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Liberation: Happy Hour in Illinois

Liberation: Happy Hour in Illinois
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  • Liberation: Happy Hour in Illinois

    Post #1 - July 15th, 2015, 7:28 pm
    Post #1 - July 15th, 2015, 7:28 pm Post #1 - July 15th, 2015, 7:28 pm
    Happy hour to return to Illinois bars

    I's officially time for happy hour in Illinois.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday signed a bill into law that, among other things, allows the return of happy hour alcoholic drink specials, with certain restrictions.

    Happy hour drink specials had been banned under Illinois law since 1989 but can immediately begin with Rauner's signature of the measure.


    This makes me very happy. A recent visit to Seattle really opened my eyes to what we were missing; not just the oyster. I very much hope it will open up a lot of fun, interesting drink and food options in Chicago.
  • Post #2 - July 16th, 2015, 1:20 pm
    Post #2 - July 16th, 2015, 1:20 pm Post #2 - July 16th, 2015, 1:20 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Happy hour to return to Illinois bars
    This makes me very happy. A recent visit to Seattle really opened my eyes to what we were missing; not just the oyster. I very much hope it will open up a lot of fun, interesting drink and food options in Chicago.


    Hoping so too. One of my favorite things while vacationing in Scottsdale, Arizona is experiencing some fantastic HH deals.
    Christina~~
  • Post #3 - July 16th, 2015, 3:53 pm
    Post #3 - July 16th, 2015, 3:53 pm Post #3 - July 16th, 2015, 3:53 pm
    Xpi6tiva wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:Happy hour to return to Illinois bars
    This makes me very happy. A recent visit to Seattle really opened my eyes to what we were missing; not just the oyster. I very much hope it will open up a lot of fun, interesting drink and food options in Chicago.


    Hoping so too. One of my favorite things while vacationing in Scottsdale, Arizona is experiencing some fantastic HH deals.


    i think you're missing the original point of the ban: keeping people from drinking too much, because everything's cheap, and then driving home drunk. another rauner decision i can't get behind (there are none, actually). hopefully, people are a little less stupid about driving drunk these days...we'll see....
  • Post #4 - July 16th, 2015, 3:56 pm
    Post #4 - July 16th, 2015, 3:56 pm Post #4 - July 16th, 2015, 3:56 pm
    I'm not sure I understand what we were missing in the bars' inability to offer lower priced drinks for 2 hours. Can someone explain? Because every time I have been at a place that had a Happy Hour, what I witnessed was precisely people bingeing on cheapish drinks made with lower-priced ingredients - 2-for-1 Budmiloor Lite, $5 glasses of Maison de la Casa white zinfandel, a drink that's Big and Blue and $2 off....
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #5 - July 16th, 2015, 4:10 pm
    Post #5 - July 16th, 2015, 4:10 pm Post #5 - July 16th, 2015, 4:10 pm
    For one, things like this:

    http://philly.thedrinknation.com/articl ... e-Special#

    Which is undeniably pretty cool. The fact that plenty of neighborhood establishments participate and offer their own special that can be ordered simply by asking for a "citywide"...

    It's impossible to pull off if Happy Hour is illegal as it would require establishments to offer that pricing all day long. Which none will do.
  • Post #6 - July 17th, 2015, 9:44 am
    Post #6 - July 17th, 2015, 9:44 am Post #6 - July 17th, 2015, 9:44 am
    But that's not related to Happy Hour. It's just a thing they do in Philly all the time, a cheap beer and a shot, and someone started calling it the citywide or the special. (the article http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/drink ... -From.html describing how "the citywide" started talks about one place selling 240 of them on a weekend night, and the comments are... interesting... to read)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #7 - July 17th, 2015, 11:17 am
    Post #7 - July 17th, 2015, 11:17 am Post #7 - July 17th, 2015, 11:17 am
    I seem to recall that the only way bars and restaurants could get around the former restriction on happy hours was to offer an all day special, such as $4 Illinois drafts or the like. Otherwise, I think they could do a happy hour food special. I rather like the all day specials as I don't care as much anymore about getting my buzz on quickly and cheaply between a limited time frame.
    -Mary
  • Post #8 - July 18th, 2015, 3:41 pm
    Post #8 - July 18th, 2015, 3:41 pm Post #8 - July 18th, 2015, 3:41 pm
    leek wrote:But that's not related to Happy Hour. It's just a thing they do in Philly all the time, a cheap beer and a shot, and someone started calling it the citywide or the special. (the article http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/drink ... -From.html describing how "the citywide" started talks about one place selling 240 of them on a weekend night, and the comments are... interesting... to read)


