Woodland, just to the north-west of California‘s state capital, will make you pleased that you left the big city. It is in-tune with its heritage and its downtown area features some of the most attractive sandstone architecture in the country, as well as other historic buildings. The bar and nightlife is as active as the town’s history is rich. Grab a drink and have a mosey.
All of the best towns across the country feature a bespoke, independent brewery, and thanks to the Black Dragon Brewery, Woodland can join the club. The bar stocks, as you would expect, home brews and also serves other beers from the Sacramento area. The tap selection regularly changes, so regulars can enjoy a choice selection of beer year round without having to worry about getting bored, if that’s possible. The bar itself is attractive, with a simple, classic interior that has been brought up-to-date with clean lines and bold colors. Black Dragon is the place to go for beer connoisseurs.
All Stars Sports Bar is a popular sports bar for locals, who are drawn in by the regular coverage of games – as you would expect from any passable sports bar – and the added bonus of regular meet and greets with sports stars from past and present. There are also regular DJs who keep the party pumping through the night; club nights make additional use of the sizable TVs which line the walls. There is a good selection of bottled beers and regular drink specials, including cocktails such as the ‘dude-opolitan’, which shows that cocktails can be manly drinks. For chilling over pool or a big night out, All Stars is the place to be.
Brown’s Corner is a self-styled ‘family sports grill,’ making it the perfect location if you are in the mood for food, drinks, and family time or you’re just looking to catch the game. The bar is fully stocked and comes with a variety of different liquors and beers. The seating is split into bar seating, tables in the diner area, which is styled more as a ‘traditional’ diner than the bar area, complete with retro Budweiser advertisements and red and white checkered flooring and a sizable outdoor patio. In addition to the TVs, entertainment can be found at the pool tables. Nobody puts Brown’s in the corner.
With beer, burgers, and a historic setting, The Burger Saloon showcases a lot of what makes Woodland great. There is a comfortable, pub-like atmosphere in this bar and restaurant, with brick walls, wood furnishings and fittings, and cocktails in jam jars giving it a traditional vibe. To add to its classic appeal, food and drink specials are written colorfully on blackboards. There is a substantial selection of beers on tap. These regularly change and are predominantly sourced locally. The bar is otherwise fully stocked and comes with a good cocktail list. For food and drink, this is one of the most popular places in town. It’s a modern saloon that maintains the charms of old.
Kenny’s Bar and Grill proudly declares itself the place to go for the best drinks, the best food, and the best people. The drinks menu includes a solid selection of domestic and imported beers, fine wines, specialty craft beers, premium spirits, and cocktails, most notably Kenny’s Special Bloody Mary. And one of its greatest appeals is that it is a biker bar, one that still extends a welcome to everyone. Parked out front you will regularly find an impressive array of motorcycles. Founder and owner Kenny wanted to create a place for friends and bike enthusiasts to gather, and his inclusive nature, combined with the carefully curated food and drink menus, has made it one of the area’s most popular haunts since 1993.
Plainfield Station | Courtesy of Plainfield Station
Located in an attractive historic building in the downtown area, Mojo’s is one of the most appealing bars (or buildings in general) in town. The building was erected in 1891 as the Jackson Building, housing luxury apartments, and was then converted to Morrison’s Upstairs in 1985, before taking its current form in 2012. The inside delivers as well, with simple, classic decorations punctuating the original features. The lounge and bar area is the town’s premier destination of this kind, with fine cocktails, craft beers, and wines served day and night. A relaxed, elegant, and friendly ambiance sets Mojo’s apart from the rest.
Sports bars, bars and grills; these seem to be the mainstays of Woodland. Plainfield Station falls into the latter camp, though there it shows a strong appreciation for the former, as well. It is situated slightly outside of town, but its friendly ambiance makes it worth the trip; that it’s a pleasant drive helps, too. Inside, retro memorabilia, and the odd bike, adorns the walls. This is very much a country-hometown bar, and it takes its traditions seriously. The horseshoe pits are particularly popular, and in the summer Plainfield Station hosts a range of concerts and events which add to its draw. There is a large patio, a lawn, and a number of picnic tables, making it one of the best al fresco dining and drinking spots in town.
The Stag is a dive bar done right. It is among the most popular bars in town, particularly on the weekends, when it hosts live music, complete with cheap beer. There are weekly events and drinks offers, including a pub quiz, karaoke nights, DJ nights, and Margarita Mondays. This is a bar that knows its town, knows its clientele, and gives both what they want. The decor is bold, with ‘The Stag’ painted across the wall by the pool tables, and bright, bold colors punctuating the interior. It used to be a secret spot for craft beer enthusiasts, but slowly the word has gotten out and more people are enjoying the changing weekly takeovers. The Stag is a dirty, sexy bar where good times are the order of the day.
Uvaggio, the place to go for any wine enthusiasts or budding sommeliers in town. The bar showcases the local wine-growing region, with all varieties coming exclusively from Northern California. To go with the fine selection of wines, there is an equally fine selection of local cheeses, breads, and chocolate. Uvaggio is housed in the old Daily Democrat building in Main Street’s Heritage Plaza, retaining the history of the building with its decor. A drinking spot that is quiet, refined, and inviting, with a prime location and great ingredients; can it stay quiet for much longer?
Zitio Sports Bar and Grill, combining Woodland’s love of sports and grills, offers up good old fashioned drinks, food, and sports on its nine big screen TVs. Its NFL pass, with up to six games showing at any one time, makes it one of the premier sports destinations in town, but there is plenty on offer here to keep people coming back throughout the week. The alliterative deals: Mojito Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wing Wednesday, and Thirsty Thursdays, draw plenty of customers in, as does the everyday mix of Cali-Mexican bar food and entrées. Its selection of cold beers, cocktails and spirits will keep you happy whether your team is winning or not.