Vidalia Introduces a New “Interactive” Happy Hour

The lounge at Jeffrey Buben’s downtown eatery will host an “exhibition bar station” on weekday evenings.

The lounge at Vidalia. Photograph courtesy of Vidalia via Facebook.

Fans of Vidalia’s happy hour, fear not. The early evening discounts you’ve come to love at Jeffrey Buben’s Southern-inspired eatery—featuring impossibly cheap and delicious snacks (like crayfish hush puppies and pork belly sliders, each two for $3) and discounts on cocktails, beer, and wine—will remain intact.

But beginning February 20, Buben will add an interactive element to happy hour, according to Jacqueline Herrera, a rep for the restaurant. Burners have been installed behind the bar in the lounge, where chefs will craft custom bar bites in front of diners, while sommelier Ed Jenks will mix cocktails, including specialty drinks featuring Southern sodas like Cheerwine, Frostie root beer, RC Cola, Ale-8-One, and Blenheim’s spicy hot ginger ale.

Among the new snacks debuting on the 20th: barbecue shrimp with spring onion and cilantro on toasted cornbread; pickled trotters with warm bacon potato salad and Creole mustard; BLT on brioche with Benton’s bacon, pimento cheese aioli, tomato jam, and romaine; deviled crab salad with johnnycake and vegetable chow-chow; pickled egg with beets and truffle mayonnaise; and pork confit with hot slaw and potato roll.

Herrera said Buben expects the new program to lend a “showy, fun, and more interactive” vibe to evening hours at the usually laid-back lounge. “That’s what’s hot right now,” she added. (Don’t believe her? Try reserving a spot at Society Fair’s wine bar/demo kitchen in Alexandria.)

The changes come a year after Buben introduced the bar menu currently on offer.

Happy hour at Vidalia is offered Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 PM.