    I lived in Philly for 20 years and most of my family is still there, and it's my understanding from them that the "citywide" is not offered all day, hence my comment. It's linked to happy hour. If you can't change the price of beverages during the day based on the time of day, there is no such thing as the "citywide". I don't think you can walk into a bar at any time and order it.
  • Post #9 - July 20th, 2015, 3:12 pm
    Post #9 - July 20th, 2015, 3:12 pm Post #9 - July 20th, 2015, 3:12 pm
    bobbywal wrote:
    leek wrote:But that's not related to Happy Hour. It's just a thing they do in Philly all the time, a cheap beer and a shot, and someone started calling it the citywide or the special. (the article http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/drink ... -From.html describing how "the citywide" started talks about one place selling 240 of them on a weekend night, and the comments are... interesting... to read)


    I lived in Philly for 20 years and most of my family is still there, and it's my understanding from them that the "citywide" is not offered all day, hence my comment. It's linked to happy hour. If you can't change the price of beverages during the day based on the time of day, there is no such thing as the "citywide". I don't think you can walk into a bar at any time and order it.


    I lived out there a few years ago and in my experience, it was offered anytime.


    The GP wrote:I seem to recall that the only way bars and restaurants could get around the former restriction on happy hours was to offer an all day special, such as $4 Illinois drafts or the like. Otherwise, I think they could do a happy hour food special. I rather like the all day specials as I don't care as much anymore about getting my buzz on quickly and cheaply between a limited time frame.


    Yeah, but many bars are less likely to offer great deals for a full day. I don't need to get hammered after work, but I'd be more inclined to stop at a bar with a coworker or meet a friend for one or 2 if I could get, say a $3 Anti-hero or Daisy Cutter between 4 and 6 or something.
  • Post #10 - July 30th, 2015, 8:10 am
    Post #10 - July 30th, 2015, 8:10 am Post #10 - July 30th, 2015, 8:10 am
    Four Happy Hour Deals Actually Worth Getting in Chicago

    These two look especially good:

    The Izakaya at Momotaro
    820 W. Lake St., West Loop

    Head to the downstairs bar to eat and drink like a king, for less than $25. Choose two courses for $19 or three courses for $23, with options ranging from corned wagyu beef tongue to simmering asari clams. The price even includes a Tiger beer and a flavored shochu shot. Specialty cocktails and wine by the glass will also be half off during these two hours.

    AVAILABLE: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday

    Nellcôte
    833 W. Randolph St., West Loop

    Take a seat at the bar or lounge and take your pick of any pizza and domestic beer for just $10—no catch. The pizza choices include margherita, lamb merguez, and roasted eggplant.

    AVAILABLE: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
  • Post #11 - July 30th, 2015, 10:37 am
    Post #11 - July 30th, 2015, 10:37 am Post #11 - July 30th, 2015, 10:37 am
    Barrelhouse Flat has a variety of Happy Hour options, which are offered Sundays through Thursdays from 6-8, including 3 cocktails for $6/each (daiquiri, old fashioned and one other), highballs for $5 (one spirit, one mixer), and some other items for $4. Definitely a nice set of offerings from a quality bar. I wish they opened at 5.

