Happy Hour Guide

Ballard Acorn Eatery and Bar On the outdoor patio at the Acorn, lily pad–like umbrellas stand over the tables, keeping the patrons cool, contemplative, and indifferent to their crummy view of McDonald's and Chevron across the street. Little pots of grass sit on each table, reminding everyone that nature does, in fact, exist. Good microbrews are on tap, and from 4 to 6 p.m. daily, everything is dirt cheap. Pints are $2.50, margaritas $3.50, and salads, pizza, and calamari range from $3 to $9. OUTDOOR SEATING! 9041 Holman Rd. N.W., 206-297-0700. Azteca The cheesy, grande Mexican chain's Ballard outpost has happy hour every day, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., offering $3 beers and a few Mexi-American snacks for the same price. Olé. 2319 N.W. Market St., 206-782-7079. Fu Kun Wu @ Thaiku Named for the Chinese apothecary who supposedly roamed old Ballard a century ago, this bar serves drinks just like the doctor ordered—as "tinctures" infused with teas, herbs, and roots like peory for "female radiance," or kava kava for "anxiety relief." From 5 to 7 p.m. daily, those specialty cocktails are $5 (they're usually $7), and a fun range of beers from Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philipines are just $3.75 a bottle. During happy hour, most appetizers are just $3—and they're served right off Thaiku's yummy menu. Patrons can fill up on spring rolls and por pia sod (salad rolls), or make their own wraps with crab and cream-cheese filling. Smokers can go to Hell (that's the name of Fu Kun Wu's smoking room). And be sure to check out the Opium Den. 5410 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-706-7807 Lockspot Cafe Part sports bar, part hunting lodge, and part longshoreman's tavern, this ain't no hipster joint. The bartenders chat with the regulars and take long drags off their cigarettes behind the bar. The clientele, all sporty and Seattle-like, sit at wooden tables with old friends and watch ESPN on elevated TV sets. The fish and chips are deliciously golden and crisp on the outside, soft and tasty on the inside. A tub of tartar and a domestic draft beer ($1.75 from 4 to 7 p.m. and midnight to 2 a.m. daily) or a well drink ($2.25/$2.50) make it a meal. 3005 N.W. 54th St., 206-789-4865. The People's Pub Wouldn't things be better if every day was like Oktoberfest? Well, the gute life is now only a trip to Ballard away, courtesy of the People's Pub's happy hour (4 to 7 p.m. daily). All well drinks and most of the beers—which include German favorites from Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, and Bitburger—are just $2.50 a pint, and house wines are but $3 a glass. And Monday through Thursday, appetizers (deep fried pickles! sautéed mushrooms!) are 50 percent off. Prost! 5429 Ballard Ave N.W., 206-783-6521. Ray's Boathouse If you live in Ballard, you're in luck. If you don't, this happy hour is worth the trek. Head upstairs to Ray's Café from 4 to 6 p.m. daily for dinner and drink specials, and from 10 p.m. to closing for drinks and snacks. With its spectacular view, this more relaxed upper level of the restaurant is popular with the after-work crowd. Seafood dishes such as black pepper crusted ahi tuna ($5), alder-smoked salmon skewers ($4.50), and Thai mussels ($4.50) are served fresh and with dazzling presentation. More traditional happy-hour munchies are represented by a toasted corn and red bell pepper quesadilla ($3.50) and hot wings with bleu cheese dip ($3.50). At Ray's, happy-hour diners are even treated to fresh rolls and real napkins—both rarities in the land o' cheap drinks. The drinks are fine, nothing out of the ordinary, but are nice and affordable, with well drinks for $3, Henry's for $2, and Ray's private label wine for about $4.50. 6049 Seaview Ave. N.W., 206-789-3770. Bellevue Hooters Orange short-shorts, skimpy tank tops, $2.50 pints, and truly awful 25-cent chicken wings—boo-yeah! You're at Hooters during happy hour: 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The waitresses are ridiculously hot, and one of them, scarily, is way into Christian rock, following her attendance at an "awesome" Christian rock show featuring "that guy from 98 Degrees." As if that weren't disturbing enough—she doesn't go into the mosh pit at Christian rock shows for "fear of being groped." Holy crap! Where are the WWJD bracelets? [Ed. note: Our intern's receipt from this happy hour had a note written in pink pen: "Good luck with your band! Thank you! {big girly pink heart} Shawna." Now that's service.] OUTDOOR SEATING! 550 106th N.E., 425-452-9930 BELLEVUE; 901 Fairview N., 206-625-0555, LAKE UNION. Ruth's Chris Steak House Somewhere between the dark atmosphere of El Gaucho and the sophistication of the Met, Ruth's quiet happy hour offers very small gourmet snacks and good stiff drinks. Draft beer, wine, and wells are only $2.75, and prices are almost unbelievable for the food—until you see the tiny portions. Expect traditional happy-hour bites such as a quarter-pound burger ($1.95) and spinach artichoke dip ($2.95), as well as some healthier options like fresh Caesar salad ($1.95) and other munchies like barbecued shrimp ($3.95) and blackened chicken skewers ($2.95), which are spicy and good. One of the bonuses here is the fantastic (complimentary!) nutty bread. 4–6 p.m. and 9 p.m.–closing daily. 525 Bellevue Square, 425-451-1550, BELLEVUE; 800 Fifth Ave., 206-624-8524, DOWNTOWN. BELLTOWN Axis Bar menu items include Jamaican jerked chicken wings with creamy dill sauce and the one-third-pound Angusburger on an Italian roll with choice of New York cheddar or Oregon blue. Happy-hour pizzas from the wood-fired oven are just $2.99, and nice appetizers like calamari, steak salad, Thai wok-seared shellfish, and a prime rib sandwich with fries are half-price, $4.50–$6. OUTDOOR SEATING! 5–7 p.m. daily, 10–midnight Tues.–Thurs., and 5 p.m.–closing Sun.–Mon. 2212 First Ave., 206-441-9600. Brasa Brasa gets extra friendly every weekday from 5 to 7 p.m., with half-price tapas-style Spanish appetizers—fish stew, Moroccan olives, grape pizza, savory empanadas, duck and shellfish paella. Order a couple and pass 'em dim sum–wise round the table. 2107 Third Ave., 206-728-4220. Brasserie Margaux With tapas served from 4 to 10 p.m. weekdays, you'll have plenty of time to try the bruschetta with tomato and basil, steamed mussels, or grilled foccacia with goat cheese fondue. If you care for vigorous drinks order a well, half-price weekdays between 4 and 7 p.m. Or forego the special prices and order a Margaux Manhattan ($7.25). Just one will take you from zero to happy in about three sips (and you will need to sip it). Hotel bars always pour a good strong drink. Hmmm, maybe it's because they're so darn depressing. Margaux's probably depressing most the time, too, but its happy hour is pleasant, thanks to a good turnout, a friendly bar staff, and festive, blown-glass light fixtures. 