Happy Hours: Your Guide to Valley Spots Worthy of Your Drink Money

The best part of spending a happy hour at Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe is that when you're leaving at 6 p.m., having had a pint of this and a pint of that, you walk past a long line of suckers waiting for tables. They look so thirsty, and a little resentful, and you're so happy.

And you've still got money in your pocket for dinner — if you're still hungry, that is, after having paired all that Arizona Peach Ale with soft pretzels or pepperoni pizza.

Read on, Phoenix, but please, try not to drool on the newspaper or your keyboard. We've gathered dozens of Happy Hour deals at this megalopolis' favorite post-work watering holes — conveniently categorized by neighborhood, to discourage cross-town drinking and driving (in fact, do us all a favor and take a cab if you're over-served, even if it is still light out) — and we dare you to try them all.

Jamie Peachey
Jamie Peachey

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C'mon, Get Appy

Technology has improved nearly every aspect of our life and now, at long last, it's been applied to mankind's greatest venture: the search for cheap drinks. Village Voice Media Holdings LLC, the parent company of this paper, and GoTime.com have partnered to bring you Happy Hours, the premier smart-phone application for finding drink specials wherever you are and whenever you're looking.

Your phone tells the app where you are, you specify any happy hour needs you might have, and voilá, you've got a detailed list of every happy hour around, including what's being offered and when the specials expire. The list is sorted by distance from your current location, and you can turn your phone sideways for a Google map of the nearest picks. Can't decide which one to try? Give the phone a good shake and the app will randomly select a happy hour for you.

Almost 20,000 happy hours in more than 30 cities are covered. The data comes from GoTime's extensive database, business owners and users, creating the most comprehensive and up-to-date listings possible. It's like having a native guide to the best spots in town, wherever you go. And in the 14 cities with Village Voice Media papers, it's not like having a native guide, it is having a native guide: recommendations from our editorial staff, the people who live and breathe the city's nightlife, are integrated into the app.

Native apps are available for iPhone, Droid, and BlackBerry users, but you can still get in on the fun even if you don't have a smart phone. Just point your phone's web browser to www.gotime.com and you can get the same info (albeit without the slick functionality offered by the apps). And no matter what platform you use, it's all free — so you can save your money for that last half-price mojito or two-for-one beer special of the night. -- Cory Casciato

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Because we want you to be happy, we've made sure all this valuable information is available in our new online Happy Hour listings at happyhours.phoenixnewtimes.com/phoenix/places, and if you haven't downloaded Happy Hours, our very own app, you should. It's free.

Oh, thanks, but really, there's no need to tip us. Just go out and have a good time.


DOWNTOWN PHOENIX


District
320 North Third Street
602-817-5400
www.districtrestaurant.com
The Sage Julep is one of a longish list of muddled drinks on the menu at The District — the latest trend in boutique cocktails and a house specialty that makes the bar's Happy Hour even happier. Tangy and lemon-flavored, this drink blends Maker's Mark and lemon juice with limes and tiny sage leaves that give a real zing to an already zingy cocktail.

The place isn't short on ambiance, either. Enjoy live music (in the lounge, where jazz, funk, and R&B music entertain patrons on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) with contemporary art courtesy of the Paulina Miller Gallery.
3 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing Monday through Saturday. $3 mac-and-cheese or spiced sweet potato fries. $3 beer and a revolving list of reduced-price drinks and wines.

The Roosevelt
816 North Third Street
602-254-2561
This popular downtown beer-and-wine joint has a lot going for it: an old house that's been renovated into a cozy, casual tavern, friendly waitstaff, and the kind of fare we'd make for ourselves (or try, anyway) if we were hanging at home. (Although if we were at home, we wouldn't have the dozens of beers offered at the Roosevelt.) Crashed on a couch in what was once the master bedroom of this sweet home, we love a plate of bacon-wrapped dates and a glass of Palmina Dolcetto even more than we love the Happy Hour total for both: a whopping 10 bucks.
5 to 7 p.m. weekdays and all night Sunday. $3 featured beers, $5 select white wines, $6 red wines, $4 bar snacks. PastaBar
705 North First Street
602-687-8704
www.pastabaraz.com
It's absurd but true: Although we think that PastaBar serves some of downtown's best Italian food, it's a simple cocktail made with lemonade (lemonade!) that brings us back time and again. That drink — Spremute con Gin, a tasty combination of Tanqueray 10 and Limonata on the rocks — combined with the big fun of PastaBar's Happy Hour is what keeps us returning to this terrific, tucked-away diner again and again.

And if we're very happy to spend more than an hour here, it's because we get half off our favorite appetizers — like Fritto Misto, deep-fried vegetables in a tasty batter that go down all too well with that half-price martini.
4 to 6 p.m. every day, with half-price martinis and appetizers and $5 by-the-glass wines.

Moira Sushi Bar
and Kitchen
215 East McKinley Street
602-254-5085
www.moirasushi.com
No, really. We go to Moira, downtown's new sushi bar, for Happy Hour drinks. And why wouldn't we? Seven dollars for a carafe of sake bombers, and sushi rolls for $5 and $6 apiece, have us coming back for more more more. It's just that after a couple of shots of sake (or one of several revolving mixed-drink specials), we begin to notice the amazing smells coming from the kitchen. And before you know it, we're gobbling edamame ($4 for a generous plateful) and crudo (cucumber and kaiware, wrapped in yellowtail tuna, for just $6) and anticipating seaweed salad and miso soup — all eaten at the bar, of course, for that happy Happy Hour feel.
5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with Reverse Happy Hour from 10:30 p.m. to closing on Friday and 9 p.m. to closing on Saturday. $7 sake bombers and $5-$6 sushi rolls.


CENTRAL PHOENIX


Fez Restaurant and Urban Bar
3815 North Central Avenue
602-287-8700

www.fezoncentral.com
Fez has one of the chummiest Happy Hours in town, seven days a week. Beer fans flock for two-for-one extra-cold drafts and bottles, while wine connoisseurs cruise Fez's small-plate menu (we love the garlic-and-rosemary fries) while sipping special $3 house wines. Mixed drinks are a Happy Hour steal, too — our favorite, the pomegranate margarita, is tall and tart and not too boozy, served in a sweetly sugar-rimmed highball glass and tasty as all get out. It doesn't hurt that the sexy bar staff all look like print models, or that the décor — ultra-modern with a palette of oranges and lime greens and lots of mod lighting on every surface — is as hip and urban as the place's Central Avenue location (right off the light rail!) aspires to be.
4 to 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight every day. Two-for-one well, draft, and bottled beer and signature margaritas, $3 house wine, and $6 small plates.

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