Downtown Happy Hours: the complete guide

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April 26, 2004 // UPDATED 1:22 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Tom Corothers
Tom Corothers

The Happy Hour. Who invented it? Were great German beermeisters hawking their craft for "half off, with a free spaetzel bar" hundreds of years ago? Were Roman Centurions toasting their victories in Mediterranean taverns with two-for-one house mead? Did Samurai line up for all-you-can-eat sushi specials after a hard day of fighting off barbarian hordes? Whoever came up with the idea, it is grand indeed. These days, it is practically unheard of for a watering hole not to have some kind of special to retreat to after work. To aid Downtown bargoers in finding the Happy Hour that is right for them, Skyway News has compiled this list. It took a lot of work (and a lot of Alka-Seltzer), but our suffering is your reward. We even threw in a couple of our favorites in some nontraditional categories. Without further ado, the 2004 Skyway News

Downtown Happy Hour Guide:

Arone's Bar

500 Central Ave. SE

623-3245

Happy hours: M-Th 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 tap beer, $2.50 rail drinks, domestic bottles, daily "surprise" beer specials

Applebee's

600 Hennepin Ave. S.

332-5255

Happy hours: M-F 3-6 p.m. and after 9 p.m. daily

Drink deals: $1 off drinks

Food deal: two-for-one appetizers after 9 p.m.

Bar Lurcat

1624 Harmon Pl.

486-5900

Happy hours: M-F 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-priced tap beer and rail drinks

Brit's Pub

1110 Nicollet Mall

332-3908, www.britspub.com

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Special: $10 pitcher of LaBatt's/appetizer combo

Boom!

401 E. Hennepin Ave.

378-3188

Happy hours: M 4 p.m.-close, Tu-Su 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 domestic bottles, $2.50 rail drinks, $4 house wine

Downtown's Second-Longest Happy Hour

Brass Rail

422 Hennepin Ave. S.

333-3016

Happy hours: M-F noon-9 p.m.

Drink deals: any domestic beer or bar pour cocktail is $2.25 ($1-$1.25 off)

Bunker's

761 Washington Ave. N.

338-8188

Happy hours: Daily 3-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 bottled beer, $2-2.50 drinks

Champp's

100 N. 6th St.

335-5050

Happy hours: M-F 4-6:30 p.m.

Drink deal: $1 off drinks

Food deals: Various appetizer specials

Chevy's

701 Hennepin Ave. S.

333-3355

Happy hours: Daily 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: half-priced margaritas, beer, well drinks

Food deals: half-priced appetizers

Best Happy Hour To Burn Off Those Calories with Some Old-Fashioned Athletic Competition

City Billiards

25 N. 4th St.

338-2255,

www.citybilliards.com

Happy hours: Su 6-11 p.m., Tu-Th 3-8 p.m., F 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2.50 taps, $2.75 rails

Added Bonus: Free pool during happy hours

Club 3 Degrees

113 N. 5th St.

781-8488, www.club3degrees.com

Conga Latin Bistro

501 E. Hennepin Ave.

331-3360

Happy hours: M-F 5-9 p.m.

Drink deals: Two-for-one drinks

Food deal: Half-priced appetizers

Cuzzy's

507 Washington Ave. N.

339-6211

Happy hours: M-F 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 bottled beer, well drinks

Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant

1010 Nicollet Mall

332-1010

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 tap beers, well drinks, house wines, $6 special martini menu

Food deal: Half-priced bar menu food

Dan Kelly's

2112 S. 7th St.

333-2644

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2.25 domestic taps, bottles, well drinks

Food deal: $2 off appetizers

The District

430 1st Ave. N.

333-2739

Happy hours: Daily 3-7 p.m.

Food and Drink deal: Half-priced appetizers and drinks

Drink

26 N. 5th St.

659-9000

Happy hours: M-Sa 4-7 p.m.

Drink deal: Half-priced drinks

8th Street Grill

800 Marquette Ave.

349-5717

Happy hours: Daily 3-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $2.50 well drinks, $1 off tap drinks

Also various daily food/drink specials

Eli's

1225 Hennepin Ave. S.

332-9997

Happy hours: M-F 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 tap beers, $2 rail drinks, $2 domestic beers

Food deal: Half-off appetizers

Fine Line

318 1st Ave. N.

338-8100, www.finelinemusic.com

Happy hours: Daily 8-11 p.m. (non-ticketed shows only), last Tuesday of the month open at 6 p.m. for the Pub Quiz; happy hours last until 11 p.m.