401 Lenora St., 206-777-1990. Cascadia If it's between 5 and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and you're not a vegetarian and you've nothing better to do than drink and eat unbelievably good mini hamburgers and you're not at Cascadia's stupendous happy hour, something is wrong. Sommelier-selected wines for $5, $3.50 wells, and $2 drafts are a pretty good deal, but the offering that puts Cascadia atop the happy-hour lot is chef Kerry Sears' signature burgers. They're made-to-order from fresh-ground chuck steak (no frozen patties here), seasoned perfectly, and served on cute, tiny buns with cuter, tinier rounds of tomato, red onion, pickle, and lettuce. And they're only $1 apiece! That means five for $5! Ten for $10! Park your empty stomach at the glamorous bar and eat up. Oh, and iron your shirt, kiddo. Cascadia's no dive bar. OUTDOOR SEATING! 2328 First Ave., 206-448-8884. En Seattle A short and extremely worthwhile walk from downtown, En is a prime postwork retreat. Happy hour is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m Monday through Friday. The house wines ($3.95) and imported beers ($2.95) don't mess around, and the modern Japanese appetizers (two-for-one during happy hour) will knock you on your ass if the drinks haven't already. The food, like the decor, is exquisitely understated. The agedashi's tofu cubes—golden on the outside, silky soft on the inside—bask in a pond of salty fish-broth goodness. The ample portions and happy prices will make you feel like you're getting away with something. Get to know Wei, the owner. 2429 Second Ave., 206-770-0250. Ohana A menu of selected sushi nigiri, rolls, and hot appetizers for $3, sake for $2.50, and blue Hawaiian for $4. Great looking staff and patrons, great place. Just try to get the happy-hour times straight: all day Monday; 5–7 p.m. and 9–11:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 5–7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; zip on Saturday; 9–11:30 p.m. Sunday. Whew! 2207 First Ave., 206-956-9329. Sonya's Bar and Grill The former dive has turned its culinary output up a few notches with a new menu and a classy remodel. Sonya's has long been the local gay bar with the best view—now it might be the one with the best food, too. Stop in from 5 to 7 p.m. daily and pay just $4 a plate for above-average bar food. The beer-battered fish comes with near-perfect fries; a cheeseburger, steamed Penn Cove mussels in garlic butter, pork and vegetable pot stickers, designer salads, and buttermilk-chili marinated calamari all go for less than a five-spot. Plus you can drink for cheap without the pretensions of nearby Belltown. The new front bar and dining room are sleek and Northwest-chic, with a nice view of First Avenue ped traffic, but who can resist the back bar, with its big window on Elliott Bay? 1919 First Ave., 206-441-7996. Tia Lou's You mosey into Tia Lou's—Tuesday through Saturday between 5 and 7 p.m.—ascend the stairs to the Lico Lounge, and take refuge in the cool, dark cantina or venture out to the gigantic rooftop deck and bask in the early evening sun. "Hola, amigo," you say to the waiter and, with a wink and a smile, you let him know you'd like a margarita (just $3) and some chunky, juicy mini chicken tacos (also just $3). He delivers them to you speedily, and you partake of the fine food and beverage and are reminded of the time you spent on the coast of Mexico so many years ago. You're surrounded by tables of geeky young graphic designers and glossy Belltown scenesters, but close your eyes and you can hear the surf in the distance. Happy now? OUTDOOR SEATING! 2218 First Ave., 206-733-8226. Toi Toi's all posh: red walls, deep mahogany trim, and a bar inlaid with what the bartender describes as "deep-healing river stones." The happy-hour well drinks ($4.50) are stiff as the starched collars of the businessmen who come here for their end-of-the-day fix, and all Toi's appetizers (which are so delicious they will make you insane) are half-price. Prawn spring rolls ($5) are incredible and almost an entrée; pork tenderloin satay skewers ($3) are about the best happy-hour snack you could ask for and perfectly complement the liver-numbing whiskey sours. 5–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri. 1904 Fourth Ave., 206-267-1017. Viceroy There's good news and bad about Linda Derschang's latest adventure in Barland. The good news concerns Viceroy's tongue-in-chic '70s decor, including funny, right-on details like the buffalo-hoof lamp, snakeskin surfaces throughout, and the bookshelf straight out of a Baby Boomer rumpus room (Roots, anyone?). Even the music has a retro feel, though artists as fresh as Junior Senior may be heard pumping through the stereo system (or from the adjoining club, also part of the Viceroy mini-empire). The bad news? To go with your happy-hour libations ($1 off all drinks from 6 to 8 p.m. seven nights a week), all you get is a bottomless bowl of Goldfish or a $15 TV dinner; like many other Seattle bars, Viceroy serves only token edibles. No matter—the mood is mellow, the crowd seems surprisingly unpretentious, and the cocktails pack a well-blended wallop. 2332 Second Ave., 206-956-8423. Wasabi Bistro Upscale bar and restaurant; happy hour with downscale prices. Sushi rolls, sushi, tempura, etc. from $3 to $6; $3 for beer, $3–$6 for cocktails, wine, and sake. OUTDOOR SEATING! 4–6 p.m. daily and 11 p.m.–1 a.m. Sun.–Thurs. 2311 Second Ave., 206-441-6044. Zoey Blueplate Bistro At happy hour, Zoey feels like home. Specifically, it feels like a basement rec room adorned with Christmas lights. The bar resides under the Labor Temple on the outskirts of Belltown; its walls are plastered with political signage, muscular well drinks are $3, and an assortment of Greek and non-Greek bar snacks (saganaki, but also fantastic mini-burgers adorned with fresh fixin's) go for two bucks apiece. Friday night is music night: Live hip-hop, acid jazz, and other suitably underground styles of music happen on a weekly basis. When the über-hipness of glossy Belltown bores you, give Zoey a shot. All you have to lose is your sobriety. 3–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri. 2800 First Ave., 206-448-8555. Capitol Hill The Bad Juju Lounge "Dark" and "scary" might be the words most applicable to Juju's día de los muertos–style decor, but like that goth girl everyone shunned in high school, this place is more than meets the eye. Wall hangings adorned with snakes and bats nicely complement oversized candelabras covered in melted wax, but the cheerful, talkative bartenders and friendly regulars offset the bar's appearance. From 4 to 7 p.m. daily, prices are cheery, too, with $2.50 well drinks, $3.75 well martinis, and $1 off draft beer. The regular bar menu offers $2 tacos and an overflowing nacho platter ($6) absolutely must be shared. The design concept here is simple: "You're already in hell, so you might as well drink." 1518 11th Ave., 206-709-9951. The Broadway Grill There's something weird and fun about getting drunk in the middle of the day—particularly at the Broadway Grill. With Broadway's bizarre foot traffic a mere stone's throw away, the bar seems an oasis, and it has all the ingredients: real live tropical trees, hanging plastic fruit, midday game shows on the big screen, and good, stiff drinks. Happy hour's from 2 to 6 p.m. daily, with $1.75 draft beer, $2.50 well drinks, and $3.25 wines; if you haven't had your fill (or even if you have), you can come back for a second round between 11 p.m. and last call. One appetizer special is half-price daily—try the Dungeness crab and artichoke dip, or the toasted baguette with Cambozola cheese, almonds, and tomato-basil salsa. OUTDOOR SEATING! 