California Bars To Close At 4AM?

California Senate Bill 905 was passed on Thursday, August 30th by the state Senate 28 to 8, and is now heading to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval. If signed, the legislation will launch a five-year test program that will allow nine cities (San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Coachella, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs) to push last call from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. At least 15 other states across the U.S. currently allow alcohol sales past 2 a.m.

The author of the bill, State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, believes that by extending hours, businesses could benefit from extra revenue, and that mean more taxes would be paid into the coffers of the cities and the state on the whole. He said:

“It is a really overdue bill, California right now has a one-size-fits-all approach to last call where every bar, and nightclub, and restaurant in the state has to stop serving at 2 a.m., whether you’re in downtown LA or in a rural area. It makes sense to give our local communities some flexibility.” 

The bill provides a great level of flexibility, each city has the final say on which factors will affect the closing times.

Also, the program ends after five years if lawmakers choose not to extend it.  The Governor has until September 30 to sign the bill which won’t go into effect until January 2021. Only then will bars in the trial cities be allowed to begin applying for extended licenses.

Several members of the Senate are strongly opposed to the bill, including San Diego Senator Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher. She said in an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune:

“People are there drinking longer and that’s cause for concern,” she said “I understand San Francisco wants it, Los Angeles wants it. But we gotta monitor it closely. I’m looking for a net positive.”

What do you think? Do the benefits of the extension outweigh the risks? 

The Coin-Op

The Coin-Op

908 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

The Right Touch & Put A Lime In The… (daiquiri)

Another night out in Sacramento led us to the Coin-Op. As we descended the stairs, we were met with a loud crash followed by boos and cheers. It took a moment to realize the crash came from a giant Jenga tower toppling over, and the rest from the game participants and observers on the patio. We continued into the venue and were met with flashing lights, followed by booze and cheers. It was like walking into every teenager’s dream, circa 1984. Black walls, concrete floor, no memorable decor, just 40+ old school arcade games lining the perimeter and TVs above the bar.

We made our way to one of the high top tables, grabbed a couple of bar stools, and checked out the menu while we waited for a cocktail server. The drink offerings were fairly varied with some twists on standard cocktails and a few adventurous house creations. After a few moments, we realized we were supposed to order from the bartender. That was a bit of a bummer and proved to be a challenge since the seats around the bar were full and there was no designated area for ordering. Once we got the bartenders attentions, he was pleasant and quick to make our drinks. Ten minutes later, we were ready to toast. Pierce ordered The Right Touch. Luna went with Put A Lime In The…. a cocktail that allows you to choose between a Daiquiri, Gimlet, or Margarita. She chose the rum option. Both were decent, not very strong, drinkable, but nothing to rave about.

A tour of the games found a few favorites. Galaga, Dig Dug, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Street Fighter were all fodder for nostalgia. Most were 25 cents to play and there were plenty of change machines. We played a few rounds of several games, including Pac Man Battle Royale which pits players against each other as well as the ghosts. Perfect for a non-competitive couple like us. [insert sarcastic glance]

Overall, video games + booze = good. Despite the beverages being mediocre and the inconvenience of ordering at the bar, we had a good time. The crowd wasn’t too crazy and it was pretty easy to get to the games we wanted to play. There is nothing fancy about this venue, but it definitely provides the opportunity for a fun night out.

Cocktails Consumed

Pierce ~ The Right Touch ~ Vodka, Strawberry, Crushed Basil, Lemon,
Touch of Absinthe
Luna ~ Put A Lime In The… ~Rum Daiquiri

Atmosphere ~ 6/10
Cocktail Menu ~ 6/10
Service ~ 7/10
Overall Experience ~ 6/10

Price Range ~ $5-$9.50 for singles; $35 for punch bowls
Food Service ~ Yes
Parking ~ Street
Reservations ~ None

The Jungle Bird


2516 J St, Sacramento, California 95816

Don’s Zombie & Lava Flow

A Beauty and the Beast reunion took us to Sacramento in January 2017 and our love of Tiki Bars took us to The Jungle Bird. Our Uber dropped us off in front of this fairly new establishment which has only been in operation since October 2016. There was a small line outside, but when the doorman found out we weren’t there for dinner in the restaurant he let us in right away, something we were extremely grateful for given the near-freezing temperature. Luna is very much a SoCal woman whose veins stop working if exposed to chill for too long.

Once inside and surrounded by vibrant lighting and custom-carved tikis, all seemed right with world. Steeped in floral wallpaper, puffer fish lamps, and plastic birds, the atmosphere still comes off as more refined than a majority of it’s kitschy predecessors. The compact bar was quite full and we had to scout out a table to jump on as soon as it was clear of it’s current inhabitants. Not surprising given the newness of the place and the fact that it was a Friday night. Once seated, we were quite comfortable, that is until the group next to us decided to try to fit five people around a table designed for two. Personal space violations aside, we still enjoyed the energy in the room.

It took a moment to get the server’s attention, but after we did we found her to be prompt and attentive. The menu offered a pleasant mix of traditional tiki cocktails and original house recipes served in a variety of groovy tiki mugs. The fact that the majority of them are not available for purchase was disappointing, but they do offer a branded coconut style mug and a custom painted Mai Tai glass designed by Tiki Tony . Pierce ordered the Don’s Zombie and Luna went with the Lava Flow. Pierce found the zombie put a strong, rum-scented wind in his sails and Luna gleefully dove into sweet, boozy brain-freeze. Both cocktails definitely met our expectations. If we didn’t have an early morning ahead, we probably would have gone for a second round.

Overall we had a great time and loved the vibe. We look forward to returning, hopefully on a lighter night, for dinner and to try more of their original concoctions. If we find four of you to join us, we may even take the Three Hour Tour…

Cocktails Consumed

Pierce ~ Don’s Zombie ~ Hamilton Overproof 151, Don Q Gold Rum, Dark Jamaican Rum, Lime Juice, Don’s Mix Falernum, Grenadine, dash of Angostura Bitters, and a dash of Absinthe.
Luna ~ Lava Flow ~ A Blend of Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri.

Atmosphere ~ 8/10
Cocktail Menu ~ 9/10
Service ~ 7/10
Overall Experience ~ 8/10

Price Range ~ $7-$10 for singles; $25-$100 for punch bowls
Food Service ~ Yes
Parking ~ Street
Reservations – None