Drink deals: Well drinks $3.50, Jager bombs $3.75, Miller and Leinie's $3

Fire Lake Grill House and Cocktail Bar

35 S. 7th St.

216-3473

Happy hours: M-F 4-6:30 p.m.

Food deals: $1.99 appetizers, half-price on some entrees with a regular-priced cocktail

TGI Friday's

615 Hennepin Ave. S.

305-1915

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Drink deal: Half-priced drinks

GameWorks

600 Hennepin Ave. S.

656-7300

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: Various drink specials

Food deals: Half-priced drinks

Gay '90s

408 Hennepin Ave. S.

333-7755, www.gay90s.com

Happy hours: M-F 4-9 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 well drinks and beer, $1 various shots

Gluek's

16 N. 6th St.

338-6621, www.glueks.com

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 Gluek's pints & bottles, $3 premium pints, $2.50 house wine, well drinks

Food deals: Various

Grumpy's Bar and Grill

1111 Washington Ave. S.

340-9738, www.grumpysbar.com

Happy hours: M-F 3-7 p.m.

Drink deal: $1 off all drinks

Food deals: $1 off all appetizers, 25-cent buffalo wings

Harvey's

106 N. 3rd St.

343-5930, www.harveysmpls.com

Happy hours: Daily 4-7 p.m.

Drink deal: $1 off all drinks

Food deal: Half-priced appetizers

Hubert's Bar and Restaurant

601 Chicago Ave.

332-6062

Happy hours: Daily 3-8 p.m.

Drink deals: $1.95 domestic taps, $2.25 domestic bottles and well drinks

Beware baseball: Happy Hours may be nullified during dome events

Ichiban

1333 Nicollet Mall

339-0540

Happy hours: Daily 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Drink deals: None

Food deals: All-you-can-eat sushi bar, $22

Ike's

50 S. 5th St.

746-4537

Happy hours (not yet, but imminent within a couple weeks): M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 domestic taps, well drinks

Food deals: Various, to-be-determined, appetizer specials

Best Happy Hour to Wear Your Quasi-Futuristic Clothes For

It's a nice place, a blend of retro and now. One can't get over the notion that while enjoying a martini and mashed potatoes, that Dr. Evil and Number Two are hiding out in the backroom.

Imperial Room

417 1st Ave. N.

376-7676, www.imperialroom.com

Happy hours: M-Th 3:30-7 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-off rails, taps and martinis

The cat's pajamas: The Imperial Room offers a free mashed potato bar during happy hours!

J.D. Hoyt's

301 Washington Ave. N.

338-1560, www.jdhoyts.com

Happy hours: M-F 3:30-6 p.m.

Deals: $1.99 appetizers and tap beers

Jazzmine's

123 N. 3rd St.

630-5299, www.jazzmines.com

Happy hours: W-Su 5-7 p.m.

Drink deals: Two-for-one rail, taps and specialty drinks

Best Happy Hour for Not Smelling Like You Were at Happy Hour While bar patrons in Duluth have no say in the matter, there are still quite a few Minneapolis bargoers who like to have a cancer stick or two with their specially priced drink. Not at the Jetset, however. This smoke-free bar shuns the smokers and guarantees the only smell you will leave with is whatever libation happens to be on your breath.

Jetset Bar

115 N. 1st St.

339-3933

Happy hours: Tu-F 5-8 p.m.

Just a drink deal?: $1.25 off "anything"

Joe's Garage

1610 Harmon Pl.

904-1163, www.joes-garage.com

Happy hours: Su-Th 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: Two-for-ones on Summit, rail drinks and house wine

Keegan's Irish Pub and

Restaurant

16 University Ave. NE

252-0880, www.keeganspub.com

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-priced selected foreign and domestic pints

Kieran's

330 2nd Ave. S.

339-4499, www.kierans.com

Happy hours: M-F 3-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $1 off tap and bottled beers, rail drinks, house wine

Food deals: $4 appetizer menu, including fish and chips

King and I Thai

1346 LaSalle Ave.

332-6928

Happy hours: M-F 4:30-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 domestic bottles, $4 cocktails, $5 martinis and house wine

Lee's Liquor Lounge

101 Glenwood Ave.

338-9491

Happy half-hours: M-F 5-5:30 p.m.

