Happy Hour

Zipp's Sports Grill: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: Zipp's Sports Grill (one of seven locations across the valley) 3647 E Indian School Rd, 602-957-2112 http://www.zipps-sportscafe.com/

The Hours: Monday through Friday, from 3 to 7 pm

The Details: $2.50 well, wine, and domestic beer. $3.00 premium pints and frozen Zipparitas. $3.50 32 oz domestic drafts. $1.50 slices of pizza (toppings an extra 50 cents each). $3.00 chips with guac and salsa, and $5.00 for a dozen wings or buffalo chicken skewers. Nightly food and booze deals change daily and kick in after happy hour ends, 8 pm to close. Weekend boozers can catch the game and take advantage of the Hangover Specials from 11 to 4 pm.

The Interior: Brushed metal fixtures, exposed brick walls and open air ceilings lend a clean, industrial feel to the place. Natural lighting streamed through the establishment and all the booths were lit by individual little lamps. From where we were seated there was a clear view of well over five televisions broadcasting sports, including one big screen mega TV and several smaller ones mounted so high that it seemed like it would be difficult to follow a game. Plenty of tables, booths and bar seating were available. It's a sports bar. You seen one, you seen 'em all.

The Cost: Three drinks, a slice of pepperoni and a dozen chicken skewers was $16.50 before tip and tax.

The Conclusion: Zipp's is a local chain of sports bars that manages to be a bit more homey than national chains that put zany crap on the wall. Definitely more of a neighborhood bar to catch a drink at after work with friends or coworkers than a place to impress a date. That is unless your date really likes sports, cheap buffalo wings, and hot waitresses.

For the price point, you can't really go wrong with the drinks. There was a little bit of everything, from frosty beers and mixed drinks to wine and frozen margaritas. For three bucks, the Zipparita was a swift kick in the shorts. It was a decent knock off of the frozen margaritas from Z'Tejas and was just as strong. Apparently Zipp's cuts you off at a maximum of three, and considering the fact that after each sip my tongue was numbed by frozen boozy goodness, it's easy to see why.

The food wasn't exactly anything revolutionary, but managed to be fairly high quality as far as fried bar food goes. The pizza slices were pre-made cheese slices reheated in the oven and customized with whatever toppings requested (and a classy sprinkle of shredded parmesan). Instead of opting for the bone-in wings, we decided on the glorified chicken fingers on a stick, because everything is tastier when served on a stick. The panko breading was light and not too greasy, and the golden medium wing sauce that accompanied the chicken on a stick was the perfect combination of honey sweet and spicy. It would definitely have made for some pretty tasty traditional chicken wings. All in all, not too shabby.

Overall Grade: B

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Erica O'Neil