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To commemorate the end of a month-long celebration of its 75-year existence, the historic bar Old Ironsides held a final party on Sunday.
The Sacramento institution melded new and old, representing the vast changes in culture from its 1934 founding though the rest of the 20th century.
“Old time” drinks from each decade were back on the menu to give patrons a taste of what past generations enjoyed. Obscure concoctions such as the Moscow Mule (a 1940s drink with vodka, lime and ginger beer) were suggested alongside more popular fare like the Harvey Wallbanger (1970s) and the Washington Apple (2000s).
A few waiters kept a constant rotation of sampler platters circulating the two main rooms. Modern sandwiches like sun dried tomato garden burgers mixed with classic crinkle cut French fries and hamburger patties on toasted sourdough to provide a balance for partygoers old and young.
Nostalgia ruled the day, fueled mostly by a flat screen TV in the barroom running a slide show of photos spanning every decade since Old I’s inception. Crisp, digital images from the not so distant past were bookended by fuzzy Polaroids of heavily sideburned patrons from the 70s and black and white, magnesium lit windows to Sacramento’s bar scene a half century ago.
In the second room, a DJ spun classics from each decade, switching CDs between each tune to ensure a variety of eras. Frank Sinatra’s iconic rendition of “Let’s Fly Away” clashed with funk numbers like “Brick House” and Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day” had people breaking out their best malt shop moves. The patrons, perhaps fueled by the irresistible $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon deal, danced with equal energy to every track.
There was a fairly consistent flow of attendees the entire afternoon, many staying for all five hours. If the crowded dance floor, packed booths and innumerable empty martini glasses and beer bottles were any indicator, this local hangout will stay afloat for another 75 years.