Joe Marty's Sign, courtesy of William J. Trinkle Joe Marty's, August 2007

1500 Broadway, Sacramento at 15th Street

Joe Marty's was a great old school bar that was destroyed in a 2005 fire. In the summer of 2007, signs of restoration were evident. All of the small windows at the top of the building were replaced, and the outside walls were painted.

Joe Marty's was known for serving cheap, alcohol-laden jello shots as well as full bar selections at reasonable prices (about $4 for a non-syrupy cocktail). It had a bare-bones restaurant serving typical bar food including pizza, broasted chicken, steak, ribs, burgers, and even breakfast with Spam for Modern Drunkards. Unlike many trendy bars, the kitchen at Joe's stayed open until 1am. The staff was friendly and welcoming, though you had to expect to wait for your wasn't cooked till you arrived.

Conveniently located just off Highway 50 in Sacramento, Joe Marty's was a great place to meet up with friends before a film at the adjoining Tower Theater or after dinner at the Tower Cafe. Smokers could step just outside the door to light up a quick one. Joe Marty's had a pool table and dart boards in the eating area, with a weekly dart tournament. The bar area was suitably dark and cozy with stools around several small tables and usually featured an excellent mix of friendly people. In one corner was a jukebox with a range of music from classical rock to country, while a couple small televisions were perched above the bar for sports fans. The walls in the bar area were covered with baseball memorabilia in honor of Joe Marty, the bar's founder and one-time member of the Sacramento Solons and the Chicago Cubs.

Joe was the 1936 Pacific Coast League batting champion with the San Francisco Seals where he played with Joe DiMaggio before being sold to the Cubs — he was the first Cub to homer in a night game and drove in five of their nine runs in the 1938 World Series, including a homerun against the New York Yankees. Joe ended his major league career as a regular with the Phillies from 1939-1941. Returning home to Sacramento, Marty played outfield for the Sacramento Solons. Joe opened his bar in 1938 and owned it for many years before selling to his long-time friend Noboru Keiunji; after 2000, the bar had been owned and the memory kept alive by Kevin Flynn.


2005-07-06 13:18:33   Sadly, there was a three-alarm electrical fire at Joe Marty's recently. It gutted the place, but much of the memorabilia was saved. The dining room was destroyed but the bar is intact, albeit with some serious smoke damage; Tower Theatre and Tower Cafe also suffered smoke damage from the blaze. The owner says he will rebuild the restaurant, and I'm betting it will be a *much* nicer place to eat! —AlphaDog