It’s a sunny late Saturday afternoon, two hours before doors open at the Ace of Spades nightclub in downtown Sacramento, and people are already lining up across R Street to try to snag a prime spot inside to see Canadian-American singer Jonny Craig.
It’s a young crowd, although the occasional 30-something couple wedges into the line. Practiced patience is the order of the day, with most patrons busying themselves with their cellphones. The veterans are used to this – Ace of Spades routinely draw lines of customers stretching far down the block.
As daylight fades, the energy along this 1400 block of R Street ratchets up. The Shady Lady Saloon, Magpie Cafe and Burgers & Brew fill with customers. Inside the R15 bar, built into Café Bernardo at 15th and R streets, red light bathes customers nursing drinks and loudly rooting for various sports teams.