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Houston Happy Hours: Don't Go Out Un-Guided Or Un-Apped

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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.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.