When: Mon & Tues: 4pm–2am; Wed–Fri: 2pm–2am; Sat: 4pm–2am; Sun: 1pm–2am
On the Y is your typical headbanger’s party pad circa 1987, just greatly expanded upon. Retro posters of metal bands and swimsuit models such as Kathy Ireland, Apollonia, and Heather Locklear adorn the darkened walls and ceiling. As the evening progresses, I make a mental tally of how many of these posters either I or a close friend had “back in the day”. On the Y makes no bones about being one of the last remaining bastions for live metal, punk, and hard rock music. Many Fridays you can see quality metal bands for a decent cover, all while drinking the coldest beer in town.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are karaoke nights with your host, the sultry Shay. Karaoke is always a fun experience, especially while inebriated, but always better in a venue where people are there to just hang out and have a good time. One thing that is different at the Y from other bars is that the stage area is actually submerged relative to the crowd rather than elevated. I think this intricacy adds to the bar’s individuality. I’ve sung a few rounds while being doused in whiskey sours, and believe me, I do like singing here. What is normally a slow night at other bars is pretty kicking at Fulton and Munroe, as “the Y” features stand up comedy every single Sunday. This building may look nondescript on the outside, but goddamn, it’s bottled lightning inside.
One large factor in any bar’s atmosphere is how their bartenders interact with the customers. Have no fear Sacramento, On the Y has some of the most chill-as-fuck barkeeps anywhere. Jandy and Jessica are a two-fisted tandem of buxom bar-wenches who are easy to talk to in addition to being sexy sirens. Willie and the other bartenders are cool cats too, as well as the resident KJ, Shay, no slouch herself. To a person, the staff just seem like people you would want to party with away from the bar. The people who come here to drink are also laid back, non-aggravating types that are just here to get their drink on. On the Y has even been known to have affiliations with a local celebrity or two from time to time. The lack of pretension is one of the strongest selling points for making On the Y a constant drinking destination.
The Bottom Line
I pretty much love coming to On the Y. It takes me back to my youth just a bit without seeming dated at all. I appreciate a bar that is just as likely to have Adult Swim on the television as sports (but they never miss the Kings or Steelers). I love having Jandy for a bartender –I blame my weakness for redheads. The drinks are strong, cheap and steady; the beer is cold, and the name of the venue is an awesome double entendre. If you’re living anywhere near the Arden-Arcade area, driving to downtown isn’t absolutely necessary anymore. In many ways, On the Y is Sacramento’s best kept secret watering hole. I highly recommend you check this venue out.