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GET YOUR GRID ON
With the anticipated opening of the Firestone Public House (16th and L streets) sports bar next month, we have an excellent excuse to head out to catch a game or two. Grab some friends and snag a table with a prime TV view—which is basically any table—and set up camp for some rooting and brews. (There will be 30 to 40 beers to choose from.)
When you’ve worked up an appetite, walk a block over to Mikuni (16th and J streets) for dinner. If you have a group of eight or more, you can make a reservation in advance to ensure you won’t have to wait, which is par for the course on weekends. Ordering from the prix fixe or party platter menus will give your crew the most variety and value.
Next, cruise over to Streets of London Pub (18th and J streets) to check the scores and have a pint. Feeling competitive? Challenge your mates to a game of darts.
When the games are over, drop into MIX Downtown (16th and L streets) for dancing and drinks. Just be sure you’re dressed appropriately. Again, if you’re with a bigger group, you can make reservations to buy a bottle, allowing you to skip the often-intimidating line and drink rather economically.
By now, you’ve worked up an appetite, so round out the evening with a late-night bite at Petra Greek, located just around the corner (1112 16th St.), where food is served until 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Choices range from pitas filled with freshly carved meat to all-American cheeseburgers. Load up on the special sauce in a dispenser next to the soda machine; it’s addicting. Catch a recap on “SportsCenter” on the flat screens and then call it a night—or a morning, depending.
MAD MEN ABOUT TOWN
This night out shouldn’t be a hard sell. It’s all about harnessing your inner Don Draper. First, you have to look the part. Head to La Riviera Barber Shop (8744 La Riviera Drive) for a haircut and clean shave. Barber Travis uses straight razors on the neckline and sideburns for the most precise finish, and his rates are more than reasonable—usually less than $15 for a cut.
Upgrade your look to extra dapper with a shopping stop at Julius Clothing in The Pavilions (580 Pavilions Lane). You can’t go wrong with a crisp John Varvatos shirt or a swish pair of Ermenegildo Zegna dress shoes. Just make sure you get there before 6 p.m.
Next, go to Briar Patch in Loehmann’s Plaza (2529 Fair Oaks Blvd.) for a smoke. The tobacco aficionados here will help you pick something out and welcome you to enjoy it in their smoking areas. Feel free to ask questions—you can glean a lot of information while puffing away.
Sit down for a steak dinner and thick red wine at Bandera (2232 Fair Oaks Blvd.). A Cluck and Moo (off menu, but still available) or Millionaire Club Center-Cut Filet surely will satisfy.
When you’re about to pay your bill, call Steve’s Towncar Service (916-591-2691) for a ride. His service is prompt and doesn’t cost much more than a cab. Agree upon the final amount before you hit the road, and make sure to include a tip.
Have your driver take you to Luna Lounge (Fair Oaks Boulevard at Arden Way). Bartender Eli Bob makes a mean martini and tells a good joke—just be prepared for both to be pretty dirty. Boys will be boys.
BEST OF THE WEST
Every once in a while, we all need a sneakers-and-sweatshirt kind of night. West Sacramento’s favorite spots will welcome you with open arms, offering great entertainment during Raley Field’s low season.
Start with happy hour at The Eatery (2155 Town Center Plaza), where you can enjoy $2 Coors Lights Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. If it’s Saturday, take advantage of the sangria specials: $3 for a glass, $10 for a pitcher of classic red or peach-filled white.
Then grab some sinfully delicious Mexican food at Emma’s Taco House (1617 Sacramento Ave.). Make a beeline to the fully stocked salsa bar. You may even want to start with a couple of house salads, just to get a taste of the awesome homemade ranch dressing—it’s unforgettable. Entrées are very large here, so try not to eat yourself out of commission.
Save room for a dipped cone at Whitey’s Jolly Kone (1300 Jefferson Blvd.), open weekdays until 8:30 p.m. Keep the heat running in your car, so you can eat your treats in comfort.
Afterward, grab a lane at Capitol Bowl (900 West Capitol Ave.). It was renovated this past summer, but still is allegedly haunted. So when you go to rent shoes or order pitchers of beer, ask the staff to tell you an eerily real ghost story. Perhaps it will spook you into throwing a strike or picking up a spare.
No laid-back night in West Sac would be complete without a stop at Sail Inn Food & Spirits (1522 Jefferson Blvd.). It’s open until 2 a.m. and legendary for its cheap drinks, sea-shanty décor and people-watching. Soon enough, it’ll be time to call it a night.