Inside Sacramento's Mermaid Bar

| © Dive Bar
Deanna Morgado

Discovering mermaids—the mystical creatures of the sea—is made possible at Sacramento’s Dive Bar. A play on words, this bar’s namesake illustrates the venue’s unique 7,500-gallon aquarium that hangs above the bar, where the occasional mermaid or merman is known to leisurely swim by.

Identifying the traditional dive bar means looking for a place with no frills or dazzle, which also tips its hat to a past era of time. Dive Bar, in Sacramento, redefines this meaning with fantasy and elegance. Surrounded by vintage brick walls and rich wooden floors, Dive’s enormous aquarium brings in a whole other vibe unlike any other bar—dramatic, elite, and dream-like.

Mermaids hang out in their tank

For those on the hunt for mermaids, before heading into Dive Bar, there’s always a posted sign for the mermaids’ “showtimes,” either outside the venue or on their website. Though it varies by day, mermaid showings typically start at 5:00 p.m. and happen periodically until 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; from Sunday-Wednesday, performances are at 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Performances typically involve one mermaid or merman parading through the tank, exhibiting his or her oceanic charm. Every once in a while, on the more crowded nights, two merpeople enter the tank and delight Dive Bar drinkers. And for exceptionally devoted mermaid fans, there’s a tip jar for the merpeople as well; apparently, mystical creatures of the ocean have bills to pay too.

In case the concept of mermaids isn’t enough to pique the interests of some bar-dwellers, this lounge didn’t let the chance to amaze go to waste. As the merpeople swim above the bar, the rest of the interior took the idea of a mermaid’s elegance and designed a bar she and the rest of her underwater kin would want to drink at—including a dramatic chandelier hanging from the ceiling, plush leather chairs, and dim mood-lighting. Dive Bar’s interior oozes a vintage glamor that explains why so many people, mer or otherwise, enjoy indulging in a post-work drink or celebratory night out in this downtown Sacramento spot.

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