Happy Hour Scene: Richmond Chill

The Place:

Richmond Chill

4704 Richmond Ave.



The Hours: Monday through Friday 3-7 p.m.

The Deals: A lot. But the basics are $2 domestic bottles and pints, $3 premiums, $3.50 "super premiums," $3 wells, and $3 wines. There are also pitcher specials and nightly specials. Tuesday, for example, is $2 Texas beer night.

The Scene:  About 30 minutes after Richmond Chill opened on Thursday afternoon, the first regular of the afternoon, a man with white hair, glasses and a Navy cap, walked in. The bartender greeted him by first name.

"Hi hon," the regular replied. "You look nice. I like that shirt."

The shirt in question was a thin, gray piece of cloth that was shredded in the back, Teen Wolf style. It showed the bartender's bra strap and tattoos all the way down her spine.

The regular added, "I'll have my regular vodka and tonic."

The Richmond Chill, basically at 610 and Richmond, inside the Loop, is a small bar that probably couldn't comfortably fit more than 30 people on the inside. But there is a strip of tables along the concrete outside the bar.

When we showed up -- it was early afternoon -- there was no one there, but the bartender assured us that by 5 o'clock, after people get off work, the place would start to fill up.

She told us that it's a true happy hour bar -- weekends are pretty much dead -- where 90 percent of the customers are regulars. The happy hour specials, at least, are truly stocked.

They're so complex, in fact, that when we asked the difference between premiums and super premiums, the bartender had to check her own handwritten notes to tell us the answer. (Premiums are beers like Corona and Pacifico; super premiums include Saint Arnold and Stella.)

The regular next to us, along with his conversations with the bartender, was keeping us quite entertained, and we were enjoying the emptiness of Richmond Chill. But, sure enough, right around 4:30 p.m., more people started pouring in. Which is great, especially for a "neighborhood" bar.

But after one couple showed up, and the woman ordered a "Pink Ribbon," apparently cherry vodka, pomegranate liqueur, sprite and soda, and the man ordered a double-tall vodka and soda with two limes, we knew it was time to leave.

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