Here’s one fake national fill-in-the-blank-day we can get behind: National Happy Hour Day, going down today when the clock strikes 5 (or in some cases, much earlier). To celebrate we've rounded up ten new discount drinking experiences, including recently opened spots—plus one bar debuting tonight—and fresh promotions. Whether you're looking to commemorate the faux-holiday with $10-and-less deals or want to check out an unknown haunt, there's a cheap cold one waiting for you.
3126 12th St., NE
Head to this neighborhood watering hole after work or late-night for new happy hour deals, where brews, wines, and cocktails run $4 to $6.
When: Monday through Thursday 4 to 7, and nightly 11 to close.
6793 Springfield Mall, Springfield
The popular Austin-based Tex-Mex chain just debuted its second Washington location in Springfield, and you know what that means: another free nacho-bar car. Fill up on gratis chips, queso, and salsa out of the trunk during happy hour while sipping $9 house margs and Texas martinis, and $3 beers.
When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.
8296 Glass Alley, Merrifield
Barman Bryan Tetorakis launches a creative happy hour called "off the cuff." There's no menu; guests simply name a spirit and tell the chef-tenders what kind of flavors they like, and $8 creations are made. To go along with your beverage: $4 snacks like crispy chicken skins and $12 ham or charcuterie boards.
When: 5 to 6:30, Monday through Friday.
1240 Ninth St., NW
Head to this funky Shaw bar, which is brand-new to the neighborhood but looks true to its name with plenty of vintage and salvaged items. Beers and wine are $2 off, fitting for the low-key setting.
When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.
2031 Florida Ave., NW
Civil War buffs will fancy this cozy new drinks place, opening Wednesday, which takes its name from Union general George McClellan (his statue resides nearby). Drop by for rotating discounts on wine, beer, and the "daily ration," a specialty punch served in a vintage bowl.
When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.
801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Downtown’s new burger, bourbon, and beer spot may become your “plan A” for happy hour. A discounted food and drink menu boasts $3 sliders, $4 drafts and nachos, and $5 whiskeys among other specials.
When: Monday through Saturday 4 to 6.
Poste winter lounge
555 Eighth St., NW
Snuggle up by the fire pit with a blanket and a cocktail at the Kimpton Hotel’s recently reopened outdoor winter lounge. Unfortunately, the hot drinks aren't offered at happy hour prices—think rum-spiked cider for $14—but you can grab belly-warming booze inside and then lounge under heat lamps on the upper patio with $6 wines, $7 rye drinks, and complimentary s'mores.
When: Happy hour runs daily 4 to 7, except Sunday. The winter lounge is open Thursday through Saturday 4 to close, for temperatures 42 degrees and above.
7940 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda
Bethesda’s biggest roof bar/restaurant just underwent a revamp, complete with a fresh look and menu. Look for a new lineup of daily specials, including dollar-off tacos and $4 tequilas on Tuesday, half-price wine every Wednesday, and late happy hour on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 to midnight.
When: Daily; times and specials differ.
Vinoteca vermouth hour
1940 11th St., NW
Vino has long had one of the best happy hours around, with 15 wines by the glass for $5 and tasty discount eats. Now vermouth fans can head in on Mondays to learn more about the fortified wine—yes, you can sip it over ice—and try $5 vermouths such as Cocchi Americano and Carpano Antica all night, or a flight of three for $10.
When: Monday 5 to close; barman Horus Alvarez’s weekly vermouth discussion 7 to 8.
1626 North Capitol St., NW
Get drinks with a side of history at Bloomingdale’s bar/restaurant located in an old firehouse. Specials are more modern: $2 drafts, $4 house wines, and $8 signature pizzas.
When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.
Morning brews at Cantina Marina
600 Water St., SW
You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. Early fall brings perfect weather for sipping beers by the water, and here you’ll find $4.50 Shiner Bock or Blue Moon starting at 11:30 and going all day.
Early margs and free nachos at Chuy’s
11219 Lee Hwy., Fairfax
This Austin export has been packed since opening a month ago, so it's best to get there when happy hour starts at 4. You’ll find $5.25 margaritas and $3 domestic brews until 7, plus a free nacho bar placed inside a vintage car trunk. Hard to beat that.
Late-night happy hour at Pop’s SeaBar
1817 Columbia Rd., NW
Skip the jumbo slice and head into this beachy bar, which offers happy hour from midnight to close on Friday and Saturday night. Sip $3 beers or $5 cocktails such as orange crushes and ice cream luges, and slurp $1 oysters. Note to early birds: The discounts also run 3:30 to 6:30 on weekdays.
