Chow Bella

Happy happy, joy joy: Summer is pretty damn cool, thanks to local happy hour specials

By Michele Laudig

I’m telling you, we can’t let word get out about all the upsides of Phoenix in the summertime. More people just might want to move here and cramp our style if they found out about all the sweet deals at luxury resorts, spa discounts for anybody with an Arizona driver’s license, and hard-to-resist restaurant specials.

Those restaurants apparently want us to coast through summer on a wave of ice-cold alcohol, it seems. Lately I’ve been flooded with news of all kinds of budget-friendly happy hours at some of the most stylish eateries in town.

Wildfish Seafood Grille offers one of the best – and I realize I actually look forward to triple-digit temperatures thanks to this. The “All Night, Every Night” happy hour takes place from 4:30 p.m. to close – only in the bar area – and features darn tasty $5 martinis, half-priced appetizers that you could easily make a meal out of (I’m a huge fan of the crabcake), and 50-cent oysters. It’s happening all summer at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

A nearly identical deal is also available at Wildfish’s DC Ranch sister restaurant, Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille, from 4 p.m. to close. As a bonus, there is nightly live music.

I think Portland’s Restaurant & Wine Bar (105 W. Portland) has every reason to celebrate the near-completion of light rail, since the ongoing construction has made the general vicinity a total cluster until recently. Newly liberated, the restaurant is offering a weekday happy hour (5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday), with $3 beer, $5 apps, and $2 off wines by the glass. And to go along with $30 four-course prix fixe dinners on Saturdays, bottles of wine are get a one-third-off discount (you can do the math).

September might be considered fall in northern states, but it’s still summer here, so it’s a good thing Fox Restaurants’ seasonal deals continue ‘til the end of September. As the thermometer rises, Fox Restaurant Concepts is offering summer specials at five of its Valley eateries. Half-price bottles of wine will be offered at the Greene House on Sundays, NoRTH and Bar NoRTH on Mondays, and Bloom on Tuesdays. In addition, NoRTH and Bar NoRTH have launched weekday happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers that runs from 4 to 7 p.m., year-round.

Bombay Spice is doing wine tastings now, with samples of three boutique wines and $4 tapas (the chickpea ceviche would be so refreshing on a hot day . . . ). Check it out every Monday, from 4 to 6 p.m., at both locations (7000 N. 16th St., and 10810 N. Tatum)

If that mouthwatering watermelon cocktail above looks good to you, you can find it at Geisha A Go Go, in Old Town Scottsdale – for five bucks. Along with $3 Kirins, $5 specialty drinks, and discounted nibbles, the karaoke rooms are going for half-price, too, from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

That same time slot over at Stingray Sushi (Geisha’s sister restaurant) features discounted sake ($1.50!), sushi, and more.

Through the end of August, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is hosting Tuesday Tastings, all day long, with half-off all wines by the glass or bottle

At Roaring Fork, summer ushers in an extended happy hour from 4 to 10 p.m. – that’s a happy night, don’t you think? Cheap appetizers (like the beloved Big-Ass Burger for $7) and $5 drinks sound like a good reason to swing by, and they say nothing’s going for more than nine bucks.

Make the hike up to Sassi in North Scottsdale to check out La Dolce Vita, going on all summer. Besides the fine view of Pinnacle Peak, there’s a half-price happy hour in the bar daily, complimentary wine tastings from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, and live music Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

At Cadillac Ranch at the Tempe Marketplace, the nightly happy hour from 4 to 11 p.m. features all kinds of food and drink deals.

And at Drift Polynesian Restaurant, two-for-one drinks and a free buffet of Polynesian appetizers is available from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

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Michele Laudig
Contact: Michele Laudig