Looking For A Happy Hour? We Have An App For That

Around here, we have our priorities straight. And chief among them are finding a happy hour after work that's close, convenient and has damn good prices on booze that didn't come from the well. So the Houston Press (along with Village Voice Media) developed Happy Hours, an application available now for the iPhone that allows you to find all the best happy hour deals in town with just a touch of your screen.

Pull up the app and it will instantly direct you, based on your current location, to any and all happy hour deals around town. The information provided is refreshingly specific --"$0.75 all tall draft beers; $3 well drinks ; $4 glasses of wine" -- instead of maddeningly obtuse. And if you find that a happy hour's listings are wrong, simply flag it as "inaccurate" and the team behind Happy Hours app will correct it posthaste. Can't decide on a happy hour from the list? Just shake your iPhone and the app will pick one at random for you.

Unlike other happy hour applications available, the Happy Hours app allows a much broader range of filters to be applied to your search parameters. Want a place in the Galleria that has a fireplace and is good for groups, but also has valet parking and food specials in addition to drink specials? Well, we aren't saying that you're going to necessarily find such a place, but Happy Hours will allow you to narrow your search down that far -- and even further if you'd like. It's endlessly customizable, which is one of the things we love about it.

Another great tool is the ability -- just like with the UrbanSpoon app -- to tell Happy Hours that you've tried a particular place and liked it. Or, adversely, that you hated it and you never want to see it offered as an option again. We've already knocked more than a few bars out of our Happy Hours rotation in this manner (no, we aren't saying which ones...right now).

There are five filters in all, including neighborhoods -- 56 at last count, both in and out of the Loop -- and the ever-helpful "day and time" filter so that you can plan in advance for a 5 p.m. happy hour on Friday, even if it's still Monday morning. Under the "buzz" filter, you'll find options like "cheap eats," "people watching" and "romantic." Although, honestly, whether or not a happy hour can truly be romantic is still up for debate.

And if you have to trek to another city, don't fret. Happy Hours doesn't just work in Houston -- it has all the best happy hour deals in over 35 different cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. But we saved the best part for last: It's free!

Go check out Happy Hours for yourself. We promise -- the crushing responsibility of organizing an officewide happy hour for coworkers you don't really want to spend time with sober never will have been easier.

Reviews, by the way, have been positive from places like TechCrunch and TV and Mediabistro.

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Katharine Shilcutt