1521 L St.
11 AM – 2 AM Daily
By Mikhail Chernyavsky
When we saw a new Irish pub open on L. St. in the heart of Sacramento’s growing nightclub district, we expected the place to be a lively addition to the burgeoning scene. But de Vere’s Irish Pub just a short walk away from the Capitol, is also a welcome additional for the Capitol lunch crowd.
Now, when I think of a pub, I tend to think of a dankly and poorly lit bar full of random junk on the walls, added for flavor of course, and college kids throwing back beers like they are in a pie eating contest.
But de Vere’s is anything but that. The pub has an atmosphere that of an elegant restaurant. You have the option of sitting at high tables in the middle or regular tables that are divided by what appear to be old glass office doors, like the kind you see in old film noir detective films. I almost felt guilty for not using a coaster on the wooden table. The walls were painted to appear aged and had some old pictures of sailors and boats around the pub.
The appearance had definitely got my attention. There had to have been a catch though. A nice looking Irish pub could only mean bad food, right? Again, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I ordered the Kerry Grilled Chicken Sandwich with crisps. The menu said it was a sandwich, but it looked more like a monster burger. At 6’1” and 180 lbs., I can eat a lot. I can throw down a sandwich faster than you can make it. The sheer size of this sandwich, however, made me work. The sandwich ran about $9 — well worth the price for the impressive amount of food.
The rest of the lunch menu is peppered with traditional pub fare, such as the fish and chips—a huge plate of it for $10.95. There’s also the Fry Up, ($10.50) “a full Irish breakfast” featuring black and white pudding and lots of meat. And for those who may not be working that hard during their working lunch, there are also ten types of beer on tap, including old Irish favorites like Guinness and Harp as well as their own house brand Irish lager and red ale.
I returned later that night to check out the pub’s scene, and it was packed. And the after-dark crowd seemed just as at home in de Vere’s as the suit-and-tie Capitol set. And did I mention the ten different kinds of beer? The pub made a seemless transition from power lunch spot to hopping night scene. It is the prototypical downtown spot — a versatile addition for both the noontime warriors and downtown night owls.