314 Broadway Ave. E., 206-328-7000. The Capitol Club Harley: "Ah, yes, it's a fine evening, isn't it, Kensington?" Kensington: "The finest, my dear chap. I do so enjoy sipping a fine brandy on this lovely outdoor veranda." Harley: "And these low happy-hour prices are irresistible—the aforementioned fine brandy [$6] and the delectable sausage plate you seem to be so enjoying [$6] are easy on an old boy's bank account." Kensington: "Yes, feels a bit like thievery! And the Pike-Pine scene is bumping this evening, isn't it, my good man?" Harley: "Mmmm, yes. Quite." Happy hour's from 5 to 7 p.m. nightly. OUTDOOR SEATING! 414 E. Pine St., 206-325-2149. Charlie's On Broadway If clowns went to bars, they'd go to a joint like Charlie's. All dark, smoky, and Cheers-styley, with lots of wood and brass, Charlie's also recalls Grandma's basement, with a relic from every decade: a working Ms. Pac-Man table; an '80s and '90s megahits soundtrack; a time-warpish glass case with psychedelic peace signs and smiley faces; wooden sleds and other odd knickknacks hanging from the rafters; an ancient, operable, popcorn machine; and a circuslike, stained-glass awning over the bar all contribute to Charlie's funhouse feel. The food's appropriately cheap, with a yummy cheeseburger only $3.25 and potato skins with all the fixins only $3.95 from 3:30–7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.–1 a.m. daily. And, with $2.25 drafts, $2.75 microbrews, and $3.50 daily special cocktails, a circus salary goes a long way. 217 Broadway E., 206-323-2535. Chapel It would be ridiculous of us to suggest that you take advantage of Chapel's happy hour based solely on the fact that their glorious balcony is decorated with the most exquisite wallpaper in town, so we'll simply focus on the bounty of martinis offered for a mere $4. Monday through Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m., this former funeral home offers more than a dozen varieties of the shaken or stirred favorite, and some irreverent infused, muddled, and otherwise uniquely rendered versions of it, too. The food menu isn't to die for—excuse the pun—but the atmosphere is. We're quite unsure that there exists a more stately yet modernly funkdafied locale in all of the Capitol Hill region. And, really, you have to see the wallpaper. 1600 Melrose Ave, 206-447-9777. De Luxe Bar and Grill Three reasons to enjoy the De Luxe's lovely outdoor seating area: (1) The sounds of Broadway can drown out the less pleasant sounds of the Backstreet Boys and Celine that taunt indoor patrons; (2) It's a narrow margin, but the distant smell of incense beats having cigarettes puffed in your face at the bar; and (3) The De Luxe has charming baskets of flowers in fancy decorative cages for your viewing pleasure. Outdoors or in, at happy hour you'll get 75 cents off microbrews, $3 well drinks, and a fine selection of appetizers under $4—and the De Luxe is happy twice a day, 3–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–1:30 a.m., seven days a week. OUTDOOR SEATING! 624 Broadway Ave. E., 206-324-9697. Galerias Not your usual Mexican place, Galerias is all big and fancy in a really good way. Happy hour's every day from 4 to 7 p.m., with $3 margaritas and extremely delicious if pricey appetizers. OUTDOOR SEATING! 611 Broadway Ave. E., 206-322-5757. Honeyhole Capitol Hill's sweetheart sandwich shop now has a full bar (what's left without one now? Just Dick's, maybe?), an expanded dinner menu (pasta, grilled chicken kebabs, steak, salads), and a new, sharper look. Happy hour here means $2.50 wells and drafts, and $5 appetizers. 5–7 p.m. every day. 703 E. Pike St., 206-709-1399. Manray If the Jetsons were two men who had sex instead of a family, they'd be the owners of Manray. The interior is stylish and futuristic, much like the deck of the starship Enterprise, with most occupants wearing clothes as tight as Picard's jumpsuit. And Manray serves up $3.75 happy hour double (!) wells and $1.50 domestic beers all week long between 4 and 8 p.m. (till close on Sundays and Mondays). But what's the real reason to come here? A FREE BUFFET SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY DURING HAPPY HOUR! And if you're good-looking and male, the other patrons might buy your drinks. OUTDOOR SEATING! 514 E. Pine St., 206-568-0750. Satellite Lounge Just up the street from the Comet is its more mature cousin the Satellite, with a pretty bar, interesting ironwork, and, well, terrible upholstery; but no matter, Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., enjoy $2.50 well drinks and $2.25 microbrews, and 50 percent off buffalo wings and nachos, though you might be lured by the mysterious "Deep Fried Goodness" for $3.25. 1118 E. Pike St., 206-324-4019. Tango Duck into Tango for an after-work drink and behold what may be the best mojito north of Havana—sweet, minty, and the rum, mmm, the rum is light and smooth as hell. At $3.50 from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday, it may be the cheapest mojito around, too. $2.50 draft beers will also make you happy at this lower Capitol Hill hot spot—and the fried potatoes and plantains will assuage a tummy full of rum. A good selection of delectable pan-Latin tapas are half-priced for happy hour, so eat up. You won't need dinner. 1100 Pike St., 206-583-0382. Torero's That odd open-air place in the top of the Broadway Market offers standard-issue Mexi-American happy-hour snacks in the bar, perfect for an odd little dinner before a 7 o'clock movie: $1 beef tacos, $2 nachos and quesadillas, the intriguing $1.50 bean dip, and happy-hour priced blended margaritas that come out of a big machine whose sole purpose is to constantly swirl them around. OUTDOOR SEATING! Bar only, 3–6:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri. 401 Broadway Ave. E., 206-860-1363. Downtown Arena Bar at GameWorks Refreshingly, Arena Bar has the obvious down to a science—from requisite bar fare like chili fries, chicken tenders, and nachos to the obligatory pool tables and bar games like electronic football and golf. Its snappy motto, "Eat, drink, party, and play," epitomizes obviousness: It's a bar, so isn't that the point? And Arena's happy hour prices are obviously fair, with half-price appetizers (all under $5) and drinks (that's less than $2 for domestic drafts, and $2.50 or less for house margaritas and well cocktails). Predictably, happy hour's from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 p.m.–close on Thursdays. 