    =R=
    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #12 - August 11th, 2015, 2:06 pm
    Post #12 - August 11th, 2015, 2:06 pm Post #12 - August 11th, 2015, 2:06 pm
    I did the Nellcôte deal last week. Like they say, there is no catch. You get any of their pizza's and a domestic beer for 10 bucks. It's easily one of the best specials in Chicago right now.
  • Post #13 - August 14th, 2015, 5:35 pm
    Post #13 - August 14th, 2015, 5:35 pm Post #13 - August 14th, 2015, 5:35 pm
    Eataly, M-Th 4:30-6:30 -

    $1 oysters
    $5 beer flights (3 x 4oz)

    Couple other offers too but that's all that caught my eye.
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #14 - December 7th, 2016, 1:33 pm
    Post #14 - December 7th, 2016, 1:33 pm Post #14 - December 7th, 2016, 1:33 pm
    Hi, I wasn't sure where to put this because I wanted to post about four different happy hours (Two for oysters, two not) that I recently tried. I thought about using the individual threads, but decided to just go with a general 'happy hour' thread to compare our experiences. Anyway, there are some interesting options out there, I'll start with a few that we've tried. I also realize that happy hour isn't for everyone, but it's good for us because we can meet after work before we head home to watch our two young kids. That said, here is a summary of our stops:

    1. Cold Storage. This is the raw bar/seafood shack in the Google building. There is a nice semi-circle marble bar that composes most of the seating in the bar area. It's the same entrance for Swift & Sons, and Cold Storage is located in the front of the building on Fulton Market. The restrooms are located all the way in the back past the bar at Swift & Sons which gives you a great chance to see the beautiful interior of the steakhouse if you haven't already.

    The happy hour deal is $1 oysters and $3 draft beers from 3-6 on weekdays. I was pretty excited for this one based on the deals, but there are a couple catches that should be noted. First, the oysters are indeed $1 apiece, and there is no limit to how many you can order. However, although there are about a dozen varieties listed on the chalkboard menu, only one of them is $1 during the happy hour deal. The oysters on special the day we went were well-shucked and fresh, and we ordered a couple dozen with no complaints at all. They provide a few different hot sauces at the bar, and also complimentary waffle potato chips.

    The $3 draft beer deal is also good, but there are only about four options on the small tap list so variety is not a strong point if you want to stay on the happy hour menu.

    We enjoyed our time at Cold Storage, friendly and informal service and a cool atmosphere. I should also point out that we went on a Wednesday afternoon, and I arrived shortly after 3:30. There were only a couple other patrons at that time, but the place was slammed when we left around 6:30.

    2. GT Fish & Oyster. Yep, oysters again. I think most are pretty familiar with this spot, so I won't go into much detail about the setup.

    The deal is half-price oysters, draft beer and wine from 4-6 on weekdays. There are no limitations on the selection of oysters, which is nice so you can try some and then circle back for a big old platter of your favorites. I believe they advertise a limit of a dozen oysters per person on the happy hour deal, but this wasn't ever verbalized to us and we had no issues (I think we probably had two dozen anyway).

    Great selection, great freshness although the second round shucker was a bit sloppy with some shards. The oysters at GT range from $3 to $4 apiece, so not $1 but still a good deal and as mentioned you can choose any variety. The drink specials were great, solid draft beer options and a few wine choices by the glass as well. I think the wine choices were listed on a separate card for happy hour.

    We also had a really good time at GT, and liked the variety of options for oysters and drinks. You're still paying about $2 per oyster but the quality is certainly there. Professional but laid-back and friendly service, a very nice happy hour option.

    3. The Bristol. We live near The Bristol and I sometimes find myself saying 'why don't we eat here more often?' With that in mind, we planned to meet when they open at 5:30 for the happy hour on a Thursday. As with GT, I know a lot of you are familiar with Bristol so I'll just get right into the food and drink.

    The deal is from 5:30 to 6:30 daily, and includes half-price small plates, draft beer, wine, and cocktails. It's a short but sweet deal to be sure. There are zero limitations on what you can order, and it's an amazing value. I think we probably ordered five or six small plates, a couple beers and wines and then each tried a cocktail.

    The service is always good there, and our happy hour experience was no different. Our server remarked that we took full advantage of the deal when she brought our check, and we didn't quite know whether to be offended or proud of ourselves ;) (We were proud).

