little like a Flintstone vitamin. But better.
Next stop: Bulls. It’s a fairly new place with a catch: a mechanical bull. But it’s a real cow’s head (sad) with a missing eye (sadder). The place is not a country bar, per se. They play all kinds of music and is really just a regular restaurant/bar (minus the one-eyed cow-bull). It wasn’t very crowded yet, but again, we were out early, so most of us took a ride on the wild side. I sort of liked the casual vibe of the place with its glamorous country accents, but the customer service left something big to be desired (saddest of all).
All aboard the limo for one more casual stop before the finale: Shady Lady (You’ve got to pronounce that like you’re woo-ing it… er, her). Now this place was hopping. I’ve been here a couple of times during the day, but nothing beats the nighttime ambiance. With some sultry acoustical music playing in the background, the velvet wallpaper, period lighting and old-fashioned menu, this place was classy and satisfying.
Final destination: MIX Downtown. First off, you’ve always got to mind the time at these places. According to our watches, we arrived in time to get in for free, with 7 minutes to spare. According to the guy at the door, we were 7 minutes too late. Luckily, our limo driver confirmed our clocks and up the stairs we went. Most – if not all – of us had been to the Mix before. We like it because it caters more to 30 and 40-year-olds than the younger crowd and has with a cool, grown-up atmosphere and open-air patio for minglaxing – mingling and relaxing). So we dove right in and pretty much danced the night away, despite there being an unusually-younger crowd on this night and the bartenders being a little too cool for school.
All in all, a bunch of 40-something-year-olds staying up until 1:30 is an amazing feat. But when the company’s good and there’s a reason to celebrate, not much is going to get us down.