Bryan Biebl, a front desk associate at the Sacramento Hostel, has lived in Sacramento most of his life. He "rides bikes, designs things, and loves animals." Often cloaked in mystique, Bryan was kind enough to share his guide to Sacramento's evolving and eccentric nightlife.
Like the mythical phoenix, a reinvigorated Sacramento is emerging from the recession that began in December, 2007. During the past 6 years, almost half of the existing downtown restaurants and bars closed indefinitely, or vanished forever. Tourism was affected, small businesses took a hit, and even large companies had to downsize -- the entire local infrastructure was shaken. However, with destruction comes an opportunity to rebuild, to improve, and to progress.
Since 2007, several lavish nightclubs have been replaced by smaller, less expensive, and often stranger venues. More innovative music and diverse crowds are just two examples of the positive aspects that have accompanied the changes in Sacramento. In this "Inside Scoop," I'll be sharing my favorite nightlife spots -- two different venues that exemplify the change, optimism, and progression that shines brightest in times of adversity. If you're coming to Sacramento, do see the Capitol building, visit the railroad museum and Old Sacramento, but also have the courage to step off the path, stray from the tourist beat, and open yourself up to a new experience.
Grimey at The Townhouse Lounge [Ages 21+]
Grimey is a bi-weekly dance party hosted by an alternating cast of DJs from all over the US. Recently relocated to The Townhouse Lounge on 21st Street and P Street and only 1.5 miles from the Sacramento Hostel, Grimey remains one of the most fun and consistent nightlife events in Sacramento. Diverse crowds of older and younger party animals congregate here every other Tuesday to dance, drink, mingle, and be seen. The music ranges from electronic and drum and bass, to dubstep and hyphy classics from the mid 90s. Admission is free before 10:30 p.m. and ranges between $3-5 afterwards. Reentry is allowed, the drinks at the full bar are cheap, and there's a 2-level dance floor. If you're in the mood to have a drink, meet some local celebs and sweat a little bit, then Grimey is a necessary part of your visit to Sacramento.
Le Twist Tuesdays at LowBrau [Ages 21+]
LowBrau Bierhall -- 1 mile from the Sacramento Hostel -- is one of the newer additions to Midtown Sacramento. Picture a traditional German beer hall with a very modern twist. Minimally decorated, spacious, and with a consistently diverse menu of beers and cocktails, this place is a perfect stop any night of the week, but particularly on Le Twist Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, LowBrau features a different band or DJ playing everything from electronic music to 60s garage rock. There's no cover charge to get in and you'll find that no Le Twist is the same as the previous one. LowBrau's indoor and outdoor seating features huge wooden tables that you can share with close friends or complete strangers. The atmosphere is laid back and friendly, and the crowd of hipsters, crust punks, frat boys, amateur models, artists, plain janes and average joes guarantees an interesting experience. As a bonus, LowBrau is on the corner of 20th Street and K Street: right in the middle of the beautiful and fiercely diverse Lavender Heights district. Everything from 80s dance parties, to late night eats, to drag shows are within walking distance, which means you can club-hop safely, step out of your comfort zone, and have an unforgettable night.
“Travel is rich with learning opportunities, and the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective.” -- Rick Steves
This story is part of a series asking hostel staff to share their insider tips and recommendations with travelers. Last time, Samantha guided us through attractions in the Marin Headlands. Before that, Becca shared her favorite offbeat events in San Francisco, and Suzu showed us around SF's best bars and dives.
Stay at the historic Sacramento Hostel, a restored Victorian mansion just blocks from the nightlife in downtown Sacramento.