Night Life: We round up three good places for your eating, drinking pleasure

Published: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 35TICKET

Typically, Night Life highlights happy hours around the region. This week, however, we have rounded up deals at Sacramento bars and restaurants without designated happy hours, but with deals at all hours.

Enjoy these deals when you go to the throwback Pre-Flite Lounge downtown, Old Sac favorite Back Door Lounge, or midtown's intimate, festive Aioli Bodega Española.

Pre-Flite Lounge

513 L St., Sacramento

(916) 441-7963

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday

The bar may stay open later on Thursday and Friday nights, depending on demand.

The deals: Select from beers on tap for $1.75, well drinks that run $3 to $7 and snacks such as bags of chips, peanuts and candy for $1 each.

Signature drink: The $3 vodka soda and the $5 old- fashioned and "cheap vacation" are popular drinks.

The vodka soda is a simple, classic well drink with vodka, soda and fresh-squeezed lime.

The "cheap vacation" is aptly named – the Pre-Flite first opened to serve airline customers, and it still feels like a getaway spot. The drink is made with Malibu rum, pineapple juice and a splash of cranberry juice, offering a taste of island vacation.

The old-fashioned is made with Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey – which has been around since 1810 – a dash of sugar, a splash of bitters and an orange or lemon wedge. It is full of flavor, completed with a muddled cherry on top.

Something extra: The Pre-Flite could be all yours on a Saturday night, when the bar is closed to the public but open for private parties.

The Pre-Flite books private parties about 2 1/2 months in advance and charges $50 per hour with a four-hour minimum.

The Pre-Flite also offers live music on Wednesday nights, when local pianists perform.

The bar opened in 1971, when many airline offices were located at Fifth and L streets. People would purchase tickets and wait for a shuttle to take them to their planes. The Pre-Flite served those "pre-flight" customers.

The bar, with its kitschy décor and mannequin mascot, appears unchanged from 1971, thus honoring air travel's more glamorous days.

The Back Door Lounge

1112 Firehouse Alley, Sacramento

(916) 442-5751

Hours: 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday

The deals: Choose from domestic bottled beers for $3.50, a pint of Sierra Nevada for $4, or well drinks starting at $5.

The Back Door Lounge also serves breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Comfort food options include chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, and bacon and eggs, all for around $10.

Signature drink: The $7 "Washington apple" is a popular choice. It is made with Crown Royal, Sour Apple Pucker schnapps and cranberry juice.

If you're looking for something richer, Nick's Special is another popular choice. Made with Baileys Irish Cream, Crown Royal and Kahlua, this $7 drink is decadent and perfect for the holiday season.

Something extra: The Back Door Lounge first opened in 1969 and is one of the oldest family-owned bars in Sacramento.

To top that off, it also has one of the oldest working bartenders in town. Eighty-two-year-old Nick Stathos, creator of the aforementioned Nick's Special, has worked at the Back Door Lounge 38 years.

Aioli Bodega Española

1800 L St., Sacramento

(916) 447-9440

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

The deals: Imported, bottled beers are $4.50 each, cocktails are $6.50 or $8, wine by the glass runs $8 to $11, and sangria is $7.50 per glass. If you come with a few people, you can split a pitcher of sangria – which can fill five glasses – for $25.50.

The menu is filled mostly with appetizers – a given since this is a tapas restaurant – and most range from $5 to $18. Tortilla tres colores, an egg-and-vegetable torte, is $6.

Signature drink: The $8 mojito, made with rum, muddled mint, sugar, lime and a touch of bitters, is popular at Aioli.

Something extra: The 18-year-old restaurant offers live music every Thursday and Friday, and most Saturdays.

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Read more articles by Paris Ryan

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