While not my cup of tea anymore, there is a new "Euro Lounge" opening in downtown on the corner of 10th and J in the space next to Rodney's Cigar, in addition to the whole second floor.
Parlare Euro Lounge
10th and J Street
Not exactly sure what a "Euro Lounge" is, but it looks very nice and the location is can't miss for the near future. 800 J Lofts, the new JDV hotel, Hyatt, Sheraton, Friday Night Concerts, K Street developments, McCormick and Schmicks, and the proposed Metropolitan and Cathedral Building on the same block.
Looks they are trying do something similar to the very sucessful and very well done Park at 15th and L. While Sac has a plethora of fine dive bar and casual bar establishments to choose from, this type of upscale nightlife, is still lacking, hence the reason The Park can charge a $20 cover. Maybe with a couple more places like this opening, we will see them have to compete with each other and we will see some cover charges go down, which in my mind, $20 is ridiculous for Sacramento, but people are willing to pay it right now. The only places I have been to that charge $20 cover is Vegas. I've never paid more than $10 in SF
The couple times I have gone to The Park, we didn't pay cover since we had dinner at Mason's (which is great), but I would never pay $20 to get into a club. While I used to patronize the upscale places from time to time, after all dressing up and splurging is fun every now and then, right now I have little desire given my current stage in life, but I think it's very important to diversity the nightlife in the central city and another place like The Park is needed.
Problem is, it seems midtown is where all the regular bars are located and all the upscale stuff is popping up downtown. I'm sure the new nightclub that is one part of the 10th and K project will be of the upscale variety as well, thought I think it may attract a slightly older crowd.
As a person already living in the downtown area, I'd like to see a couple casual bars and pubs open in downtown. A good mix of different enviroments is what is needed. The new Cabana at 12th and K is a joke. (The old K Bar and Buddha Bar). The space is WAY too small for what they are trying to do. A more casual place, which don't mean a dive bar, would work well for the after theatre crowds from Imax, Commuinty Center, and Crest instead of spending money time and time again to recreate a theme lounge that only works for a VERY short period of time.
I am sure the upscale establishments will be attractive to younger people who live or want to live in the central city, or anywhere in Sac for that matter, but watering holes (like the new R15) where people just drop in for a drink and to shot some pool or watch the game without getting all dressed up to a $10 cover and $8 for a mixed drink will be in even bigger demand in the future, in my opinion.
Right now, downtown is more of a destination for office workers, convention goers, and restaurant/nightlife goers...a neighborhood is also needed. The more casual bars are more condusive in areas with higher residence, like midtown. As more people start living downtown and want that casual place to pop in for a drink to watch the game or on weekends with friends, we should start seeing more open.