No Thanksgiving plans? These bars can be your family

A guide for those who can’t have (or don’t want) a traditional Thanksgiving


Whether it’s lack of time, money or patience for Uncle Joe’s off-kilter remarks, sometimes it’s tough to make it out of town to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you’re a student stuck in the dorms or just taking a big pass on this year’s family festivities, consider these alternatives when it comes to Turkey Day. Here are four trusty watering holes staying open with a hot meal waiting with all trimmings and none of the family drama.

Where everyone knows your name

Elixir Bar & Grill

Stop by Elixir Bar & Grill to quench your thirst and stuff your face. Brother-and-sister owners Curt and Christina Pow host Thanksgiving dinner each year for their customers. For Christina, it’s her way of saying thank you to her regulars who she sees as her extended family.

“Honestly, it started because I had a bunch of leftovers from my family’s house, so I would make a couple of plates for whomever,” she says. “I ran out so fast and I remember thinking, ’Well, next year, I’m going to make the full meal for the bar to offer to my regulars who did not get Thanksgiving.’”

A turkey dinner with sides like sweet potato casserole, mac ’n’ cheese, cornbread stuffing and more will be served on a first come, first serve basis when the bar opens at 8 p.m. 1815 10th Street, (916) 442-0693.

Food and football

The Zebra Club

The Zebra Club is known as a hub for sports fans to watch an early morning soccer match or an afternoon football game. But, there’s one tradition that the bar’s owner, who asked to only be known as Jerry, kept alive through the decades: providing his customers with a hot meal during the Thanksgiving.

“When I moved to Sacramento, I was by myself and we always did something for Thanksgiving for people who moved here or were on their own and were looking for a place to go, watch football and have fun,” he says.

Since 1987, Jerry and the crew have provided mashed potatoes and gravy, a large turkey and stuffing.

“Everybody loves it,” he says. “People come in happy, the football games are on. It’s just a nice, fun time.” 1900 P Street, (916) 442-3972.

Here’s the pie

Hideaway Bar & Grill

Whether you need a place to decompress after bouts with the family about politics or you’re simply without plans, invite yourself over to the Hideaway Bar & Grill.

The Hideaway starts pouring drinks at 4 p.m. and owner Mariah York-Carr says it’s been that way for the past seven years. This year, the Hideaway will provide its customers with a traditional turkey dinner served with vegetarian stuffing and mashed potatoes, bread rolls and a couple of pies.

“If you don’t have anywhere else to go, come and eat and be amongst friends,” York-Carr says. “Sometimes people spend the day with their blood family and they want to spend the evening with their friend family.” 2565 Franklin Boulevard, (916) 455-1331.

Student central

Hoppy Brewing Co.

For college students who can’t make it back home this year, Hoppy Brewing Co. has your back. Founder Troy Paski keeps his restaurant and brewery open in East Sacramento for students and regular customers alike.

“The hardest times are during the holidays where other businesses are closed and people don’t cook at home anymore or don’t know how to cook, so they come to see us,” Paski says.

In that spirit, Hoppy offers an “Orphan Thanksgiving Dinner” for students, who get a 25 percent discount when they show their student ID card. What’s more, for those who participated in Run to Feed the Hungry, bring in your bib and coupon for a free pint. And if cooking a whole bird just isn’t your style, the kitchen opens at 2 p.m. serving a Thanksgiving dinner special—the first 50 diners will take home a complimentary bottle of Hoppy Claus ale. 6300 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 451-4677.

Check the Related Stories box above for SN&R’s additional tips for surviving the holiday season.