All-day discounts at Momo Chicken and Jazz
4862 Cordell Ave., Bethesda
One of Bethesda’s most extensive happy hours runs all day Saturday and Sunday (as well as 7 to close on weekdays). Go for half-price wine, $5 mimosas, and $5 Fireball; stay for crispy Korean fried chicken.
Mussels and burgers at Lyon Hall
3100 N. Washington Blvd., Arlington
Fuel up for an evening out with tasty, marked-down mussels, burgers, soft pretzels, and more from this Arlington restaurant’s happy hour menu. The discounts run from 3 to 7 every day of the week.
Discount aperitivo at Urbana
2121 P St., NW
Grab a date and start your Saturday night with a classy Italian aperitivo happy hour from 4 to 7 at the newly revamped Urbana. Italian cocktails, amaros, and cordials are all marked down, and you can snack on antipasti such as arancini.
Two-for-one drinks at DC Reynolds
3628 Georgia Ave., NW
This Park View neighborhood haunt pours two-for-one drinks—yes, any poison of your choosing—from 5 to 9. Outdoor space sweetens the deal.
Early and late-night discounts at Clyde’s Gallery Place
707 Seventh St., NW
Clyde’s may not be as new and trendy as some other Penn Quarter spots, but it offers one of the most generous weekend happy hours around. Stop in from 3 to 6 or 10 to close on Saturday for $5 cocktails and wine, $2.50 PBR, or $4 Coors and Yuengling. Those looking to rage into the night will find $5 Jameson and Fireball shots. A more civilized set should check out sister operation Old Ebbitt Grill (675 15th St., NW) which serves half-off oysters from 3 to 6 and 11 to close.
Bellinis and trotter tots at Dino’s Grotto
1914 Ninth St., NW
Drop into the Grotto Bar at any time Sunday and Monday for a lineup of Italian snacks and drinks, such as $4 bellinis, $6 trotter tots (porky tater tots), and $10 burgers.
All-day happy hour at Black Jack
1612 14th St., NW
Make it a Sunday funday with a bevy of discounts from 3 to 10, including half-price beers, pizzas, and mussels, $5 wines and bubbly, two-for-one oysters, and more. If the Redskins are playing doors open early at 1, wings are 25 cents, and shots go for $1.
Bocce and discount wine at Vinoteca
1940 11th St., NW
Come for bottomless brunch; stay for happy hour between 5 and 7, which runs daily. A selection of 15 wines by the glass go for $5, as do Peroni drafts. There are also discount small plates.
Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.
Between knocking off work early and needing to get outside (or cool off) with a cold beer, summer in Washington is high season for happy hours. Looking to save some money? Below you’ll find a number of options for $10 and under—everything from swanky martinis and freshly shucked oysters to dollar brews and free food.
$10 mussels and fries at St. Arnold’s
1827 Jefferson Pl., NW; 3433 Connecticut Ave., NW
Some of the tastier pots of mussels in town for a Hamilton? We’re in, especially for the house special simmered in beer, garlic, and duck fat. Look for the deal all night long—alongside half-price half liters of beer—at the Cleveland Park location on Monday, and again from 9 to 11 on Wednesday and Sunday. The Dupont location serves the moules Monday through Friday 3:30 to 6:30.
$9.50 Tanqueray gin martinis or Maker’s Mark Manhattans at Vidalia
1990 M St., NW
Keep it classy with one of the best cocktail happy hours in town. The pours are generous, and the white-tablecloth setting is swanky, so take a date and impress him/her on the cheap. You’ll also find discounts on Southern bites such as $4.50 rock-shrimp hushpuppies and $3.50 duck confit deviled eggs.
$9 pizzas and supermugs at Chef Geoff’s
Locations in DC, Tysons Corner, and Rockville
Chef Geoff’s happy hours fall under the category of oldies but great-ies. Look for a bountiful menu of specials at all four locations (here’s an example from downtown DC). Times and deals vary slightly, but all offer $8.95 pizzas and “supermugs” (almost a liter) of craft brews throughout the day Monday and Tuesday, and from 3 to 7 Thursday and Friday.
$7.75 barbecue shrimp and grits at Johnny’s Half Shell
400 N. Capitol St., NW
Head to this Capitol Hill institution for the weekday happy hour menu, which includes a number of food and drink options. Our order: barbecue shrimp with Asiago cheese grits, and a $9 margarita if we’re splurging.
