V is for Virgin Sturgeon

Virgin Sturgeon
1577 Garden Hwy

Well, it’s about time I got around to the letter V in my “ABCs of Drinking in Sacramento” series. Turns out I don’t make it out to the Garden Highway very often…especially during the winter months.

Anyhow, the letter V brought me to the Virgin Sturgeon. Even though I could have very easily walked down to the Voodou Lounge at Celestin’s I felt that the need to show some respect Sacramento’s shirtless river party people.

All summer long boaters cruise up and down the Sacramento. There are waterskiers, fishermen and folks just cruising along looking for a good time. Some boaters are even lucky enough to have sound systems cranking out jams while bikini girls dance on the back deck. It’s not a bad time.

In fact, it’s such a good time that some people do it over and over again, every day, all summer long for decades on end. These are the leathery-faced, beer swilling, Jimmy Buffett cover band-loving river people that I like I so bad.

There are a number of hot spots to party down with the river folks including Swabbies, Crawdads and – the king of them all – the Virgin Sturgeon.

The Virgin Sturgeon is a seafood restaurant at heart – and the food is respectable – but mostly it’s a gathering spot for those looking to relax by the river, enjoy some music and sip a few tropical cocktails. If you’re lucky enough to arrive by boat, you can dock right to the floating bar outside. Pretty solid.

I arrived via the land route yesterday and worked my way down the airport terminal walkway thing that serves as the Sturgeon’s main entrance. Some day, someone will fall down this thing, sue and ruin it for everyone, but until then it’s a cool feature.

Sure enough, a classic rock cover band was playing on the outdoor bar. Maybe they aren’t as hip as the midtown crowd, but that version of Summertime was totally solid. I drank a Coors Light, enjoyed the river view, put a tip in the band’s tip jar and went on my way. Not a bad way to spend happy hour.

Highlights
* River views
* A place to dock your boat
* Decent classic rock & blues cover bands
* Your parents will love it

Price
Beer and a Mai-tai for $10. Could be worse, could be better.

Clientele
Mostly river people. Real good partiers. During a warm summer weekend, you’ll get all the younger boaters too.