Nightlife & Entertainment: R is for revelry

The R Street Get Down celebrates a thriving arts hub with live music, comedy

A quiet break on R street, which can be brimming and bustling with folks spilling out from local bars and music venue Ace of Spades.

A quiet break on R street, which can be brimming and bustling with folks spilling out from local bars and music venue Ace of Spades.

photo by Serene Lusano

From the bass-thumping night clubs of downtown K Street to the heavy-hitting rock venues of Midtown and beyond, Sacramento’s nightlife is found in various areas throughout the growing capital city. There are historic bars in East Sac like the Bonn Lair and Club Raven that keep their regulars’ thirsts continually quenched. There are late-night art walks, pub crawls, house parties, comedy shows and just about any form of entertainment available when the sun goes down.

But there’s one lively district that’s flourished into a favored destination for many who seek nighttime entertainment, and its expanded quickly within the past 10 years to include restaurants, salons, boutiques, concert venues, and of course bars that specialize in artisanal cocktails and craft brews because our nighttime crowds love their booze.

The 1400 block of R Street is one of the city’s food and drink epicenters that offers a little something for everybody. Whether it’s a stacked burger and cold pint at Burgers & Brew, a stiff drink and a quick game of pool at R15, a sold-out concert at Ace of Spades, or a refreshing artisanal cocktail at the Shady Lady Saloon on a warm summer night, R Street is where it’s at.

Now, the block that’s been under construction for nearly six months due to a new streetscape project, is throwing a huge celebration called the R Street Get Down on Saturday, June 16 from noon to 8 p.m. in honor of the block’s grand re-opening. The live music lineup alone throughout the day is packed with artists like Rituals of Mine, Cemetery Sun and La Noche Oskura, among others.

Inside Ace of Spades, a vinyl cafeteria and makers mart will feature a large variety of LPs, a perfect addition for collectors and audiophiles. This celebration is intended to reintroduce the community to the businesses that are a part of the R Street corridor and vendors will also be on site selling handmade goods and art.

Rituals of Mine lead vocalist Terra Lopez says the band, which is now based out of Los Angeles and signed to Warner Bros. records, wanted to perform at the celebration because they’re proud of their hometown and the city’s continued growth.

“We are always excited for the opportunity to come back and play to our favorite city,” Lopez says. “We are so grateful for the city’s support over all these years.”

Cracking jokes onstage during the celebration is comedian and SN&R weed guru Ngaio Bealum, while fellow comedian and special guest emcee Robert Berry will keep the party lively throughout the day and into the evening. This all-day affair is a great way to kick off summer and welcome back the vibrancy of R Street without all the yellow tape.

“When I perform and host at non-comedy club venues, it’s a fun challenge to be bigger than life and appeal to a crowd that’s also walking around and partying,” Berry says. “It’s great to be a part of something this big that I can also enjoy throughout the day, too. I love the R Street area and it’s been great to see it evolve into such a cool spot over the last 25 years.”