1511 Seventh Ave., 206-521-0952. Bernards Every night at Bernard's from 4:30 to 7, the well drinks and martinis are a mere two bucks each. And on the evening when we first found this out, there were mozzarella sticks for free. Buckets of them. As it turns out, there are always gratis appetizers at happy hour. Happy indeed. Tuesday and Friday are reserved for pizza and wings, respectively, but other than that, the evening's snack is the, uh, chef's choice. Sure, the mozzarella sticks are lukewarm, but who's going to complain about that when there's a bottomless vat of them, the drinks are as cheap as they are strong, and you're sitting in a blissfully windowless room full of flickering flame-shaped lightbulbs? Not us, friends, not us. 315 Seneca St. (in the Hotel Seattle), 206-623-5110. The Brooklyn From 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, this is where you can pretend you're rich and famous. At the bar, the bartenders treat you like Rockefeller. On the courtyard patio, the waiters treat you like Gates. Everything is woody, shiny, and classy in an 1890s kind of way, and the prices add to the charm. For $5 you can get a half-dozen of the best oysters in the city or (if you ain't the hugest oyster fan) the best cilantro calamari. The amount of cilantro is so deliciously exact and the calamari so tender, it almost breaks your heart. Beer and wine are a little over $2.50 and well drinks under $5, meaning you can pretend here all afternoon if you want. OUTDOOR SEATING! 1212 Second Ave., 206-224-7000. Campagne Late-night light meals—petit cassoulet, calamari persillade, leeks in a truffle vinaigrette, and lamb burgers—for $10 and under in the bar. OUTDOOR SEATING! 10 p.m.–midnight nightly, 86 Pine St., 206-728-2800. Contour A coppery bar and tabletops in a dim, cool, high-ceilinged room; weird naked plaster bodies stuck on the wall (hey, that's his foot, OK?); Willie Nelson incongruously on the stereo; an extremely nice bartender; what's not to like? And Contour's happy-hour appetizers are not your basic bar food—they're unique, tasty, and practically free ($1.95!). The rosemary chicken strips and the spanakopita are really quite good; the zucchini fries with tzatziki are just adequate, but for $1.95, adequate's just fine. Drinks, $2 Dos Equis and $3.50 well drinks, are adequate, too. Enjoy them in the outdoor seating area, idyllic for First Avenue people-watching and bus-exhaust-fume-inhaling. Happy hour's from 4 to 8 p.m. every day; you'll be home safe before the Club Contour late-night pimpin' begins. OUTDOOR SEATING! 807 First Ave., 206-447-7704. Dragonfish This is where Paramount guests and Convention Center conveners come to drink beer and eat sushi. Everyone is well dressed, and pretending they aren't tourists, they just happen to be in a tourist bar. But it's nice in its own way. Cool anime prints hang on the walls below pink and white oriental lamps, pachinko machines flash mesmerizingly, and the service is friendly and sincere. The best deal is the sushi appetizers: They're all $1.95. Have a California roll while sipping on a pint of Kirin Ichiban, which, by the way, will run ya just $2.75. 722 Pine St., 206-467-7777. Elliott's Oyster House The bar's typical corporate seafood house, all gleam and blond wood; the outdoor seating has geraniums and Argosy boats coming and going on the shiny Sound. And, from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, a damn good happy hour. Have a happy-hour martini in its own cute mini shaker for $3 or a beer for $2.50 ($3 micros); make a little dinner out of a couple $1 one-oyster poorboys or small salmon sandwiches with a healthy little plank of top-rate fish and spicy slaw on a good roll ($1.95). Calamari ($2.95) benefits mightily from being soaked in buttermilk. There are mussels, clams, shrimp cocktail, and oyster stew for $3.95, and the amazing progressive oyster-on-the-half-shell happy hour—they're 50 cents each at 3 p.m. and go up 20 cents each half-hour thereafter. Ding! OUTDOOR SEATING! Pier 56, 201 Alaskan Way, 206-623-4340. Fadó Irish Pub Fadó, which is actually pronounced "F'doh," pours a mighty fine pint of Guinness ($5), and at least one of the waitresses is actually Irish. The Fadó happy-hour food is fairly Irish—heavy on both meat and carbs, with no fewer than half the dishes containing potatoes. The mini-potato-pancake pizzas are tasty (if not Irish), and like all the bar fare between 4 and 7 p.m. weekdays, a mere $2.50. Enjoy the sidewalk seating or join the boozing, sexed-up singles in the bar. OUTDOOR SEATING! 801 First Ave., 206-264-2700. The Green Room Some bars microwave frozen chicken wings, pour weak drinks, and expect you to pay top dollar for it, but the Green Room goes beyond regular happy-hour fare. Everything on the menu is just two bucks. Beers, wells, food. The wells are poured stiff and serious and the food is better than it needs to be. Tacos include meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and jack cheese; the little flour tortillas are fried to delight. They're topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole with delicious rice. All this for $2! 5–8 p.m. daily. 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151. The Islander Only someone squinting way too hard in the afternoon sun could mistake the Islander for Tahiti, but the Polynesian restaurant at 96 Union has a popular happy hour. Hanging out on the deck is like being an extra in Sex and the City; from 4–6 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m.–midnight all week long, glam twentysomethings bitch and moan about their exes while sipping rum punch from tiki heads and snacking on beautiful, tapas-style eats ($3.25 a pop for crab, tuna, or eel sushi; same price for potstickers, shrimp toast, et al.). Cocktails range from $6 to $8; the Zombie (rum with passionfruit and pineapple juice, plus a shot of grenadine and, yes, more rum) is at the high end, but it'll make you feel undead—in a good way. OUTDOOR SEATING! 96 Union St., 206-344-8088. Las Margaritas Downtown tends to be vacant and gray around 5 o'clock on an autumn evening. Then there's Las Margaritas. Step inside this downtown Mexican restaurant from 3 to 7 p.m. any day of the week, and the word "dreary" will erase itself from your vocabulary. The colors are brilliantly south of the border, the game's usually on TV, and the smell of warm tortilla chips pervades. Standbys like beef, chicken, or cheese quesadillas and supernachos are available for $5 during happy hour. Draft beers are poured for $2.50 (Bud and Bud Light) to $3 (Tecate, Dos Equis, and others) and frozen margaritas are $3.75. 1122 Post Ave., 206-623-7203. Library Bistro Thanks to meticulously messy bookshelves and earnest-looking portraits of famous author types, the Bistro resembles a movie set. Accordingly, you may find yourself wondering when, if ever, someone will yell "Action!" Happy hour here is a sleepy affair; it runs from 5 to 7 p.m. every weekday, and the hours don't exactly fly by. Four cocktails and four snacks at $4 apiece is a cute numerological hook, and the pulp fiction (cranberry vodka and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice) is refreshing and delicious. But when the deathly predictable jazz combo cranks out "Girl From Ipanema" or (horror of horrors) "Killing Me Softly," it'll be your appetite whose killing you mourn. The staff seems proud of the Oak Leaf lettuce salad with grilled nectarines, Walla Walla onions, and white balsamic vinaigrette ($7), but who orders salad at happy hour? Not unlike a hotel lobby, the Bistro's clean, retro atmosphere rings hollow; one could certainly while away the postwork blues elsewhere to better effect. 