Top 10: Happy Hour Drink and Appetizer Specials
Deals include $2 drafts, $3 cocktails, $3 wine, $5 martinis and $5 appetizers galore.
Salud! Prost! Cin-cin! Santé! Na zdrowie! Skål! Cheers!
Here's looking at bar bargains when the working day is done. Local choices include a pair of Wednesday wine promotions, half-off appetizers and a weekly oyster night.
Most happy hour deals are weekday-only, some spill into weekends and a few apply in the dining room as well as on bar stools.
Incidentally, our state draws a line that happy hours can't cross. Unlimited refills, two-for-one specials or free cocktail capers of any sort are forbidden. That still leaves room for creativity and value in pursuit-of-happiness specials.
Look what's available during strategically-timed visits:
1. Big Rock: If beverage and snack choices here don't suit your taste, you may be too picky. House beer and wine are $2 and $3, respectively, and a "signature cocktail" is $5 from 4-7 p.m. weekdays at the bar. Eight food options from 4-6 p.m. at the bar include sliders with fries ($2), salmon cakes ($3) and calamari with lemon caper sauce ($4).
2. Zazios: Responding to hunger along with thirst is possible at this 13-month-old newcomer. Eleven small plates are $5 in the spacious lounge from 4-7 p.m. weekdays, when seared scallops, braised pork, grilled lamb and fried polenta are among sophisticated selections. Beer is $3 during those happy hours each Monday and Wednesday, when Michigan wine and liquors are $5. On Tuesday and Thursday, that $5 price covers martinis and house wines.
3. The Corner: A chef's touch also shows at the Townsend Hotel's bar annex, where six happy hour appetizers ($5 each) include a balsamic salad with buffalo mozzarella and pesto. Draft and bottled beers are $4, well drinks are $6 and house wines are $7. Deals apply inside or at sidewalk tables from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and again from 9-11 p.m. Thursdays.
4. Dick O'Dow's: Weekdays or weekends, guests can tip back 20-ounce Labatt Light drafts for $3 from 4-7 p.m. or get $1 off any other drink. A half-dozen appetizers are $5 during those happy hours, anywhere in the pub or on its deck.
5. Chen Chow: Drinks are $3-$5 from 4-7 p.m. weekdays, when selected sushi and appetizers are $4-$6.
6. Peabody's: Happy Hour starts in mid-afternoon with $2.50 pints, $3 well drinks and $3.50 house wine at the bar. Also available from 3-6 p.m. weekdays are $5 appetizers such as sesame-ginger fried calamari, fried shrimp in spicy chipotle sauce or baked spinach-artichoke dip with warm pita chips.
7. Max & Erma's: Promo pricing is simple, with just two numbers. Choices for $3 at the bar are margaritas, mojitos, well cocktails, 23-ounce domestic drafts or house wine. For $5, bar patrons can order six wings, black bean roll-ups, sliders or two other items. Hours: 4-7 p.m. any day and 9-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday or 9 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
8. South: Drink prices get festive shortly after lunch. From 2-7 p.m. weekdays, domestic beer is $3, house cocktails are $4, house wine is $5 and martinis go for $6.
9. Fleming's: The steakhouse keeps it simple. Five premium cocktails, five wines by the glass and five appetizers are $6 each from 5-7 p.m. nightly in the bar. Choices include two martinis, a cosmopolitan, mushroom ravioli, seared ahi tuna, cajun barbecued shrimp or a prime cheeseburger with bacon. Six bucks also covers a pair of Amstel Light beers.
10. Mitchell's: The fish market has $3 drafts and six half-price appetizers from 4-7 p.m. weekdays at the bar. On Mondays, bar guests can get fresh oysters for $1.50 each from 4 p.m. onward. Wind down with wine at tables or the bar on Wednesday, when selected reds and whites go for $5 per glass and some bottles are value-priced at $14-$32.
Toast also believes in "Wine Down Wednesday," when any vintage is half-off by the glass from 4 p.m. until last call.
At Cameron's bar area, wine is $6-$8 a glass from 4:30-6:30 p.m. daily and five appetizers are $6-$11.
Lastly, Luxe gets in the spirit by knocking $2 off draft beers and $3 off wine by the glass from 3-5 p.m. and 10 p.m.-1 a.m. weekdays.
Thanks to local bon vivant Martin Reisig for suggesting this roundup.