In a city where bars abound, happy hours also abound. Walk into most places during the magical time between afternoon and evening, and you can drink and eat more cheaply. But with so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Herewith, our five favorite happy hours in the East Village. By Jessica Allen.
Bua Bar provides a great place to relax and recharge along St. Mark’s, one of the neighborhood’s busiest, and most fun, thoroughfares. Happy hour here runs from 3 to 8 pm on Monday through Friday, and, score!, from 1 to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. This means, of course, that on weekends you can cruise straight from brunch to happy hour. Anyway, specials include draft beer for $4, carafes of wine for $15, and cocktails, such as the Paloma (with tequila, grapefruit soda made on site, and salted grapefruit) for $7.
Keybar bills itself as “the ultimate party place.” So, if you’re looking to quietly nurse a bourbon and your thoughts, or have a lingering catch-up drink with a friend you haven’t seen for a while, perhaps you better keep moving. But if you’re looking to get your late-afternoon party on, definitely stay awhile and partake of its famed “two-for-one” special: when you buy a drink special during happy hour (Sunday and Monday: 4 p.m. -4 a.m., the rest of the week: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.), you get a coupon for a free drink to use anytime.
Mama’s Bar has a great vibe, not like the warm, welcoming hug of a mom, though. More like the warm, welcoming hug of a dive bar. Microbeers and imports on tap, fruit-infused tequila and vodka atop the bar. Happy hour runs seven days a week from 5 to 7 pm, and specials include a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon with a shot for $5, $3 shots of whiskey, Bud or Bud Lite for $4, and frozen drinks for $5 to $8. Specialty cocktails too, including the Young Geoff Spesh (triple sec, pineapple, cranberry juice, Malibu rum, and sour mix).
The 13th Step
The 13th Step boasts a long bar, lots of booths, and plenty of TVs. “[N]ot for the lighthearted,” the website says. Fair enough. It is, however, for those long, easy Sunday afternoons, or those post-work hangouts, or those Friday and Saturday nights, full of energy and possibility. In our opinion, the best happy hour special at this bar runs Monday through Friday, from 11:30 am to 8 pm, when you can get anything at the bar for half-off. At the same time on Saturdays, you can get any shot for $5 along with half-off all beer. Really good food too!
A bar that pays attention to the craft of mixology, but leaves off any dose of pretension or dashes of snootiness. Indeed, the vibe is friendly, cheery, and bluesy (that’s “blues-y,” not a typo for “boozy”), thanks to the live music. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 pm, and includes such specials as a winter old-fashioned (bitters, bourbon, and spiced agave nectar) for $7, cans of Tecate for $4, and not one but two types of oyster shooters ($5 each): shallot-infused Mezcal and pickle brine, and tequila, housemade sangrita, and smoked chili salt.