92 Madison St., 206-624-3646. McCormick and Schmick's The McCormick's on First Avenue is all old-school and dark wood and men's-clubby, with, somewhat alarmingly, a sign telling how many days remain till St. Patrick's Day. You are wise to arrive promptly at 4 p.m. (after which the power suits fill up the place) to get your discount carbs—beef taquitos with a very chunky, very mild salsa; chicken quesadilla with same; half-pound burger with Tillamook cheddar; pita pizza (which sounds good, but isn't); and more. It's a very long, very breaded list; and, at $1.95 per item, ostensibly very affordable. Turns out it's not as cheap as you might think: There is a drink-per-person minimum. Businesspeople are bastards. Happy hour roughly 3–6 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m.–midnight daily (call for particular locations). 1103 First Ave., 206-623-5500, DOWNTOWN; 722 Fourth Ave., 206-682-3900, DOWNTOWN; and 1200 Westlake N., 206-270-9052., LAKE UNION. Morton's of Chicago The drinks don't come cheap, but the sandwiches are free. One might ask why Morton's patrons need to eat for free if they can afford to drink there, but Morton's understands it's tough being rich and powerful. After a long day of power-brokering, suit-wearing types can take solace at happy hour in the dimly lit underground bar and cigar lounge. Alberto, the very skilled Cuban bartender, serves up good drinks, stiff and to the point, and, oh, those delectable sandwiches—tender flanks of beef, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and kissed by a housemade mustard and mayonnaise sauce on a sesame seed bun. 5–7 p.m., Mon.–Fri. 1511 Sixth Ave., 206-223-0550. The Oceanaire The place is all swank, the bar's all gleaming, and the oysters are all extremely fresh, resting on a lovely bed of shaved ice awaiting your arrival. From 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, you may partake of them (and their friends the shrimp) for half-price (that is, 75 cents to $1.12 per oyster, $7.48 for shrimp cocktail). With the money you save, you can have a $120 glass of Louis XIII cognac. 1700 Seventh Ave., 206-267-BASS. The Owl n' Thistle A classic Irish-American dive replete with Guinness posters, shamrocks, and so forth, and, lucky for you, a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. every day with $2.50 micros and $2.50 well drinks. Find a sometimes-elusive waitress and order the supreme happy-hour fish and chips ($2.95)—two big fishes and thick-thick cut fries. And sit still: The seats in the booths have been known to fall off and send people tumbling to the ground before they even have a buzz on. 808 Post Ave., 206-621-7777. Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery On a sunny afternoon—from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday—the Rock Bottom is a nice place to be. Sitting out on the large patio, listening to mildly drunk business banter, examining the bizarre and terrifying Rainier Tower in front of you, you can't help but say to yourself, "It's all good." And, even better, everything is $3—everything: beer, wine, well drinks, and appetizers. The Peashooter pale ale and a huge plate of nachos will send you home warm, full, and only $6 poorer. And this equals happiness, which, of course, is what happy hour is all about. OUTDOOR SEATING! 1333 Fifth Ave., 206-623-3070. Roy's Seattle Seattle hotel bars don't often evoke images of warm island luaus or anything otherwise sunny. Indeed, aside from the $3 pupus (Polynesian appetizers) and other island-inspired fare, there's nothing blatantly Polynesian about Roy's. The drinks aren't cheap, but they're a notch above your typical happy hour well, with $5 Stoli or Beefeater martinis and Jack Daniels Manhattans. Sake's $2.50 and draft beers are a fair-enough $3.50. The real reason to stop into Roy's from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. weeknights is the outrageous chocolate soufflé, warm and gooey in the middle, served with vanilla ice cream ($9). When the rain comes down like punishment and the winter wind howls through the streets, a bit of chocolate ecstasy and some good drinks might be the closest thing to island bliss you're going to find. 1900 Fifth Ave., 206-256-7697. Ruth's Chris Steak House Somewhere between the dark atmosphere of El Gaucho and the sophistication of the Met, Ruth's quiet happy hour offers very small gourmet snacks and good stiff drinks. Draft beer, wine and wells are only $2.75, and prices are almost unbelievable on the food—until you see the tiny portion sizes. Expect traditional happy-hour bites such as a quarter-pound burger ($1.95) and spinach artichoke dip ($2.95), as well as some healthier options like fresh Caesar salad ($1.95) and other munchies like barbecued shrimp ($3.95) and blackened chicken skewers ($2.95) which are spicy and good. One of the bonuses here is the fantastic (complimentary!) nutty bread. 4–6 p.m. and 9 p.m.–closing daily. 800 Fifth Ave., 206-624-8524, DOWNTOWN; 525 Bellevue Square, 425-451-1550, BELLEVUE. Sazerac A restaurant named after a N'Yawlins cocktail (whiskey or brandy, sugar syrup, and bitters) ought to have a good bar. Indeed, Sazerac's a decent choice for an after-work drink. It's a hotel bar, so the atmosphere's not exactly lively, but then again, you're probably not too lively by the end of the day, either. Stop in here between 4 and 6 p.m. weekdays for dependable drinks and above-average happy hour fare. Everything's $3.99—Manhattans, martinis, cosmos, microbrews, mussels, brie with toast, French fries, everything—with drinks specials rotating daily. The best deal is the pizza (andouille, veggie, or "wild & funky" daily special); fresh, tasty, meal-size, and also just $3.99. OUTDOOR SEATING! 1101 Fourth Ave., 206-624-7755. Typhoon! Happy! Hour! At! Typhoon! The bar is sleek, the yuppies are enjoying their after-work cosmopolitans, and, from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, you are eating their highly praised Thai food for cheap and pondering that exclamation point at your leisure. Happy hour drinks and bar appetizers are $2–$3.50 each, including larb chicken. Larb! 1400 Western Ave., 206-262-9797. W Bar Some days, a mini cheeseburger just won't cut it. Head here if you desire a swankier after-work bar. It's all black, gray, and chic, and during its "postwork program"—apparently "happy hour" is too pedestrian—$5 (that's cheap in W land) will get you one of their signature drops, a well drink, or an appetizer. Watch out for the drops; those yummy, fruity, sugar bombs, served in big martini glasses, are stronger than they taste. The appetizer list is long and exciting—tuna tartare with chili, mini barbecue beef sandwiches with slaw, Moroccan chicken skewers with olives and cucumber yogurt salad, and more. 3–6 p.m. and 11 p.m.–close Sun.–Thurs. Fourth Avenue and Seneca Street, 206-264-6000. Waterfront The business-suit set loves Waterfront, with its swank interior and fancy menu. Anyone else with eyes should love Waterfront, too, for its magnificent sweeping views of Puget Sound. It's not even on the water, it's over it—right over the top of it, on the end of Pier 70. And, from 4 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing daily, the featured oysters are only 50 cents apiece. Sit outside on the gigantic waterfront deck, cover your shirt with a white linen napkin, and shoot them back with a pint of beer ($3) or a well drink ($4). If you're looking for something heartier, try the tuna tempura with a spicy soy dipping sauce, the crispy fried calamari with soy mustard aïoli and a sweet chili sauce, or the Dungeness crab cake with mango papaya salad—all appetizers are 25 percent off. Then sit back and enjoy the view. OUTDOOR SEATING! 