1016 K St., Sacramento
Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. The bar also will open 30 minutes before Sunday 49ers games
Happy hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday
The real steal: Select from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon, $3 Miller Lite, $4 well drinks and $5 house wines during happy hour.
You can't beat the prices on appetizers during happy hour. Tacos, housemade four-cheese mac 'n' cheese, chili, hot dogs, corn dogs and nachos all are free.
The vibe: Unlike what its name implies, the Dive Bar is upscale. Its name comes from the large, lighted tank in which fish and live "mermaids" swim.
The bar is split into three sections. The entry has four flat-screen TVs, plenty of plush, oversized armchairs and two ornate, large chandeliers.
The next section includes the bar and the oversize tank. The entire place is pretty dark, so the light from the tank becomes the focal point.
You can seat yourself at the bar or in one of the armchairs in the front. But on a crowded night, standing up near the bar and watching the mermaids and fish is its own entertainment.
Beyond that is the "play" area, with additional seating as well as a foosball table and arcade-game tables.
Signature drink: The most popular drink during happy hour is the PBR tall can 24 ounces of beer for $2.
Alternative libations: Dive Bar offers two brand-new cocktails. The "chartreuse swizzle" packs a strong herbal flavor that is complemented by a housemade ginger, almond and clover syrup. The "ghost ship hardware" combines grapefuit and lemon, balanced with a sweet, spiced cocoa and topped off with a refreshing cucumber zest. Both drinks are $9.
Something extra: Dive Bar offers drink specials and something different to do every night of the week. Monday nights bring theme parties like one devoted to Comic-Con, and the mantra, "When the boss is away, the bartenders will play." Tuesday is a Euro lounge with a guest DJ. Wednesday is mermaid bingo.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE CHEAP
The Back Wine Bar and Bistro
25075 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom
Hours: 3-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Sunday
Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
The deals: All beers and wines by the glass are $2 off during happy hour. There also is a chef-created tapas menu that changes frequently, with appetizers such as a mini pizza du jour for $4.95, fingerling potatoes for $3.95, and prawn scampi for $6.95.
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