By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Happy hours: Monday 6-10 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday 4-10 p.m.
Tony's Corner Pocket
817 W. Dallas
Tony's is right on the outskirts of downtown, so you get all the energy (and the view, sort of) without the parking hassle. The four-sided bar in the center of the room turns out drinks while the sharks man the pool table and folks chat and smoke outside. Tony's features several daily specials such as dollar-vodka Tuesdays, and the weekends bring amateur male strippers.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 7-8 p.m.
Ei8ht has managed not only to stay open on Washington Avenue as club after club has popped up and attempted to siphon away its customers, but to stay relevant as well. And that, in part, is due to the strong happy hour crowd (business professional, mostly 30-year-olds) it's cultivated. $2 Miller Lites, $3 Dos Equis drafts, $4 margaritas, $5 specialty cocktails and half-off paninis foster a lot of loyalty, it appears.
Happy hours: Wednesday 4 p.m.-midnight; Thursday and Friday 4-8 p.m.
Reef's 3rd Bar
Reef's 3rd Bar is a cocktail bar attached to — surprise! — Reef restaurant, which is one explanation as to why its happy hour includes $1 shrimp shooters and $1 sliders (the other being that they're delicious). The dimly lit, intimate space is a nice contrast to the expanse of the restaurant, though both tend to attract the same type of crowd, namely middle-aged white folks in business-casual attire.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m.
Manor on Washington
Happy hours inside of swanky, swanky lounges tend to be less about getting a good deal on drinks and more about being seen ( or "being scene," if you're one of those people who like to turn nouns into verbs), but Manor manages to offer a combination of both where one component doesn't subtract from the other. Occupancy can range from a quaint 50 people up to a mob of 200. Take $1 off all regular drink prices.
Happy hours: Tuesday through Saturday 4-7 p.m.
Tucked into a quaint shopping center (the Galleria or something like that), Kona is another place that offers up a nice mix of happy hour-sters. And keeping in line with its diverse collection of customers is its diverse selection of drinks. They offer up everything from Sake Bombers ($7.50) to margaritas ($4.50 for men, $3.50 for women) to drafts (as low as $3). Expect it to be a very laid-back environment in the summer, as it's been that way in the past.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 3-7 p.m.
614 W. Gray
Maybe PJ's feels homey because it's located in an old house. Or maybe it's because it's the kind of place where the regulars not only all know each other but know each other's dogs as well. (Strangers are still welcome, of course.) This sports dive features only a couple of TVs, so if you really need to watch the Astros lose on a 90-inch space-age mega-screen, you're better off at Buffalo Wild Wings. And speaking of the Astros, happy hour goes right up to the time most night games start, which will help you get adequately prepared to witness the carnage. Steak night on Thursdays is solid, as is the rowdy Friday night karaoke upstairs.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 3-7 p.m.
Marquis II is not somewhere you go to sip post-work drinks on a breezy patio. There's no patio here. Hell, there are no windows at this former strip club. It's dirty — not county jail dirty, but we wouldn't recommend eating off the floor — and the smoke can get thick. (There's no indoor smoking ban in West U.) But if come quitting time all you want is a cigarette and stiff drink in a cave of a dive bar, Marquis II is perfect. Earlier in the day, you'll be imbibing with older regulars; the crowd gets younger as the night progresses.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 2-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 5-9 p.m.
11530 Burdine St.
Yes, there's a good watering hole in Westbury. For at least a couple decades, Cozy Corner has held things down in an area of town you probably don't associate with bar life. The place is small, there's shuffleboard and a real jukebox, and it's located in a residential area — as you might expect, the vibe is neighborly. (Actually, it feels weird to even associate the word vibe with a place this unassuming.) It's gay-friendly, too, which is important for a part of town that's come to be known as "Little Montrose." Prices are always cheap, but they hit new lows during the two daily happy hours.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.
Sure, plenty of places around town offer bar food with your happy hour cocktails. But do those places make the food with fresh, local, organic ingredients? And do those places give it to you free with the purchase of a glass of wine or handcrafted cocktail? t'afia does. Monica Pope's lounge menu makes this Midtown restaurant the place to be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when dishes like mini bison burgers, sushi-grade sashimi, chickpea fries and pimiento macaroni and cheese are offered. Wash them down with a glass of the housemade ratafia, featuring Texas wine and vodka mixed together with seasonal produce.