Short-and-Sweet Drink deal: One free drink

Little Wagon

420 S. 4th St.

332-4418

Happy hours: 4:30 p.m. until whenever it runs out

Food deals: Meats and cheeses offered free of charge (however, make sure to call ahead, as this is an intermittent offer)

The Local

931 Nicollet Mall

904-1000

Happy hours: M-F, 2-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $1.50 off pints, rail drinks and house wine

Food deals: Half-priced appetizers

Best Looking (In Take-Home-To-Mom Way) Waitresses Happy Hour

There's no doubt: the hands-down winner for finest-looking waitstaff is the Lone Tree. Not only are the waitresses at this Downtown establishment easy on the eyes, they are also amongst the nicest, most-polite staff in the urban core. It's easy to fall in love at this happy hour.

Lone Tree Bar & Grill

528 Hennepin Ave. S.

338-1730

Happy hours: Daily 4:30-7 p.m.

Drink deal: Two-for-one drinks

Food deals: Various appetizer specials

The Loon Caf/

500 1st Ave. N.

332-8342

Happy hours: 4-6:30 p.m.

Drink deals: $1 off beer, wine and drinks. $2.50 margaritas

Food deals: Half-priced appetizers

Happy hour deals are not in effect during Target Center events

Lyon's Pub

16 S. 6th St.

333-6612, www.lyonspub.com

Happy hours: M-F 4:30-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $1 off all taps and "bar pour" highballs

Food deal: Half-priced appetizers

Market BBQ

1414 Nicollet Ave. S.

872-1111

Happy hours: M-F 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $1 off drinks in bar

Food deals: Half-priced appetizers on Mondays

Martini Blu

615 2nd Ave. S.

339-3655

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $4 specialty cocktails (plus $4 martinis all day Thursday)

Food deals: special happy hour appetizer menu

Maxwell's American Pub

1201 Washington Ave. S.

338-1980

Happy hours: M-F 3-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $1 off cocktails and beer

Food deal: Half-priced appetizers

The Drinks Are Still Gonna Cost You Happy Hour

This Downtown establishment entices patrons with ultra-low-cost food deals, which are quite nice. However, with drink prices starting near $5 even during happy hour, it's hard to get out of this establishment on the cheap.

McCormick & Schmick's

800 Nicollet Mall

338-3300

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Food deal: $1.95 Appetizer Menu

Best Martini Massage Happy Hour

Mell's Beauty Bar does not go for the standard half-price-drinks-over-a-game-of-billiards concept. Instead, patrons slap a $10 and a $5 down and can drink their martini before, during or after a massage or a pedicure. No other bar in the city offers this service -- legally, that is.

Mell's Beauty Bar

606 Washington Ave. N.

338-1680

Happy hours: Tu-F 5-8 p.m.

Here's the rub: $15 drink and chair massage or manicure

Melting Pot

80 S. 9th St.

338-9900

Happy hours: Su-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2.50 domestic beers, $3.50 import beers, $1 off well drinks and wine by the glass

Food deals: special bar appetizer menu

Minneapolis Eagle

515 Washington Ave. S.

338-4214

Happy hours: M-F 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Drink deals: All drinks 50 cents off

Best Happy Hour for Cheap Carnivores

Morton's of Chicago

555 Nicollet Mall

673-9700

Happy hours: M-F 5-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 martinis

Food deals: Free steak sandwiches

The Wine Lovers' Happy Hour

Mpls Caf/

1110 Hennepin Ave.

672-9100, www.mplscafe.com

Happy hours: Su-Th 4 p.m.-close

Drink deal: Half-priced bottles of wine, up to $100

Murray's Restaurant and Lounge

26 S. 6th St.

339-0909

Happy hours: M-F 3-7 p.m.

Drink deal: $1 off all drinks

Nami

251 1st Ave. N.

333-1999, www.namisushi.com

Happy hours: M-F 5-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 domestic bottles; $3 rail, imports, house wine and sake; $4.50 martinis

Food deals: $2 and $3 food, sushi

New Delhi

1400 Nicollet Ave.

813-0000

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m., Daily 10 p.m.-1 a.m.

Drink deals: $1 off all drinks (M-F); $4 martinis, 2-for-1 domestic tapes, $1 off all cocktails, $2.50 for selected shots (late night).

Food deals: Half-priced appetizers (M-F)

The News Room

990 Nicollet Mall

343-0073

Happy hours: M-F 3:30-6:30 p.m., Su 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Drink deals: $2 Blue Moon pints (M), $2 Summit Pale Ale pints (Tu), $2 Leinie Honey Weiss pints (W), $2 Guinness pints (Th), $2 Miller Lite pints (F), $2 Harp pints and $5 call- your-own Absolut martinis (Su)

Food deals: $3 Ahi pot stickers (M), $3 cajun popcorn (Tu), $3 wings (W), $4 call-your-own-flatbread (Th, F)

Nick and Tony's

50 S. 6th St.

659-9450

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 cosmos, $3 black-and-tans, $2 Coors Light bottles, $3 Stella Artois taps

Food deals: $3 appetizers

Nye's Polonaise Room

112 E. Hennepin Ave.

379-2021

Happy hours: M-F noon-6 p.m.

