Happy hour in Houston can be a strange thing.
Michelle Cowden, a bartender at Washington Avenue's Sawyer Park, told us recently, "I don't really do happy hours. I've probably only been to one in my life."
Sawyer Park never seems to have trouble packing in crowds during the late night, but happy hour can be a different story. Cowden talked about it dispassionately, simply saying that the bar's happy hour brings in a good business crowd sometimes.
But here at Hair Balls and the Houston Press, we are passionate about it. Unfortunately, during the course of reviewing happy hours, we've found the empty bar situation all too common. And nothing is more frustrating than planning for some after-work drinks and showing up to a place that's dead.
To help make sure you're never in the dark about where to go for some early evening drinks, the Press has devoted this week's cover story, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," to happy hour. We're even launching a Happy Hour App program for the same thing.
The cover story groups the bars in categories, from live music to gay bars and hipster spots and the pick-up scene. We hope we included someplace for everyone.
But we realize we haven't listed all the good bars for happy hour, so if you know one we missed, hopefully you'll let us know.
Because as the summer approaches and the bar season heats up, we believe it's time for everyone to get a little more serious about happy hour.