$6 bubbly and oysters at Republic
6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park
Drop in for $1 Chesapeake oysters and $5 bubbly among the many happy hour deals from 3 to 7 Monday through Friday. If you’re in the area and looking for bivalves, Jackie’s (8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring) serves $5 glasses of cava and $1 oysters Tuesday evening throughout the summer.
$5 plates of tacos, wings, and whiskey at Smoke & Barrel
2471 18th St., NW
You’ll find a lively crowd at this Adams Morgan ’cue and whiskey spot, taking advantage of two nights of specials: platters of smoked wings on Mondays until 11, and three tacos plus a side on Tuesdays until 9. Try the tangy “Buffalo blue” wings cloaked in sauce and cheese, and barbecue pork tacos. To pair with your snacks is $5 select whiskey (Monday through Friday 5 to 7). An unusual twist: Both the bird and tacos can be made vegan, so yes, chicken-less wings exist.
$4 dumplings and sojutinis at Mandu
1805 18th St., NW; 453 K St., NW
The namesake mandu are some of the best things on the menu at the sister Korean spots; six steamed or pan-fried dumplings stuffed with shrimp, beef, pork, or veggies. You can wash them down with $4 sojutinis and liquor drinks daily 4 to 7, as well as late night at the K Street location.
$3 bison sloppy Joe sliders and shots of Overholt Rye at Cashion’s
1819 Columbia Rd., NW
Skip the jumbo slice and head to Cashion’s for the revival of its “after dark” menu, which runs from 11 to 1 on Friday and Saturday evenings. You’ll find $3 to $5 eats such as an Italian hero or the chef’s riff on a sloppy Joe, plus $3 shots of whiskey. Note there is also a regular early evening happy hour.
2-for-1 drinks at DC Reynolds
3628 Georgia Ave., NW
Happy hour is a buy one, get one free affair at this Petworth spot, which includes any and all drinks—even the fancy ones. A spacious outdoor patio only sweetens the deal, which runs Monday through Friday 5 to 9.
$1 oysters at Mussel Bar
7262 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 800 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington
Get more dollar bivalves at Mussel Bar in Bethesda and Arlington. The deal runs all day Monday in Maryland (as well as daily 4 to 6), and every Tuesday in Virginia.
$1 beer at the Red Derby
3718 14th St. NW
This Columbia Heights cash-only bar is no-frills, which is why we love it. Hit the roof deck for $1 Natty Boh, Stroh’s, and Budweiser ponies on weekdays from 5 to 8. All beers are a buck off, so you can get fancy with a $4 hefeweizen.
½ off bubbly and cocktails at Red Light
1401 R St., NW
Both pre-dinner and night owl crowds find deals at this new 14th Street drink and dessert bar. The bar offers 50 percent discounts on beers, wines by the glass, bubbly, and specialty cocktails on weekdays from 4 to 7, and again from 11 to last call Sunday through Wednesday.
Free appetizers at Piola
2208 14th St., NW; 1550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Drinkers can eat for free on weekdays from 4:30 to 7:30 at Piola’s 14th Street and Arlington locations. Sip discounted drinks including $4 beers, $5 wines, and $6 cocktails while servers pass around gratis platters of thin-crust pizza, bruschetta, meatballs, and more.
It’s a particularly good week for drinkers, with new happy hours, bar deals, and a rare BYO offer—but breakfast fans get some love, too.
Happy hour and later closing at Rappahannock Oyster Bar
1309 Fifth St., NE; 202-544-4702
One of our new 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2014 launches a $1 oyster happy hour, which also includes $4 beer and wine. Even better news: The deal runs from 7 to 9 Tuesday through Saturday and 6 to 8 on Sunday. The Union Market spot has introduced the deals in conjunction with extended hours, now closing at 9 and 8 on the aforementioned days.
Brunch for dinner at 1905
1905 Ninth St., NW; 202-332-1905
Breakfast lovers can head here for a brunch-for-dinner menu, which will be offered every Tuesday starting this week. Think fried chicken and waffles, a truffled egg sandwich, and, of course, bottomless Bloodys and mimosas for $15.
Half-price wine, Tiki Thursday, and other nightly specials at Tryst
2459 18th St., NW; 202-232-5500
This Adams Morgan spot has been around since 1998 and continues to keep things fresh with specials, the latest of which bring a different scene to the bar every night of the week. Highlights include black-and-white movies on Tuesday with $5 Old Fashioneds and live jazz; half-price bottles of wine and discount cheese and charcuterie on Wednesday (with more live jazz); and Tiki Thursday, with surfer movies and $24 volcano bowls.
