Eats on the Street- Fanny Ann’s Saloon

Posted on May 13, 2011 – 6:04 PM | by Admin
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What can I say about Fanny Ann’s that you don’t already know?  It’s a local institution in a historic building in Old Sac.  Right?  Not really.

While most Sacramentans think of Fanny Ann’s as a local joint, it was originally part of a chain of eclectic bars and restaurants opened by a group of swingin’ airline pilots in the mid-sixties.  First situated in Venice Beach and the Santa Monica area, the pilots soon branched out to other cities.  Most saloons were located near college campuses and military bases, but Sacramento (the 7th in the chain) was the first to settle in a touristy part of town.

But surely the building is a historic one, right?  Nope.  According to Mac McCulloch, the proprietor of Fanny Ann’s for the last couple of decades, the property was acquired as a vacant lot—part of the sixties redevelopment project–after the construction of the I-5 freeway through the west end of downtown that nearly decimated the old riverfront.  It wasn’t until 1970 that the current building was built—but yes, it was built to resemble an historic building. 

And it is filled to the brim with historic and antique knick-knacks.  To. The. Brim.  And they are EVERYWHERE.  As Fanny Ann’s slogan reads, it truly boggles the mind.  In fact, I had trouble concentrating on anything because I kept staring into space trying to wrap my head around all he stuff around me.

Knick-knacks, “flair”, oddities, trinkets….on the walls, hanging from the ceiling and stuck to doors.  And apparently there really was a method to that madness.  The southern California pilots acquired some of the décor from Hollywood film sets, antique stores, estate sales and junk shops.  And all of it was hung with the greatest care.  Mac says that there are actually blueprints in the building detailing where each treasure would reside.  And there was a pilot on-site to supervise the hanging to make sure it sat at the correct jaunty angle.

When asked what set Fanny Ann’s apart from some of the other locations, culinarily speaking, Mac answered quickly “The Jiffy Burger.” A burger slathered with peanut butter and topped with crunchy bacon, it’s a dish you’d think only Elvis would love.  But it’s proven to be a popular item, one that people swear by.

What Fanny Ann’s famous for, besides the car hanging from the ceiling and the peanutbutter burger? The bathrooms.  Each door has a hand with an outstretched finger pointing to the other door.  One is marked “Women” and one is marked “Men.” I asked about the rate of people going in the wrong door.  Mac chuckled and said, “at least 25%.” -SS

Fanny Ann’s Saloon, 1023 Second Street, 916-441-0505

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