In 1913, the Sheepherder Bar & Grille’s building on Folsom Boulevard was known as the Citrus Inn, and the hoteliers supplemented their income selling produce in front of the building. A 2006 renovation restored the hotel to glory with beautiful wooden rafters, three grand fireplaces, and solid stone columns, creating a refined, rustic vibe. The food has gotten an upgrade since then, too. Guests can enjoy tender prime rib from Niman Ranch or burgers with Boar's Head bacon, traditional shepherd’s pie, or wild-caught salmon with dill-infused tartar sauce. The double-cut pork chop comes drenched in red wine sauce and apple-cinnamon butter, and the meatloaf sports a coat of house-made Jack Daniels barbecue sauce. Later, head over to the Citrus Bar (named in honor of the original establishment) for an after-dinner drink and staring contest. Guests arriving on Friday nights will find live music wafting through the restaurant, and a happy hour held from 3–7 p.m. invites diners to kick dinner off in style.
With a 24-hour gaming floor and adjacent restaurant and bar, Cordova Restaurant Casino combines upscale gaming with elegant dining. A stone hearth and mahogany paneling greets diners and card sharks in this smoke-free establishment, which evokes the ambiance of a swanky Las Vegas–style card club in the heart of a luxury lodge. The dinner menu ranges from traditional fare, such as the "All In Burger", a 1/2 lb choice sirloin steak with gruyere and bleu cheese, caramelized onions, baby arugula and horseradish cream ($8.95), to a variety of souped-up entrees, such as the "Miso Glazed Halibut" partnered with baby bok choy and jasmine rice ($16.95). The bar possesses a handsome selection of beers, wines by the glass or foot-less boot, and signature cocktails. The state-of-the-art gaming floor is littered with traditional table games.
Tommy T's Comedy & Dinner Theatre turns the mic on local and national entertainers as casually dressed patrons sip ice-cold liquids between chortles. Stop by September 8–11 to catch Alonzo Bodden, Last Comic Standing's season-three winner, who has gone on to act in major films and perform nonspeaking roles in animated features. Bodden will take the stage with his “cynically good-natured” brand of storytelling. A monthly calendar chronicles weekly engagements with other comedians and troupes who aim to incite laughter by telling humor jokes or tickling random crowd members. Doors open one hour prior to 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances and a half hour before 10 p.m. shows. Seating at Tommy T's is first come, first served, and an extensive menu, although not included in the price of the Groupon, complements the supplied refreshments and rousing guffaws.
At Root of Happiness, named for the relaxing properties of the kava root, visitors unwind while sipping kava brew from petite bowls that resemble coconut shells. Baristas also fill shot glasses with potent, concentrated kava that they flavor with cane-sugar syrup, prepare pour-over coffee, and steep exotic teas. Polynesian artwork and hand-carved wooden sculptures lend the cafe the relaxed ambience of an island tiki bar.
Founded with the goal of bolstering childhood development via confidence- and fitness-boosting programs, Tricks Gymnastics, Dance, and Swim's team of instructors keeps kids of all ages active and engaged via a host of high-energy classes. The highly skilled and friendly crew works hard to foster a nurturing environment within each class, keeping a close eye on the kids while teaching them new skills via positive reinforcement and recognition of effort. All three locations offer dance classes that introduce preschool Baryshnikovs to the world of movement and grant school-aged pupils a chance to explore various styles ranging from ballet to jazz to ballroom hokey pokey.
Meanwhile, experienced coaches man gymnastics programs designed to combat inactivity and encourage healthy lifestyles. Young ones aged 0–5 burn excess energy and hone flexibility during Tumblebunny classes, and big kids build strength and character thanks to both noncompetitive and competitive programs. A variety of special events include date nights that enable parents to sneak off for an evening of fun while their progeny plays at the gym. The Folsom location further fortifies its kinetic curriculum with swim programs focused on teaching pupils the essentials of water safety and basic swimming techniques. Paddlers grouped into classes by age hop into the crystalline pool, splashing about in waters kept at a balmy 89 degrees to ward off loitering snowflakes.
Mermaids and mermen are a surprisingly common sight at Dive Bar. Fin-clad entertainers spend their evenings elegantly swimming through the 7,500-gallon aquarium that hangs over the bar’s stone countertops, charming guests as the bartenders mix an array of classic and contemporary cocktails. Exposed brickwork, black-leather armchairs, and a dangling chandelier don’t necessarily continue the nautical theme, but they do contribute to the overwhelmingly luxuriant ambiance.
Live musicians grace the bar’s stage on Wednesdays, whereas Thursdays feature a dueling-piano show that brings to mind Billy Joel and Elton John’s legendary joust to the death. In addition to hosting DJ performances, the lounge pumps out dance-worthy tunes until as late as 2 a.m., even allowing customers to connect their iPods to the sound system and either play their favorite song or the shortest chapter from their favorite audiobook.