2815 Alaskan Way, 206-956-9171. EASTLAKE Duke's The boats outside the windows gently rock and the generic marine decor soothes; and Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Duke's has $2.50 wells and Red Hooks, and $3.95 "Duketails"—a stupid, stupid name for six very tasty extra-strength kamikazes. Very nice appetizers, such as the delectable calamari steak strips, are half price; you can take them to the waterfronty outdoor seating and pretend you're the drunken sailor they wrote that song about. OUTDOOR SEATING! 901 Fairview Ave. N., 206-382-9963, LAKE UNION; 2516 Alki S.W., 206-937-6100, WEST SEATTLE. Hooters Orange short-shorts, skimpy tank tops, $2.50 pints, and truly awful 25-cent chicken wings—boo-yeah! You're at Hooters during happy hour: 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The waitresses are ridiculously hot, and one of them, scarily, is way into Christian rock, following her attendance at an "awesome" Christian rock show featuring "that guy from 98 Degrees." As if that wasn't disturbing enough—she doesn't go into the mosh pit at Christian rock shows for "fear of being groped." Holy crap! Where are the WWJD bracelets? [Eds. note: Our intern's receipt from this happy hour had a note written in pink pen: "Good luck with your band! Thank you! {big girly pink heart} Shawna." Now that's service.] OUTDOOR SEATING! 901 Fairview N., 206-625-0555, LAKE UNION; 550 106th N.E., 425-452-9930, BELLEVUE. Sam's Steakhouse Liver likes alcohol, wallet likes money, stomach likes food—you like happy hour at Sam's Steakhouse. Well drinks, wine, and draft specials are a thrifty $2.75 twice a day, every day (4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight), and strong enough to steady your shaking hands; and there's lots of happy hour food, with great Buffalo wings and halibut and chips for about $3. Ignore the aging UW crowd watching Britney shake her ass on the four TVs and concentrate on what Sam's does best: cheap grub and strong booze. OUTDOOR SEATING! 2947 Eastlake Ave., 206-957-7777. Serafina From the charming woodwork and wall paint to the flowers and grapes hanging from the ceiling, Serafina is filled with European charm. That being so, it is difficult to get one of the two tables available for happy hour but there is plenty of space at the bar. This is where neighborhood residents go to relax before dinner. True rustic Italian fare is served in small portions with big taste. The flash-cooked calamari ($5.95) leaves one wanting a dipping sauce—or a deep fryer. But try the bruschetta duo ($4.95), grilled bread with green olive tapenade and spicy goat cheese. Spinach gnocchi ($5.95) is a tease of very small, very delicious proportion. Well drinks are $4.50 and microbrews on tap are $2.75. Start with the breadbasket with olive oil ($2); though the service is good, it runs on the slow side. 4:30–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri. 2043 Eastlake Ave. E., 206-323-0807. First Hill Vito's Is this place for real? Its dark red interior—with vinyl booths, buttoned walls, and a mirrored dance floor—is so over the top that it works. Just as this retro lounge seems to have slept through a few eras, its happy hour prices appear unaffected by decades of inflation. In other words, the price is right weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m., when everything—yes, everything—is $2. Beers, well drinks, and any one of three appetizers: strangely Dick's-like cheeseburgers with a few yummy fries ($2!), serviceable mini-pizzas ($2!), or the requisite wings ($2!). OUTDOOR SEATING! 927 Ninth Ave., 206-682-2695. Fremont Fremont Red Apple Market and Wine Bar Between 5 and 8 p.m. weekdays and 3 and 6 p.m. weekends, have a $5 glass of vino or pay $5 for a flight tasting of three wines. Munchies are complimentary. 3601 Fremont Ave. N., 206-633-3663. Ponti Seafood Grill Half-price appetizers like salmon quesadillas, Cajun barbecued prawns, grilled calamari, spicy pan-fried oysters, and ahi poki. Selected wines by the glass half price, all pints and well drinks $2.50: 4–6:30 p.m. weekdays; 5–6:30 p.m. weekends; and 9 p.m.–closing daily. OUTDOOR SEATING! 3014 Third Ave. N., 206-284-3000. Suite G Sometime before the crowds pack in and live jazz heats up onstage, you can still find a quiet corner with a single candle on your table during happy hour at Suite G. Head to this modern restaurant/bar/jazz club between 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for some good deals on drinks and snacks. The waitstaff are very casual and seem happy to keep the drinks flowing as patrons relax to the smooth sounds of Coldplay. Happy hour means half off so you'll only pay $1.75 for a beer, $2 for well drinks, and somewhere between $2 and $6 for snacks. The salmon fish and chips with sweet potato fries make a tasty after-work treat. 513 N. 36th St., 206-632-5656. ToST Lounge You'll have to navigate around the jam-band-loving hippies and college kids that flock to this Fremont hot spot, but this happy hour is worth the effort. A recent remodel made a good bar better with improved seating and dancing areas, an upholstered "conversation pit" near the fireplace (do not attempt conversation after midevening when live music rules the roost), and sexy new velvet drapery. From 5 to 7 p.m. nightly, all food is half off, including quesadillas, barbecue vegetarian riblets, and inspired house pizzas (about $5 for a 9-inch pie during happy hour). Drafts are $2.50 and wells, house wine, and martinis are $3, $4, and $5, respectively. On Saturdays, the live music starts early at 6 p.m. and there's no cover charge before 8 o'clock. 513 N. 36th St., 206-547-0240. Green lake Luau Polynesian Lounge The second best thing about Luau's Hula Happy Hour is that it's not crowded—on the contrary, Luau is surprisingly quiet from 3 to 5 p.m. every day, with prime outdoor seating available for the taking. The best thing about Hula Happy Hour (aside from its name) is that the alarmingly friendly employees are known to pass out free Otter Pops on occasion. Other really good things: Luau's Hawaiian cocktails ($4.50–$5), the signature buckets of cute little 7-ounce Coronitas on ice ($5 for 3, $9 for 5, and $11 for 7), and the island-inspired pupus (appetizers), like guava barbecue ribs ($5) and Kahlua pork sandwiches ($8). Plus the tiki decor! OUTDOOR SEATING! 2253 N. 56th St., 206-633-5828. Rosita's A run around the lake deserves a reward, don't you think? Maybe one of the best margaritas in town can do the trick. Sweaty or not, check out happy hour at this Mexican restaurant on Green Lake. From 4 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing daily, a huge selection of margaritas are discounted to around $4. They aren't the strongest we've had, but they're very tasty. Quesadillas, tacos, salad, or nachos are generously portioned and not bad for $3–$4—cheesy and a little bland, but easily improved by some of Rosita's extremely hot salsa. The No. 1 reason to visit Rosita's is the delicious, complimentary little corn tortillas, made fresh and served warm. 7210 Woodlawn Ave N.E., 206-523-3031. Tacos Guaymas Cantina You'll need a siesta after this fiesta. Happy hour's in full swing twice a day now at Tacos Guaymas Greenlake, and it's not a typical discounted-Corona-and-tortilla-chips affair, either. Oh no. With two pork or chorizo tacos for $3, a chicken quesadilla or tostada for $4, chicken flautitas or veggie nachos for $5, and seafood tostadas or chicken nachos for $6, this happy hour dares you to go home hungry. And with $4–$6 premium margaritas, $3 Tecate or Dos Equis, and $1.50 Coors pints, you'd better not be driving when you do go home. 4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight. OUTDOOR SEATING! 