Fanny Ann's Saloon
1023 Second St., Old Sacramento
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-midnight Sundays-Wednesdays, 11 a.m.- 2 a.m Thursdays-Saturdays
Happy hours: 4-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (other specials offered from 8 p.m. to close)
The real steal: Whether you go into this good-time Old Sacramento saloon on a weekend, weeknight or just during lunchtime, there is always something special going on. You can go directly through the bar, walk up to the kitchen window, place your order and then find a place to sit, watch, and enjoy. Some of the "pub grub-mini meals" appetizers you can select during happy hours include garlic fries, cheesy nachos, potato skins, deep fried zucchini, or atomic chicken sliders. They will cost you $1.99 a pop. During happy hours on weekdays, you will also get $1 off all draft beers, take advantage of $1 shots, and get discounts on well drinks. (Make it a double for just $1 more.)
When happy hours end, the day-specific specials take over until closing time. On Mondays, you pay $2 for domestic bottles, $3 for assorted bottles with a featured Swiss and 'shrooms burger for $7.69. Tuesdays are similar with their $1.99 domestic drafts and $2.99 assorted drafts drink them down with the three-taco deal for $4.99. On Wild Wing Wednesdays, enjoy a pound of wings with fries or salad for $4.99, and Thursdays are burger madness with Fanny's finest burger and fries (or salad) for just $4.99. Also on Wednesdays and Thursdays, bring your singing pipes and just a little cash to purchase the $1.99 Long Islands and $1 purple hooters, which should give you the help you need to belt out your favorite tunes at karaoke starting at 9 p.m. On Fridays, enjoy fish and chips for $6.99. Then get ready to bust a move because Fridays and Saturdays you can find "DJ and Dancing" from 9 p.m. to closing. On Sundays, it's burger madness once again after 5 p.m. (Fanny's finest burger and fries or salad for $4.99), and all Old Sac employees get half-off drinks in the bar.
The vibe: Before you even enter this fantastically decorated establishment, you will know you are in the right place when you spot the red- and-white striped awning and a large cannon dating back to 1842 from the original Fanny Ann steamboat. Once inside this five-story, big-kid playground, you can order your happy hour pub grub in the back, take a seat at the bar or kick back in one of the cute little booths located on every floor. Fanny's strikes the perfect note between saloon, dive bar and museum of curiosities. With the focal point being "more stuff than you can shake a stick at," you will find tourists, state workers, regulars and everyone in between.
Signature drink: As you would suspect from a sailor- esque saloon, Irish whiskey is the drink of choice for many patrons. In this same vein, you should also partake in an interesting adult beverage called a Sailor's Grave which was described as having "a little bit of everything," including Jagermeister, Malibu and peach Schnapps.
Take a seat: No matter which floor you choose, you will find cozy booths some bigger than others for larger parties. An absolute perfect place for a first date (if you choose to go to a bar) because of all the intimate booths, this place is also fun with all of the goofy knickknacks and, of course, the game room upstairs, where you can take on your date for a round of foosball. Picking a favorite spot to sit will be hard, but since you can grab your food downstairs and take it anywhere you choose, you should be safe no matter where you park it.
Bathroom break: This place has the finest labeled bathroom doors of any bar, ever. Period. Following the silly characteristics of the rest of the saloon you may find yourself very easily in the wrong bathroom. Especially if you aren't paying attention or if you've had one too many Sailor's Graves, please make sure you read the door and the arrows before entering. Just go to the second floor and Roger Rabbit and Miss Jessica will tell you what to do.
Alternate libations: Mac McCulloch, the proprietor and also someone you can find at the end of the bar, will answer any questions you may have on drinks. You might want to have an ice-cold Moosehead beer as you gaze at the actual fuzzy moose head on the wall.
Something extra: Going to Fanny Ann's Saloon in Old Sacramento is an experience. It describes itself as a place to "boggle the mind, gratify the senses." Everything about this saloon will do that to you, from the extravagant, brightly colored memorabilia filling the joint, to the chow and drink specials you can consume. (Try the Jiffy Burger, smothered with peanut butter.)
Meridians Sports Bar Sun City Lincoln Hills
965 Orchard Creek Lane, Lincoln
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Happy hours: 4-6 p.m. daily
The deals: Even if you don't play golf or live at Sun City in Lincoln, the everyday specials here are worth checking out. Get 50 percent off bar food and $1 off all adult beverages (even on weekends) during happy hour. There are also a bunch of bar food items to choose: street tacos, nachos, chicken quesadillas, calamari, and Asian lettuce wraps, among them. Enjoy a nice, roomy environment with lots of tables while you watch the latest sporting event on TV and enjoy beers such as Sierra Nevada, Gordon Biersch, Coors Light, Bud Light or Stella.
Hooters of Rancho Cordova
10750 Olson Drive, Rancho Cordova
Other area locations include 1785 Challenge Way, (916) 927-9464, and 3541 Truxel Road, (916) 929-9464
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays
Happy hours: All day Thursday, 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
The deals: No matter what day or time you visit, Hooters is the home of the $5 margarita. During regular happy hours you also can enjoy 50 percent off all appetizers and domestic drafts by the glass (small or large). Featured drafts include Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and a craft beer of the month. There is a large selection of appetizers half off, including cheese sticks, fried pickles, mini burgers, nachos, quesadillas, garlic fries, a large buffalo platter featuring buffalo shrimp, buffalo wings and chicken strips, and their special Lots-A-Tots. (That's super-crispy tater tots smothered in nacho cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives.)
Bluto's Sports Grill
7893 Walerga Road, Antelope
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Sundays-Wednesdays, 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays
Happy hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
The deals: When you walk into this newly opened sports bar in Antelope, you will say to yourself: "Wow, this place is big!" Then you will order a drink and get $1 off all tall drafts (26 ounces) or $1 off all well drinks during their lengthy happy hours. During your stay, you can play video games, improve your skills at pool in the billards room, or zone in on one of the countless HD flat-screen TVs while seated at a table or around the centrally located full bar boasting an 18-keg selection that includes Dos Equis Amber, Newcastle, Fat Tire, Rolling Rock, Pyramid Hefeweizen, Bluto's Honey Blonde and more. Make sure you also stop by and check out their new menu.