José Luis Villegas / Bee file photo

Night Life: Dawson's Bar a haven for martini mavens

Published: Friday, Apr. 13, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 33TICKET
Last Modified: Friday, Apr. 13, 2012 - 9:58 am


Dawson's Bar

1209 L St., Sacramento

(916) 443-1234

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Lunch (only at the bar area): 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday; dinner (bar or dining area): 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. daily

Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday

The real steal: Select from $3 draft beers, $5 well drinks, $7 featured wines, $8 specialty martinis and half-price appetizers at Dawson's Bar inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The appetizers are made to share, and two of the most popular options are the chicken al pastor quesadilla, $6.50, and calamari and rock shrimp fritto, $6. Also, Michael Mondavi crafts wines - the chardonnay, cabernet, merlot, pinot grigio, and zinfandel - for Hyatt, and they are $7 a glass.

The vibe: Happy hour is known as Capitol Hour here at Dawson's. The moment you enter, the leather chairs, black granite bar top and dark mahogany wood will make you feel as though you're in an old- fashioned chophouse. Two flat-screen TVs sit by the bar and show sports, and instrumental music plays in the background. The dim lighting, artwork and hanging lamps lend the bar and restaurant an elegant and upscale feel.

Signature drink: Dawson's serves a variety of specialty martinis. The traditional vodka or gin martini, $8 during Capitol Hour, is one of the most popular drinks.

Bathroom break: You'll have to leave the restaurant and go into the lobby to find it. The bathroom, which has six stalls and two sinks, has a silver-gray color scheme with a splash of peach against the gray on the matching countertop and floors.

Alternate libations: If a martini is not the drink for you, the cosmo is another very popular choice, and it's also $8 during Capitol Hour. It is made with Absolut vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and fresh squeezed lime juice. All drinks at Dawson's are made from scratch and with fresh fruit juice.

Something extra: The most popular place to enjoy Capitol Hour is at the U-shaped bar. There are leather bar stools, a mahogany and granite bar, and a mirrored back wall. Some glasses hang above you as do a few lamps to add some light in the dimly lit bar. Against the bar are some gold-colored name plates inscribed with names of customers who have been loyal to Dawson's and come back constantly. It is Dawson's way of acknowledging its regulars.

Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant

1029 K St., Sacramento

(916) 498-9800

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.- 11 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday

Happy hour: 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

The deals: Choose from $3.50 pints, $10.50 pitchers, and $4 red and white wine by the glass. Appetizers are $5 each, and the house favorites are the mini pizza trio, spicy chicken wings and the sole $6 option: the beer-and-brat combo.

Mojo's Lounge and Bar

428 First St., Woodland

(530) 661-0428

Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; dinner, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday Happy hour: 4-7 p.m. daily

The deals: Select from $1 off all 10 of their draft beers, $2 domestic bottled beers, $3 well drinks, $5 margaritas, Long Island iced teas and house merlot and chardonnay. Appetizers are full price and range about $7 to $9. The most popular choices are the fritto misto calamari, homemade salmon crab cakes, and homemade macaroni and cheese.

The Purple Place Bar and Grill

363 Green Valley Road, El Dorado Hills

(916) 933-2313

Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (The bar stays open until the last person leaves.)

Happy hour: 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday

The deals: Enjoy $1 off all drinks. They have a full bar and discounted appetizers that range from $2.29 to $5.99, with house favorites such as the beef and pork sliders, grilled prawn cocktail, hot wings and teriyaki wings.

Do you know of a bar that has amazingly good deals on drinks and food? Share the scoop with The Bee, and we'll highlight it as part of this Night Life feature. Email

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Paris Ryan

Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads


Price Range:
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older