6808 Green Lake Way E., 206-729-6563. International District/Chinatown Bush Garden With a faux pagoda roof over the bar and cushy vinyl seats with roller wheels, it's cherry-blossom Japan meets American airport cocktail lounge, and the results are pleasing indeed. The two-for-one appetizer (including skewers of shrimp wrapped in bacon—now that's a snack, people!) and sushi happy hour will make you extra happy. Bar only, 5–6:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri. 614 Maynard S., 206-682-6830. Vesper Lounge This extremely spacious, high-ceilinged new Filipino restaurant in the Chinatown International District serves native and pan-Asian bar snacks for just $3 a plate during happy hour (5–7 p.m. weekdays). Try a lumpia—a Philippine egg roll stuffed with pork and veggies (there is a vegetarian option)—or have at the explosive Manila-style barbecue pork skewers, the halibut turnovers, or the Bali-style Matahari calamari fries. And if drinks take a back seat to food here, it's subtle—the $2.50 well drinks are expertly crafted. If you feel like paying a bit more, close your eyes and point to one of the thoughtful concoctions on the signature cocktails list. Beer folk will fare well here too, with domestics just $2 during happy hour. 212 Fifth Ave. S., 206-223-0593. Mount Baker The Rose Club So it's not happy hour—it's still boss. Every Monday night is Ladies' Night at this sweet little Mount Baker spot, with half-price bottles of wine (that's any bottle), $2 beers, and half-price pizzas (including potato and roasted garlic, caramelized onion and goat cheese, and specials like pancetta and pepperoni). P.S. Gentlemen are welcome and will receive the same special prices despite their gender—it's in honor of the ladies. OUTDOOR SEATING! 3601 S. McClellan, 206-725-3654. Pike Place Market Cutters Bayhouse The real views are in the dining room, which overlooks Elliott Bay. The happy-hour specials are available only in the bar, but its view of Pike Place Market ensures prime people-watching from 3–7 p.m. Just-off-work downtown professionals gather here for the extended happy hours and decent seafood deals, including half-price sushi. Plates such as the Cajun shrimp ($3.95) are big enough to share. Try the meaty crab-and-artichoke dip or the delicious calamari-nacho fusion dish (both $4.95). There's only one beer on the menu, the Cutters Amber Lager at $2.95, and specialty cocktails—including the sweet, mysteriously colored Blue Lagoon with Absolute mandarin vodka, pineapple juice, and rum—run $3.95 to $4.25. 2001 Western Ave., 206-448-4884. Pike Pub & Brewery Well drinks are discounted here during happy hour, but nobody really drinks them. It's all about the beer at Pike Pub, and they come through with specials on those, too. From 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays, their own brews flow for $2.50 a pint. That's their India Pale Ale, Naughty Nellie's, Kilt Lifter, Pike Weisse, Bootleg Brown, Pike Street XXXXX Stout, everything. Of the half-price appetizers, the Thai seafood cakes ($4.50) with coconut sweet chili sauce are a solid choice, as is the tequila-marinated chicken quesadilla ($3.95). There are pool tables and another game: watching your beer-buzzed buddies try to traverse the winding ramps from the sunken pub up to street level. (Be a responsible pal, get 'em a safe ride home.) 1415 First Ave, 206-622-6044. Pioneer Square Diner Are you the type of person who likes to lounge in a red vinyl booth and watch Crossfire while simultaneously listening to '80s music? Of course you are. If you're also the type of person who likes to drink beer in the late afternoon, Diner is the place to be. There are $2 domestics, $2.50 microbrews, and $3 imports Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., with a daily happy-hour food special for $2.99 (e.g., Monday, pizza loaf; Thursday, cheeseburger and fries). Want to drink with the kids? Diner also has a soda fountain happy hour between 3 and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Drink a big, thick lager and watch those cute rug rats color the menu. OUTDOOR SEATING! 72 S. Washington St., 206-340-8859. Luigi's Grotto Go down the steep steps, through the doors, and hang a left to get to the Vino Vino Lounge, home of indescribably odd atmosphere, Sopranos-esque service (except they don't shoot you), and one of the best and weirdest happy hours in town. Luigi's is a labyrinthine underground place, aggressively decorated in homegrown Eyetalian style; the lounge has vinyl tablecloths and a stand-up cooler that you can see used to belong to Snapple. Turkish chanterelles; arugula with gorgonzola and pine nuts; and garlic-rosemary cannellini bean spread served with warm wedges of flatbread. How many happy hours offer snacks like these? From 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays at the Grotto, you can get a beverage—wine, beer, or well drink—and a lovely six-plate sampler of fancy Italian finger food for a mere $10. 102 Cherry St., 206-343-9517. QUEEN ANNE Hoyt's Pub It is little short of astounding that something this blue-collar still exists on top of Queen Anne. Nice, drunk couples in Levis shoot pool and sing along with James Brown. Russian women sit in the booths discussing their lazy boyfriends. Libby—blond, skeptical, and straight out of a Raymond Carver story—takes your orders. It's grand. There are drink specials from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Everything is the color of mahogany and soothing like the womb. 1527 Queen Anne Ave. N., 206-284-2656. Ozzie's Roadhouse Despite a redecoration that mainly serves to confuse, Ozzie's dives onward at the foot of Queen Anne. Happy hour here, 4 to 6 p.m., is a splendid way to begin a downward spiral of a night, with $2.50 wells and $2.25 beers, and a $2 bar menu including wings, chicken fingers, and their ilk. The food's not going to be anything to write home about, but you're at Ozzie's, so you're obviously not too particular. 105 W. Mercer St., 206-284-4618. Sapphire Kitchen & Bar In the search for an inexpensive buzz on upper Queen Anne, it's easy to overlook Sapphire. Could a tiny, stylish place with Mediterranean food that good really pour a cheap drink? This one can. From 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily, bottles of Bud and Amstel Light ($2.25); wells ($3.75); and house lemon drops, cosmos, and martinis ($5.75) are all discounted. Order a plate or two off the tapas menu (5 p.m.–midnight daily) and you've got yourself a date. With a mosaic on the ceiling and a natural mosaic of sorts above the outdoor patio seating, Sapphire looks awfully pretty on a buzz. OUTDOOR SEATING! 