New mixologist/happy hour for Water & Wall
3811 Fairfax Dr., Arlington; 703-294-4949
Barkeep Steve Oshana (formerly of BLT Steak) has landed at Water & Wall. Look for a new cocktail menu in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, take advantage of the recently launched happy hour Sunday through Thursday, featuring rotating specials and a three-course dinner for $35 per person (bar only).
BYO at Malmaison
3401 K St., NW; 202-817-3340
You’ll have to wait until next week to try it, but Malmaison just announced free corkage on Mondays so guests can bring their own bottle of wine at no cost. Even better: Give chef Gerard Pangaud 72 hours’ notice and he’ll design a menu around the bottle.
Revamped bar menu at Logan Tavern
1423 P St., NW; 202-332-3710
The beverage menu gets an overhaul: You’ll find more local beers, expanded whiskey offerings—including two flights—and new cocktails, such as the appropriately named Samantha Jones, a riff on a Cosmo with house-infused cranberry vodka and sparkling wine.
Check out a new restaurant for weekend brunch, sip discount daiquiris, or grab a sandwich (and some free wi-fi) at a new market opening Friday.
Jaleo (Penn Quarter, Crystal City, and Bethesda locations)
José Andrés announced this week he’ll switch up the brunch offerings at Jaleo starting Saturday, February 1. Look for sweet and savory small plates such as crispy bread layered with goat cheese and smoked salmon, fried eggs and potatoes (with optional sea urchin), and churros dunked in hot chocolate.
Medium Rare Barracks Row
515 Eighth St., SE; 202-601-7136
The Capitol Hill sibling to Cleveland Park’s steak frites spot just opened on Monday, and is serving its first brunch this weekend. The $23 set menu includes bottomless mimosas (or screwdrivers for more ambitious drinkers), fruit salad, and a steak-portobello mushroom Benedict.
405 Eighth St., NW; 202-347-7491
The first phase of chef Frederik de Pue’s new restaurant opens on Friday. While the sit-down restaurant portions don’t debut until later, you can head to the first-floor market for lunch. The lineup includes sandwiches, salads, coffees, and pastries; settle in at the top-floor bistro with your haul and take advantage of the free wi-fi.
919 Fifth St., NW; 202-290-2233
The new Mount Vernon Triangle spot Silo just launched lunch. Look for French- and Swiss-inspired dishes such as a seafood salad with cider vinaigrette and a dry-aged burger with Guinness-caramelized onions and Gruyère.
1833 14th St., NW; 202-265-1751
Newish chef Jesse Miller just revamped the food menu to include some interesting dishes—think pork sliders with pickled-pig-ear slaw, bison pot pie, and Old Bay-spiked crab mac and cheese. Try them alongside the new happy hour offerings: trotter tots, rum daiquiris, and glasses of wine, all for $5. The deals run Monday through Friday 5 to 7:30.
Shake Shack (Dupont and Penn Quarter locations)
As if we needed another reason to be tempted by Shake Shack, the burger chain now offers happy hour. Head in for half off red and white wine and draft beer, including Brooklyn Brewery’s Shackmeister Ale. The deal runs Monday through Friday 5 to 7.
Ah, Thursday—the day you most crave and deserve an after-work drink (though for the record, there’s nothing wrong with Martini Monday). Check out one of the many new happy hours around town, whether you’re drinking cheap beers at a new watering hole or noshing on recently discounted eats at a longtime favorite.
4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington; 703-552-8010
The deal: Due to Virginia lawmakers fancying mystery over practicality, we can’t tell you about this Shirlington Village tavern’s drink specials. But we’re pretty sure they exist in the month-old space, along with $1 oysters.
The details: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.
The Daily Dish
8301 Grubb Rd., Silver Spring; 301-588-6300
The deal: The Kalmia Road shutdown is apparently affecting commuters and traffic to this Silver Spring eatery, so it’s offering some liquid solutions: $5 “rush hour rum runners” and “sloe down gin fizzes,” as well as $4 brews and wines.
The details: Monday through Friday 3:30 to 6:30 at the cocktail bar.
3115 14th St., NW; 202-797-7227
The deal: The recently revamped neighborhood restaurant offers two happy hours: one early-evening round of extensive discounts, and late-night offer with $4 to $5 bites such as shishito peppers and fried oysters.
The details: Regular happy hour runs daily from 4 to 7. Late-night happy hour runs Thursday 10:30 to 11:30 and Friday and Saturday 10:30 to midnight.
