The Happiest of Hours
From Five-Hour Happy Hours to Late Night Power Hours: Cleveland Knows How to Get Happy
By Janey Schafer
Why is it called happy hour when it almost always lasts for more than 60 minutes?
In Cleveland, we have happy hours that start at 2pm and last for five whole hours, happy hours that serve free bacon strips and craft beers that only cost two bucks. It’s called HH ‘round these parts and we just so happen to know how to do it right.
You know what else “HH” could stand for? Hungry hour. Because we all know what happens when you get to happy hour: you have a couple, then (like clockwork) you start craving food. After all, most happy hours occur right in the middle of dinner time, right?
It’s a good thing the Cleveland culinary scene is booming, because anywhere you go for happy hour is bound to have some sort of life-saving, Clevelandy food to go along with whatever you’re sipping.
EAT LIKE A FAT CAT
Fat Cats -- The most inviting part about Tremont-based Fat Cats’ happy hour is the glorious food menu with even more glorious prices. You can get fried cheese, steamed buns or crispy egg rolls for only $3. For just $2 more, you can order tempura shrimp, beef nachos, risotto and pastas. If you think those are good deals, how about this one – for $6 you can order a burger, spicy ribs, mussels, a crispy fried chicken sandwich or a bahn mi. Now, that’s what we call HAPPY! (Happy hour: Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m.)
START EARLY, END LATE
City Tap -- City Tap, located in downtown Cleveland, is equipped with both a very early happy hour and a very late power hour. That means you can catch a game, get a post-work buzz and enjoy $1 off all drafts and $5 apps. And, don’t worry if you miss happy hour, because power hour starts at 8pm. That means all drafts and bottles are marked down to two bucks. Good luck finding craft beer anywhere else for that kind of price. (Happy hour: Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m. Power hour: Monday-Friday from 8-9 p.m.)
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar -- Located in the east side suburb of Woodmere sits Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar. Imagine a colorful and warm South American-themed dining area where the (hand-crafted) mojitos, sangria and margaritas are flowing. It’s happy hour paradise. The only tthing that makes it better is an HH food menu that embraces the bold flavors of Latin street food including Rio-style tacos, empanadas and Peruvian mussels. All food prices (including the late night food-only menu) are under $10 and the drinks are cheap, too. (Happy hour: Daily from 4-7 p.m. Late-night food: Sunday-Thursday from 9-11 p.m.)
THE LONGEST HAPPY HOUR OF YOUR LIFE
ABC The Tavern -- Happy hour? More like happy hours. Welcome to the longest happy hour of your life. At ABC The Tavern in Ohio City, you can enjoy discounted drinks for five glorious hours. They also have bar bowling and a REAL old-school jukebox machine (none of that touch-screen wifi stuff here). ABC The Tavern welcomes all sorts of happy hour guests; lawyers, hipsters, geezers – you name it and you’ll find them there. (Happy hour: Monday-Friday from 4-9 p.m. and Sunday from 4-9 p.m.)
Prosperity Social Club -- Situated in Tremont is the ultra retro Americana gem called Prosperity Social Club. Practically a rite of passage for anyone looking to experience the quintessential side of CLE, Prosperity’s happy hour also falls in line with how we Clevelanders like to do things - authentically. Prosperity Social Club’s happy hour includes huge discounts off of microbrews on tap, fun “Prospertinis,” house wines and their oh-so-amazing sangria. Better yet, they have HH food specials offer their mainstays like the potato pancakes [wipes drool off keyboard]. (Happy hour: Monday-Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m.)
YOU HAD ME AT FREE BACON
Fahrenheit -- If you’re feelin’ fancy but don’t want to spend a ton, Fahrenheit – located in Tremont – is a great choice. Yes, there are happy hour specials like glasses of wine and sangria for under $5. But, we would like to be the first to inform you of the most important information of all: Fahrenheit’s free bar snacks are strips of bacon. Yes, bacon. Other dishes are big on flavor like their Happy Hour Pizza made with brie, parmesan, goat cheese, maple and chives…YUM. (Happy hour: Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m.)
MAD DRINK OPTIONS
The Mad Greek -- Honestly, the Mad Greek’s happy hour is really rather…mad. What with 30+ different cocktails and martinis priced at around $6, we’re sure you can see why. Now, let’s talk food: The HH appetizer selection is entirely Mediterranean-themed with homemade delicacies like tzatziki, saganaki (pan-seared Greek cheese) and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Can anyone say, “OPA!” (Happy hour: Monday-Saturday from 4-9 p.m.)