1625 Queen Anne Ave. N., 206-281-1931. Redmond Celtic Bayou You crave jambalaya. She wants a heaping plate of bangers and mash. If this dilemma sounds frightfully familiar, the Celtic Bayou is the answer to your prayers. Mostly it's the food that's Cajun and the beer that's Irish, but the cross-cultural wackiness knows no strict boundaries here. Happy hour happens daily from 4 to 7 p.m., during which two of the Bayou's fine selection of Far West Ireland Brewing Company beers are chosen at random each hour to go for the low, low price of $2.75 a pint. Happy-hour appetizer specials and outdoor seating sweeten the deal. The Bayou's location—it's tucked into a strip mall spitting distance from 520—is also a godsend for those who've longed for a one-stop destination where you can drop off the dry cleaning, get a buzz, and buy a parakeet. Life is good. OUTDOOR SEATING! 7281 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., 425-869-5933. Coho Café Appetizers for hearty appetites include shrimp and crab quesadillas, harissa-spiced pork ribs, double-fried chicken wings, and rock-shrimp cakes, all no more than $6. Get $1 off draft beer, wine by the glass, and well drinks from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing daily. OUTDOOR SEATING! 8976 161st N.E., 425-885-2646. Roosevelt/Wedgwood Wedgwood Ale House The unusually erudite regulars may sit at the bar inside and discuss the ramifications of a depleting ozone (really, they do), but the outdoor seating is where it's at for happy-hour relaxation. Big picnic tables sit in perpetual shade. Nice people smoke cigarettes and talk about art. An occasional breeze blows your hair in a way that makes you feel like a happy child. From 3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, it's all perfect for enjoying a $3 pint and a huge plate of $3 spicy nachos (but be warned, this is the only happy-hour snack). The service is quick and a soothing, and an amicable Wedgwood vibe pervades the air. It's lovely. OUTDOOR SEATING! 8515-A 35th N.E., 206-527-2676. Seattle Center Liquid Lounge It's Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., you don't have to pay the $20 museum admission, and $3 will get you a well drink, or stuffed mushrooms, or jerked chicken wings, or pizza, or mini pulled pork sliders, or a hummus and olive plate with fresh flatbreads—and draft beers are only $2.50. F.Y.I. and/or warning: Happy hour is in full effect before Sonics home games and also afterward till close with a ticket stub. 325 Fifth Ave. N., 206-770-2777. University District The District Lounge If you've ever dreamed of living inside a Lava Lamp, the District is your kind of bar. And if you've ever imagined returning to the womb and finding $3 drink specials there, you might feel just as much at home. The U District's most unsung watering hole is tucked beneath a towering Best Western, so it's no surprise that the lounge seems virtually empty most weekday evenings. That's a shame, because the District's soft red-orange lighting and endlessly plush booth-couches recall the good old days when all we did was float and kick. On a recent evening, the sound system bled cold-comfort music into the place—mostly Radiohead, Morrissey, and Belle & Sebastian—as we raised $3 well drinks and $4 glasses of red wine (selected whites are $3 as well), snacking all the while on a gorgeous small bites plate ($9). Essentially a nouveau antipasto assortment, the plate was like a still life: white bean paté, perfectly smoked almonds, olive tapenade, roasted garlic, and various vegetables arranged beside an exquisitely broken heap of taro chips and crispy flatbreads. Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. daily; on weekend evenings, there's live jazz piano. 4507 N.E. Brooklyn St., 206-547-4134. Galway Arms This laidback neighborhood pub has free live music almost every night of the week. The smoky bar can get rowdy so grab some friends (and a seat) and kick back to enjoy the show—which may include an authentic Irish brawl. Happy hour features $2.50 wells and microbrews with different menus from 4 to 7 p.m.—including beer battered fish and chips and a fabulous (if out of place) hummus plate, all $2.95—and from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., with heartier food, at heartier prices: $4.95 for the award-winning clam chowder and Guinness stew. Both menus include fabulous french fries for $1.95. With happy hour twice a night, seven nights a week, one might be inclined to become a regular. Sunday night darts anyone? 5257 University Way, 206-527-9868. The Irish Emigrant The Irish waitress, with a timbre of melancholy and fatigue, calls you "hon" and "sweet" while bringing you a $3 pint of Harp during happy hour (4 to 7 p.m. daily). "Thank you," you say. You take a bite of your $3 Macho Nachos that are short on cheese but big on filling. The sun falls on your face out on the outdoor deck, and you look around at summer college students and off-the-clock painters sipping cold ones and talking about Professor Davis, Edgar Martinez, and the joy that comes with sunshine. The beer is good, and the $3 fare (from half-pound burgers to a beef stew that no one seems to order) is simple and does what happy-hour food should: satisfies. And that's how you feel at the Emigrant: satisfied. OUTDOOR SEATING! 5260 University Wy. N.E., 206-525-2955. Ivar's Salmon House It's like a trip to Tillicum Village, without the boat ride and with a full bar. Could it get any better, really? Yes! The bar is called the Whalemaker Lounge! And it has a great view of distant, forgotten downtown! And happy-hour well drinks, draft beers, house wines, and appetizers (chowder with garlic bread! Calamari! Clam strips and chips! Caesar! And more!) are only $2.50! 3:30–6:30 p.m. and 9–10 p.m. weekdays. OUTDOOR SEATING! 401 N.E. Northlake Way, 206-632-0767. The Monkey Pub This pub doesn't monkey around when it comes to happy hour. From 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday (and all day on Sunday!), this comfy Roosevelt hangout serves up $2.50 wells and microbrews, not to mention free pool at the Monkey's well-lit tables (if you can finagle your way to the front of the line). But wait: There's so much more! Monday night is taco bar night, so order a round o' tequila and pass the hot sauce. Of course, you could also relieve your hunger pangs with calzones from Pete's Calzone next door. And turn your attention toward the hit-filled jukebox. 5305 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-523-6457. West Seattle Duke's The boats outside the windows gently rock and the generic marine decor soothes; and Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., Duke's has $2.50 wells and Red Hooks, and $3.95 "Duketails"—a stupid, stupid name for six very tasty extra-strength kamikazes. Very nice appetizers, such as the delectable calamari steak strips, are half price; you can take them to the waterfronty outdoor seating and pretend you're the drunken sailor they wrote that song about. OUTDOOR SEATING! 2516 Alki S.W., 206-937-6100, WEST SEATTLE; 901 Fairview Ave. N., 206-382-9963, SOUTH LAKE UNION. info@seattleweekly.com

 
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