Nestled away on a corner of E Street in Midtown, right off of Highway 80, lies a great little neighborhood bar named the Pine Cove. Allegedly it has been in business for about a hundred years in various locations, but has been at this corner for the last fifty or so. To reach the bar, you first have to find the Pine Cove market, which operates downstairs. There is an inconspicuous side door that opens to reveal an old wood-paneled staircase that leads to your destination. I recall my first time going up these stairs; it felt like I was discovering a well hidden local treasure.
Inside you’ll find a relaxed neighborhood bar setting. PBR is always on tap, as well as an assortment of other pretty decent beers. The real hook to this bar is the atmosphere. The staff is laid-back and friendly; the people who hang out here are chill. This is one of the last places I would ever expect static. Also…free popcorn, electric darts, and a bar staff that knows how to mix a good drink.
The event that really packs in the masses is karaoke nights. They used to only do Tuesdays and Thursdays; I think now they might have switched to Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The song selection (at least at that point), wasn’t as extensive as at some other places, but still more than adequate to have a great time. The thing I like is that the stage isn’t really far away from the crowd as it might be at other venues. It really feels like you’re at a big party in someone’s very large living room.
One of the last times I went to the Pine Cove, I not only ran into my old buddy Jen Rufer (completely by surprise), but I also had a pretty kick-ass time just people watching and getting my drink on.
One thing that I have noticed is that this tavern is frequented mostly by people in their twenties and early thirties. Geezers don’t really hang out here, and it’s probably better that way. I would say that this is the perfect place for college-aged girls to have a ladies night, or for CSUS students to come and unwind. The Pine Cove has only a bit of hipster flavor, as opposed to other places closer to the heart of Midtown.
The Final Word
The Pine Cove is a great starter bar, or a perfect place for you to hang out if you fall in that 21 to early 30’s range. The karaoke nights are a perfect time to show up there, and the neighborhood bar vibe seems pretty legit. There are daily specials, which seem to change around a lot, so stop in to see what they are. I give the Pine Cove my dive bar Seal of Approval.
Be sure to check out our Happy Hour info page for the Pine Cove as well.