    4. La Sirena Clandestina. Well, three out of four ain't bad. I'll start by saying that in general I really like La Sirena and have been previously for dinner. I stopped in here for a quick bite and drink with a friend around 3ish on a weekday. The deals were $4 skewers, $4 empanadas, $6 kale salad, $3 garlic fries, $5 cocktails, $2 tecate, $7 glasses of rose. The service was pretty apathetic and seemingly disinterested. Not rude or unfriendly really, just a little beyond aloof. I guess this is always my fear of seeking out happy hour deals, sometimes you get that feeling like you shouldn't be there that early, they don't want you to just order the specials, etc. If I get that feeling, I'll usually just politely ask for my tab and leave.

    Based on the overall feel, we just stuck to a couple skewers and empanadas, swigged a couple Tecates and then moved on. It was kind of quiet, empty and awkward when we were there, but it was a cheap tab and the skewers were pretty good (beef and chicken).

    Thanks for reading, I hope some can use the info. I'll post more if and when we check any other happy hours out. Some future options on our list that have very interesting deals include Tortoise Club(4:30-6:30 weekdays, $1 oysters and cocktail shrimp, also looks like Wednesdays are half-price cocktails from 4-7 but I do not know if you can combine the deals), The Izakaya at Momotaro (6-8 Wednesday through Sunday, $19 two-course meal or $23 three-course (beer and a shochu shot included)*As mentioned by Darren above*, The Kitchen (3-6 weekdays, $4 beer, $8 wine and cocktails, $4-$8 appetizers and snacks, half-price oysters), and Bernie's Lunch & Supper (4-7 weekdays, $3 beers, $5 Moscow Mule, $5 wine/champagne, $5 small plates). Chain spots McCormick & Schmick's and Cantina Laredo both have pretty good happy hour specials as well on weekdays.

    Cold Storage
    1000 West Fulton Market
    (312) 638-6280
    coldstoragechicago.com

    GT Fish & Oyster
    531 North Wells
    (312) 929-3501
    http://www.gtoyster.com

    The Bristol
    2152 North Damen
    (773) 862-5555
    http://www.thebristolchicago.com

    La Sirena Clandestina
    954 West Fulton Market
    (312) 226-5300
    http://www.lasirenachicago.com

    The Tortoise Club
    350 North State
    (312) 755-1700
    http://www.tortoisesupperclub.com

    Izakaya at Momotaro
    820 West Lake Street
    (312) 733-4818
    http://www.momotarochicago.com

    The Kitchen
    316 North Clark
    (312) 836-1300
    http://www.thekitchen.com/the-kitchen-chicago/

    Bernie's Lunch
    660 North Orleans
    (312) 624-9892
    http://www.bernieslunchandsupper.com
  • Post #15 - December 7th, 2016, 2:59 pm
    Post #15 - December 7th, 2016, 2:59 pm Post #15 - December 7th, 2016, 2:59 pm
    randy77 wrote:Hi, I wasn't sure where to put this because I wanted to post about four different happy hours (Two for oysters, two not) that I recently tried. I thought about using the individual threads, but decided to just go with a general 'happy hour' thread to compare our experiences . . .

    I think this is the right thread. Thanks for the detailed, informative post!

    =R=
    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #16 - December 7th, 2016, 6:19 pm
    Post #16 - December 7th, 2016, 6:19 pm Post #16 - December 7th, 2016, 6:19 pm
    randy77 wrote:Some future options on our list that have very interesting deals include Tortoise Club(4:30-6:30 weekdays, $1 oysters and cocktail shrimp, also looks like Wednesdays are half-price cocktails from 4-7 but I do not know if you can combine the deals)


    Great post! And to confirm your question about Tortoise Club, on Wednesdays they offer Half-price Signature Cocktails from 4:00pm – 7:30pm along with the weekday happy hour of $1 Oysters and $1 Cocktail Shrimp from 4:30pm – 6:30pm. You can combine the deals and it's a really good one, especially on the cocktails.

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