If there is debauchery taking place in a bar outside of Midtown, then it’s very likely occurring at Rocky’s 7440 Club. “The 40”, as locals like to call it, has been a Sacramento icon for a couple of decades now. Every Sacramento native that has ever gone through a bar-hopping phase probably has a few great stories about the 40 to share, and if not, they need to go make some! If you have out-of-town guests you want to take on a wild night out, the 7440 Club is one of your best bets, and here’s why…
According to their website, the 7440 Club is an establishment where dive bar meets night club, and that is a fair assessment. When I first moved to Sacramento a dozen years ago, they were probably a little closer to dive bar, but year after year the owners have continued to invest in the bar. The original owners retired about five years ago and Rocky then took over, keeping the momentum going strong. You can find pictures of the original owners in the main bar, along with a ton of other memorabilia that adorns the walls and ceilings. Posters, vintage license plates and road signs, classic neon signs, and other various decorations give the front bar a uniquely interesting ambience.
The initial impression from the outside leads you to believe that this is just some regular bar on the tail-end of Auburn Boulevard right before Citrus Heights turns into Old Roseville. Appearances can be completely deceiving however, because this bar has arguably the most diverse crowd in Sacramento week after week. There are a lot of people in their twenties and thirties here, but also a fair amount of older people who have lost none of their vitality, and I think that’s a big key. During the weekends, wallflowers don’t do well here. The vibe here is laid-back, but this is still a place you can dress up a little for if you want to. The 40 is a place where people can go to relax, but also to see and be seen. Napkin Nights has tons of photos culled from the last ten years of awesome nights out, as does the Rocky’s 7440 Club website, so be sure to check those out.
I Have to Mention Karaoke
Earlier, I was making a point about diversity at this raucous club on Auburn Boulevard, and that ties into the karaoke scene here. Some places have karaoke two, three, maybe even six nights a week; the 40 has it seven days a week. At most places, you are going to hear a steady diet of rock and country, occasionally some R&B or some mainstream rap. The karaoke jams at the 40 are as diverse as the crowd. On any given night, you can hear a heartfelt rendition of Tupac’s “Dear Mama”, an on-fire performance of Carrie Underwood, some old school like “The Message”, a sonic blast of screamo, spot-on covers of Tool, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, or Metallica, as well as karaoke standards like Stevie Nicks or Gloria Gaynor. The point I’m making is that all styles are both expected and welcomed, and everyone comes to straight bring it. I have seen the in-house KJs change over time, but the baton always passes to talented and friendly people, so tip generously.
Monday is the best night to practice your chops; Sunday night they run “40 Idol”, which is a contest with cash stakes for the winner. Friday and Saturday get especially busy, so if you’re showing up after 10pm, don’t expect to get more than one song in, but you might get two. Showing up a little early (before 9pm) will save you both a cover charge and get you in the rotation sooner. Karaoke competition is fierce at this club, as most everyone performs at a high level.
The 7440 Club, Sacramento’s Adult Playground
Karaoke is just one aspect of the 7440 Club’s appeal; that activity takes place inside the main bar. During the cold or rainy months, or when the nights are slow early in the week, attention will still be mainly focused indoors. If you walk past the regular bar and past the billiards room, you will encounter the dynamic that really makes the 40 unique. The outside patio is especially large for a Sacramento venue. A very long time ago, there was just a miniature golf putting green, a volleyball sand court, stylized picnic benches, and some patio gas heaters. For quite a few years now, there has been a full-on secondary club area, where the young and beautiful get down to play. The Adult Playground features a state of the art dance floor with host DJ Victorious, a second stand-alone bar, and most recently, VIP style lounges with bottle service. For years now, large groups of girls have been showing up in limos or stretch Hummers on the weekends (strange, I know), so I figure management just saw that occurring regularly and ran with the lounge idea. No one will ever confuse the 40 for an upscale lounge in the City, but I think that’s not what patrons here want anyway. You can dress fancy here and have a lot of fun without having to deal with people acting overly pretentious here; everyone is just here to have a good time.
Other Stuff You Should Know About
Although there are all kinds of people here on a nightly basis, there is a bit of a dress code, basically eliminating gangsta type wear (no bandannas, visible gang tattoos, baggy shirts, or ball caps). The specific information is also available on the club website. I have heard of occasional scuffles breaking out, but I have never witnessed one, so it really is a rare thing. There are bouncers at the door; they are pretty cool. There is a “no in-and-out” rule at night, this is mostly to prevent drunken mishaps; I think it’s a good rule for both the patrons and the establishment. If you need to smoke or just get some fresh air, there is always the spacious patio area.
Rocky’s 7440 Club is located on 7440 Auburn Boulevard in the city of Citrus Heights and is open every day from 6am to 2am. Actually, the bartenders will do last call about 1:30am and the club will close a little early every night. The reason for this is that the police regularly camp out here at closing time waiting to write DUI tickets, especially on weekends. I would advise that you bring a designated driver or arrange for a taxi, as drinking at the 40 is fun and you can get yourself in trouble with John Law if you’re not careful.
The best nights of the week are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for sheer numbers of people. Friday and Saturday nights after 9pm there is a cover charge, and it is worth every penny. Parking gets filled up pretty quick on the busy nights, so be prepared to walk a block or two if you show up late on the weekends.
There is no kitchen, but there has always been some sort of free munchies, either nachos or popcorn, to help slow down intoxication. If you want to grab some, don’t be shy.
The 7440 Club is always running holiday themed or other special events, like the annual Bikini Night, for example. Info on all of these can be found on their main website or the 40’s Facebook page.
You Made It This Far, Time For a Personal Anecdote
I used to attend the 40 on a regular basis, and I’ve brought friends from both my rural hometown and San Francisco here and both sets of people had the time of their lives. On this website, we advocate debauchery whenever it works out nicely, but I don’t like us telling on ourselves too too much. I do have a debaucherous story that I can tell you though that will bring me no guilt whatsoever…
This particular night was about five or six years ago. I was there on my night off, drinking a few whiskey sours and singing karaoke. Earlier in the evening, I had noticed a girl, fairly cute, who was out with her friends because it was her 21st birthday. I would suppose that her friends and the other bar patrons had her pretty liquored up by this point. Last call for alcohol goes out, and one of the birthday girl’s friends announces to everyone in the bar that her friend just turned twenty-one and they want all the hot guys in the bar to make out with their intoxicated friend. So the next thing you know, the birthday girl is getting passed around the room by her girlfriends to about ten to twelve guys, all making out with her in succession. To this display of lasciviousness, the wing-girl who initially pimped out her best friend exclaimed, “What happens at the 40, stays at the 40!” And that my friends, is the perfect way to end this article.