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.
1000 West Fulton Market
GT Fish & Oyster
531 North Wells
2152 North Damen
La Sirena Clandestina
954 West Fulton Market
The Tortoise Club
350 North State
Izakaya at Momotaro
820 West Lake Street
316 North Clark
660 North Orleans