Club 2 Me

Sacramento, California

Johnnie's Tavern - Columbus Dive Bar - Exterior

In Short

There are dive bar signs and then there are dive bar signs, East Sacramento’s Club 2 Me lucky to feature not one but two epic pieces of artwork proclaiming the name of the bar and the promise of the vibe to found inside. Polished surfaces, string lights, photos of locals and mirrored beer signs create an impressive interior display that matches the considerable promise of the twisting green neon out front.

Field Rating

9

out of 10

Where the vibe inside pays off the promise of the neon out front.

Field Note

Sacramento is a little big town, the downtown core vibrant thanks to the seat of California’s state government, but any suggestion of density quickly dissolves into a series of neighborhoods, each with their own hole-in-the-wall food spots and corner dive bars. East Sacramento serves as hotbed for both small food joints and interesting bars, Club 2 Me one of the finest examples that just so happens to feature one of the great Sacramento dive bar signs.

There’s just something about unique dive bar neon that makes the High Life taste a little better. In keeping with the grand tradition of iconic, timeless, divey neon, East Sacramento’s Club 2 Me features perhaps the city’s best dive bar sign, a looping green shamrock surrounding the name of the dive bar etched in blue. Not content with just an excellent dive bar neon sign, Club 2 Me complements its neon with a backlit sign jutting out from the front wall of the building that features the name of the bar, its opening time (7 AM, of course) and a stylized red martini glass. It too is a beautiful tribute to dive bar signage.

All of that curb appeals pays off with the kind of wood paneled comfort that can only come from a good dive bar.

The exterior of the building has clearly seen some renovation over the years, fresh paint and new brickwork among the improvements, but the sign helps keep the look divey. Next door’s classic orange backdrop, black lettering sign for the Pasty Shack helps as well. Inside, all of that curb appeals pays off with the kind of wood paneled comfort that can only come from a good dive bar. The open space is divided into a drinking half and a gaming half, a long bar running the length of the space just inside the front door. A better-than-dive-bar draft selection complements liquor bottle shelving with enough room for the usual suspects.

Because of the chrome taps and glass bottles, the Christmas light strings that snake through the bottles and along most of Club 2 Me’s walls have plenty to reflect off of. Even the fresh look of the fans above the bar creates another surface of reflection that all told creates a dazzling display by dive bar standards of green lights, polished surfaces and beer handles. A dash of bar neon above the taps doesn’t hurt and while it might seem a little like overkill to extol the virtues of twinkling lights in a dive bar, the promise of the neon outside is more than satisfyingly paid off by the lively display indoors.

The balance of the space is devoted to the gaming half of the dive bar’s footprint that includes a pool table and shuffleboard table. New carpet can be found on this side of the room but the wood paneling keeps the look divey along with a classic set of mirrored beer signs and framed photos. Golden Tee and an electronic dart board can be found in this same area of the bar, but it should be mentioned that Club 2 Me is not the type of dive bar that crams everything into a small set of square footage. There is some space here and it provides room for enough seating to feel like even at busy times there’s still a chance at a conversation.

The human backstory to Club 2 Me can be found in bursts of photos found in a few places throughout the space.

The human backstory to Club 2 Me can be found in bursts of photos found in a few places throughout the space, including over the bar and in the game area, most of it in the context of sports team photos from group teams of years past. The wall décor isn’t as dense here as some dive bars, but it’s a nice complement to the more standard beer sign & poster decorations to see the faces of locals past and present dotting the walls as well.

There are dive bars with amazing signs that simply can’t live up to the twisted neon promise of the name above the door. Club 2 Me is no such dive bar, instead paying off the considerable beauty of the looping green shamrock that houses its name with an equally compelling interior filled with string lights, polished metal and enough space to feel more like a neighborhood meeting spot rather than a cram-them-in dive.

Photos

The Basics

4738 J St
Sacramento, CA 95819

Classification:
Neighborhood Bar

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