It’s officially summer: the days are getting longer, the workload lighter, and the chances of slipping out for an afternoon drink significantly higher. Luckily, several restaurants and bars take the “five o’clock somewhere” seriously attitude and offer afternoon discounts for thirsty patrons well before the sun goes down. Check out these 11 spots, all ready to liquor you up before the clock strikes 4. (Note that many also serve discounted drinks during regular evening happy hours as well.) Have a favorite daytime watering hole? Tell us about it in the comments.
Washington has always been a big happy hour city, but in “this economy,” the idea of making it out of the office for a 5 PM weekday beerfest seems about as antiquated as the three-martini lunch. Don’t worry, overworked and underpaid boozers—the restaurant industry has your back. We’ve seen more happy hours than ever stretch into Saturday and Sunday, meaning you can still get your discount drink and food fix. An added perk: Plenty of these places have outdoor space, so you can enjoy your deals in the sun.
While this H Street watering hole plans fun for every night of the week, dog owners and beer lovers are treated extra special on weekends.
Specials: Saturday brings the Argo-Mutts happy hour with beer specials for humans and free treats and water for dogs on the patio. Come Sunday, get beery with half-price drafts.
Hours: Saturday noon to 5 (patio only); Sunday 8 to close
Avoiding the rain (or the Death Star)? Head to this subterranean Adams Morgan billiards hall for discount brews.
Specials: $10 buckets of Bud and Bud Light on weekends.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1 to 7
A fun weekend plan: Hit up Jeff and Barbara Black’s Pearl Dive for a late brunch, then wander up the stairs for all-day Sunday happy hour and a few rounds of bocce. (Perk: you won’t fight the Saturday-night crowds.)
Specials: Half-price draft beers, pizzas, and Addie’s mussels; two-for-one oysters; $5 red, white, and sparkling wines.
Hours: Sunday 3 to close.
For a more adult happy hour, plus a chance to try the restaurant’s dish sans the splurge, head to the Blacks’ Palisades spot.
Specials: A bar menu with discount bites such as oysters Rockefeller and Provençal seafood stew.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 4 to 6 (and until 7 every other day) in the bar only
The Kushi team’s whiskey-and-beer bar is definitely the kind of place you want to hang at night, but get there early for food and drink deals and easy access to the vintage pool table.
Specials: $6 PBR-shot combos, $1 off draft beers, and $15 carvery plates such as suckling pig and two sides.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 5 to 6
Last week, chef Victor Albisu opened his South American restaurant Del Campo in the former PS 7's space at 777 I Street, Northwest. Starting Wednesday, May 1: happy hour!
Seven days a week, the restaurant offers $7 drink specials from 5 to 7 in the bar and lounge area, which features a casual menu inspired by the streets of Peru, Argentina, and other countries in the region. (Fine-dining dishes are the focus in the rest of the restaurant.) In addition to a margarita, a mojito, draft beers, and wine, the deal extends to some of the restaurant's specialty cocktails. If you've been curious about grilled-juice cocktails—scheduled to appear also at the forthcoming Kapnos—opt for the Viñedor, with strawberry purée, Torrontes syrup, grilled lemon juice, and Biutiful cava brut. When we spoke with Albisu about the Del Campo bar program, he was most excited about A Las Once: Cristal aguardiente, chicha morada syrup, and lime and pineapple juices. It is also on the daily discount menu. The full happy hour list appears after the jump.
Looking for a new happy hour spot? Hungry for eggs Benedict on a beautiful patio? Ready for a new restaurant? We have you covered on all fronts. The Washington restaurant scene is buzzing with fresh dining experiences, from newly opened eateries to lunches and brunches launching at established places. Here’s what’s new this week for a variety of cravings.
Boozy $3 punch and fried chicken
New fried chicken and doughnut hot spot GBD just rolled out its sit-down dinner menu and bar last week. Up this Thursday: happy hour from 5 to 7 Tuesday through Friday. Tonight’s specials include $3 glasses of punch, $4 Tempranillo and Riesling wines on tap, and $4 brews like De Struise Pannepot and Ballast Point Sculpin (the brews will rotate daily on the whim of brewmaster Greg Engert). Order up snacks such as smoked chicken skin chips or crispy Buffalo wings and make an early evening of it.
Lunchtime tacos and tortas
Richard Sandoval’s 14th Street Mexican spot El Centro D.F. just launched lunch service on Monday. Weather permitting, you’ll head up to the 45-seat roof deck—likely less crowded than it is on beautiful evenings—for the menu of guacamole, ceviche, tacos, entrée salads, and more. The ground-floor taqueria is the place to hole up with a steak torta and Dos Equis during springtime rain and scorching summer afternoons. The meal is served Monday to Friday 11 to 3.