City Beat

This midtown Sacramento haunt is abruptly closing after more than 50 years

The Distillery bar on L Street in midtown Sacramento was scheduled to close on Tuesday after more than 50 years.
The Distillery bar on L Street in midtown Sacramento was scheduled to close on Tuesday after more than 50 years. rlillis@sacbee.com

The Distillery has served its last prime rib.

The old midtown Sacramento haunt is set to close on Tuesday, 54 years after owner Ron Alvernaz took over the bar at 21st and L streets. Alvernaz said he has been negotiating the sale of the bar for about a year and was told on Monday that the new owner needed to take over this week.

Alvernaz, 81, said he doesn’t know what the new owner intends to do with the bar, but said he has been told the space will undergo a major remodeling.

“He’s going to clean it up,” Alvernaz said. “It needs a facelift.”

Alvernaz bought the bar in 1963 when it was called Pink Slip. He renamed it the Distillery in 1971, serving lunch to blue collar workers and state employees. The prime rib became a local favorite, as did the nightly karaoke performances. The bar will stay open until 2 a.m. on its last day, but won’t serve dinner.

About 25 people work at the bar and received notice it was closing on Monday. Some have worked for Alvernaz for 20 years, he said.

“I’m brokenhearted,” Alvernaz said.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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