Formerly a cardroom where Sacramento's poker players regularly congregated to play a late-night game and talk about their crushes, the Phoenix Lounge has been reborn as a 5,000-square-foot sports bar, event center, and dart-throwing arena. Add a wall of flat-screen TVs, weekly trivia contests, and a regular lineup of standup comedians, and what remains is a spot to relax, laugh, and tip back a brew or two any night of the week.
At On The Rocks, barkeeps serve frosty beers and potent cocktails to old regulars and those just stopping by. Homey, knotted-pine walls surround patrons as they watch football games with friends or join in spontaneous high-production-value dance routines during karaoke.
Card sharks place their bets at Lucky Derby Casino's smoke-free blackjack and poker tables before heading over to Rounders Sports Bar for hearty steak dinners, billiards, and darts. Appetizing niblets ready hunger pangs for their fate, as couples sip on selections from the beer and wine list. A 12-ounce cut of tender rib-eye steak or tilapia whispers sweet nothings to taste buds, as a potato and veggies skulk on the side, always the bridesmaid. After dinner, chalk up some cues for eight felt-pelting rounds of pool or test precision tossing skills at the dartboard. Fifteen high-definition TVs rain down sporting events pumped into the pub by ESPN GamePlan and NFL Sunday Ticket, and comics make with the chuckling during open-mic Tuesday. The athletics-themed venue fills up with the sounds of amateur crooning on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights as singers take the karaoke stage.
Corner Pocket takes its title as a sports bar very seriously. Hooked up to 15 satellite receivers, the nearly 10,000-square-foot bar's 35 flat-screen televisions constantly air games, from baseball and hockey matches to ultimate-fighting bouts. The TVs surround eight balls sinking into the pockets of 16 billiards tables and darts striking the bull’s-eyes of six dartboards. Not to mention balls rolling into goals on a foosball table, pucks gliding along a shuffleboard and gamers competing on Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation consoles.
But amid all its emphasis on sports, Corner Pocket never loses sight of its bar duties. Domestic and imported beers from 14 taps pour into pints, mugs, pitchers, or directly into patron’s mouths. Along with wine, the brews complement Corner Pocket's classic approach to bar food, which includes Angus beef burgers, chili-cheese corn dogs, and housemade potato chips. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. daily, so patrons can celebrate their team’s win until the wee hours or dance the night away to karaoke on Sundays and Thursday or live music on Saturdays.
As Bunz & Company embarks on its second quarter century in business, owners Julie and Jim Sweet aim to uphold its position as a family-friendly establishment. "It's comfortable and familiar, like the 'Cheers' of Roseville," Jim told the Roseville Press-Tribune, which profiled the bar and its origin as the brainchild of former San Francisco 49er and Roseville native Dan Bunz. Once a postpractice hot spot for the 49ers—including football greats Joe Montana, R.C. Owens, and Bobby Boucher—the English-style pub now serves local, and very loyal, clientele. The restaurant’s more than 17 televisions broadcast popular sporting events while servers ferry trays of casual American fare and giant vats of sports drink.
The term "couch potato" usually applies to lazy people, a description that doesn’t at all befit The Couch's executive chef, who hustles to to his own culinary play calls nightly. To create the bar's couch potatoes, he hand-cuts housemade french fries every day, serving them plain or tossed in a choice of six zesty seasonings. His other elevated bar fare demands a similar level of dedication, from housemade soups to sandwich meats slow roasted in-house, such as barbecue pulled pork and roast beef.
True to its name, The Couch––founded by local Del campo graduates and high school sweethearts, along with their close friend––houses plenty of couches to lounge on, as well as tranquil patio seating. Throughout each feast, nine flat-screen TVs and and two 106-inch projector screens broadcast the latest sports, from baseball in the summer to polar bears playing baseball in the winter. Besides sports, The Couch's weekly entertainment lineup includes karaoke every Wednesday and live music every Saturday night.