Drink deals: Various specials on beer, martinis and well drinks

O'Donovan's Irish Pub

700 1st Ave. N.

317-8896

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $3.50 Pints, select wines; $3.00 well drinks; $2 select shots

Old Chicago

508 1st Ave. N.

338-8686

Happy hours: Daily 3-6:30 p.m.

Drink deals: Reduced-priced cocktails and beer

Food deals: $2.50 appetizer specials

Palomino

825 Hennepin Ave. S.

339-3800

Happy hours: Daily 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $5 martini selection

Food deals: Reduced-price appetizers, burgers and salads

Pizza Luc/

119 N. 4th St.

333-7359, www.pizzaluce.com

Happy hours: Daily 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-priced well drinks and taps

Refuge Bar & Grill

430 1st Ave. N.

338-1926

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-priced drinks and appetizers

Rick's Cabaret

300 S. 3rd St.

321-0488

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $4.25 nonpremium drinks

Food deals: Half-priced appetizers

Rock Bottom Brewery

800 LaSalle Ave.

332-2739

Happy hours: Daily 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-priced pints

Rosen's Bar and Grill

430 1st Ave. N.

338-1926

Happy hours: Daily 3-7 p.m.

Drink deal: Half-priced drinks

Food deal: Half-priced appetizers

Rossi's Blue Star Room

90 S. 9th St.

312-2828, www.bluestarjazz.com

Happy hours: Daily 4-8 p.m.

Drink deals: Two-for-one drinks

Food deals: M-Sa 4-6 p.m. $2 food menu in the tavern

Salsa a la Salsa

1420 Nicollet Ave.

813-1970

Happy hours: M-Th 3-6 p.m.

Drink deals: two-for-one margaritas, beers and wine

Sapor Caf/-Bar

428 Washington Ave.

375-1971

Happy hours: M-Th 5-10 p.m., F-Sa 5-11 p.m.

Drink deal: $4 featured wines

Food deals: Various food specials

Sawatdeee

122 N. 4th St.

373-0840

Happy hour: M-Th 4-6 p.m., 10-11 p.m.

Drink deals: $3 pints, wine, rail drinks, $4 taps

Food deals: $3 appetizers

Sawatdee

607 Washington Ave. S.

338-6451

Happy hours: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Food deals: $1.99 appetizers at the bar

Solera

900 Hennepin Ave. S.

338-0062

Happy hour: M-F 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: Half-priced sangria; beers and well drinks $1 off

Food deals: Selection of discounted tapas

Spike's Sports Bar and Grill

1330 Nicollet Mall

330-1234

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: $1 off all taps

Food deals: $2 off all appetizers, 25-cent buffalo wings, $3 taco basket

Starlite Lounge and The Elbow Room

212 E. Hennepin Ave.

623-3301

Happy hours: M-F 4-7 p.m.

Drink deals: Two-for-one on well drinks, taps and Rolling Rock bottles

Food deal: Two-for-one appetizers in Starlite Lounge

Best Happy Hour for the Designated Driver

Upstart Tiburon, near St. Thomas' Minneapolis campus, offers two-for-ones on the Shirley Temples, O'Doul's and the like, in addition to a variety of alcoholic alternatives so that even the responsible patron can feel a little naughty.

Tiburon

1201 Harmon Pl.

604-0585

Happy hours: M-Sa 4-6 p.m.

Drink deals: $2 Bud/Bud Light, $3 tap imports, $4 margaritas, daquiris, sangria

Sort-of Drink deal: Two-for-one nonalcoholic libations

Food deal: Half-priced appetizers

Times Bar and Caf/

201 E. Hennepin Ave.

617-8098

Happy hours: Daily 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Drink deals: Two-for-one rail drinks, Michelob Golden Light, Leinenkugel's and house wine; $1 off other drinks

Food deal: Half-priced selected appetizers

The World's Longest Happy Hour

Y'all Come Back Saloon

830 Hennepin Ave. S.

332-0835

Happy hours: M-Sa 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Drink deals: $2.50 rail drinks and domestic beer