Discounted drinks and eats rarely put folks in a bad mood. That’s why happy hour is a win-win for both bars and patrons; customers are lured into establishments they might not normally visit during what would otherwise be slower service times. In return, imbibers get good deals, and might even sit and stay for a while. Here are five hot places, both tenured and new, to belly up for not only great specials but a great scene.
Barbecue pairs well with more than just cold beer. At Heim Barbecue’s sprawling River District location on White Settlement Road, patrons can cool off with $6 happy hour cocktail specials Tuesday through Friday, 4-6 pm. On the menu is the iced Georgia peach mule shaken with peach vodka and served in a copper mug. There are also two frozen concoctions swirled by machine — the Frosé All Day frozen rose and vodka-spiked frozen lemonade. House Chardonnay and cab are $4, and so are select schooners of beer, including the normally pricey Shiner Bock and Modelo Especial. Toast even longer on Tuesdays, when wine bottles are half-off from 3 pm to close. There’s plenty of room here to spread out and stretch the legs, both inside amid the cool air conditioning or out on the shady patio, which is dotted with turquoise Adirondack chairs, picnic tables, and ceiling fans. Look for Heim’s outdoor beer garden to open soon.
The Post at River East
From the folks behind The Live Oak, the popular but short-lived live music venue on Magnolia Avenue, comes The Post at River East — just a few weeks old in a circa-1940s post office at 2925 Race St. With daily live music, from acoustic guitarists and jazz artists to big name acts like Josh Weathers and Luke Wade, the venue is quickly becoming a destination for drinks and, just this week, a full restaurant menu. Happy hour here runs every day, 4-7 pm. That’s when patrons can get $3 well drinks and $3 pints of Lone Star Beer, as well as Texas-made spirits with their favorite mixer for $1 off. Expect an open-air, pet-friendly courtyard — where there’s plenty of shade by late afternoon — along with a 2,000-square-foot indoor listening room for ticketed performances by regional and national singer-songwriters after dark.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
Through the end of this month, happy hour happens twice a day, every day, at this European-inspired gastropub, located in Euless’ bustling Glade Parks development (with another location at Toyota Music Factory in Irving). From 3-6 pm "social hour" and 9:30 pm to close, guests can partake in $5.95 well drinks, house wines, and margaritas, along with $1 off all pints of draft beer. But here’s when “happy hour” gets even hotter: anytime the mercury hits 95 degrees or above (a daily occurrence right now), house margaritas and Moscow mules are half-off. The fresh-squeezed margarita comes with grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime juices, and a splash of agave nectar. Ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka make up the classic Moscow mule. The loud and lively bar, with its high ceilings, dark wood furniture, brick walls, and mix of booths and tables, gets busy during any big sporting event thanks to dozens of TVs.
Punch Bowl Social
The lively “eatertainment” venue is brand new in the West 7th Street corridor, located at 1100 Foch St., where Times Ten Cellars once sat. Here patrons get to eat, drink, and play at the same time — activities range from foosball and ping pong to mini bowling and private karaoke. As the name implies, punch is big here. Think craft cocktails made in big batches, like the Will Conga Line for Rum, with two kinds of rum, pomegranate green tea, and fresh lime juice; or the Connoisseur’s Cup made with gin, mint tea, lavender syrup, vermouth, and lemon juice. During happy hour, which is Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm, the featured punch is only $6 for a hefty ladle. The classic whiskey sour, Tom Collins, and rum daiquiri are also only six bucks; well drinks are $5; and “old man cans,” like PBR and Lone Star Beer, are $3.
It’s been more than three years since this gastropub opened in the Near Southside, just as South Main Street was on the brink of blowing up with new developments. The craft beer bar, which operates out of a 1940s-era brick building, is still popular with South Side regulars for its long list of brews from around the world. Go during happy hour Monday through Friday from 3-7 pm, when draft selections from a pretty long list are only $4. Consistent offerings on special include Real Ale Brewing Company’s Han’s Pils and Devil’s Backbone, Firestone Walker Brewing Company Lager, Rahr’s Blonde, and Lakewood Brewing Company’s All Call. The happy hour deal goes on all day Sunday, too — well beyond an hour.