Not everyone can get out of work in time to make a happy hour that goes from 4-6 p.m. These places offer their deals later.
Q: Why do many places terminate their “Happy Hours” at 6 p.m.? A lot of people who want to partake are excluded due to the time they get off work.
A: Who doesn’t want to gnaw on wings and pound cheap beer ’til you’re lulled to sleep, right? Well, unfortunately, you’re looking at it from a consumer point of view and not a business standpoint. Happy hour was started to lure customers in during the slow period (around 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.). A bar usually is filled after 6 p.m., so it doesn’t make economic sense to offer discounts then.
That said, our city is littered with bars now, and the competition to fill every single seat is fierce. The rules and definition of happy hour have evolved. Many bars run happy hours until 8 p.m. On slow nights (Sunday and Monday for most establishments), happy hour can go all night. Here are some of my favorite happy hours that stretch beyond 6 p.m.
All night on Monday
RN74 has $3-$7 drink specials and some refined snacks such as duck fat fries and oxtail croquettes ($7). Its best deal, though, is the bottles of house wines for $28. Happy hour is until closing on Mondays and on Tuesday-Thursday until 7 p.m. 1433 Fourth Ave., Seattle; 206-456-7474 or michaelmina.net
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El Gaucho in Seattle and Bellevue serves a giant, juicy bacon cheeseburger, though you can’t go wrong with any of the other beef dishes or the signature “Wicked Shrimp” at both locations. Happy hour is all night on Sunday and Monday and, in Seattle, 4-7 p.m. and 9 p.m.-closing on Tuesday-Thursday and 4-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-closing on Friday. Live music begins at 6 p.m. in the Seattle lounge. 2505 First Ave., Seattle, 206-728-1337; also 450 108th Ave. N.E., Bellevue, 425-455-2715 or elgaucho.com
Barriohas one of the largest selections of agave spirits on the West Coast, and bartender extraordinaire Casey Robison is one of its biggest preachers. Let him guide you through a tasting. Half-off on all tequila and mescal on Monday. 1420 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-588-8105 or barriorestaurant.com
Happy hour until 8 p.m.
Japonessa is a downtown favorite because it offers discounted sushi and rolls daily, but note that if you come with a large party, seating might be difficult. Happy hour is daily 6:30-8 p.m. (A second branch is scheduled to open in Bellevue by spring.) 1400 First Ave., Seattle; 206-971-7979 or japonessa.com
Billy Beach Sushi & Bar runs one of the most extensive happy hours in Ballard, with sushi, pot stickers and other fried Japanese snacks. Happy hour is Tuesday-Sunday until 8 p.m. 5463 Leary Ave. N.W., Seattle; billybeachsushi.com or 206-257-4616
Happy hour until 7 p.m.
Zig Zag Cafe has arguably the best discounted cocktails in Seattle. It’s shoulder-to-shoulder crowded, but with a civilized vibe, not the frat-like atmosphere. Happy hour is weekdays 5-7 p.m. 1501 Western Ave., Seattle, 206-625-1146 or zigzagseattle.com
The Diller Room is old-school Seattle, drawing a lot of locals and lifers instead of new-money Seattle. It has a new tiki-drink menu, too. Happy hour daily 2-7 p.m. 1224 First Ave., Seattle, 206-467-4042 or dillerroom.com
El Borracho offers $1 tacos both downtown and in its Ballard location. Happy hour weekdays from 4-7 p.m. Pike Place Market Taqueria, 1521 First Ave., Seattle, 206- 538-0440; also at 5465 Leary Ave. N.W., Seattle, 206-582-1974 or elborrachoseattle.com
Oliver’s Twist is my favorite bar in the North End, with stellar craft cocktails for under $9 during happy hour. I’m a bigger fan of the Phinney Ridge bar than its second branch in Magnolia. Happy hour Monday-Thursday 5-7 p.m. 6822 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-706-6673 or oliverstwistseattle.com