C'mon Get Happy: Paper's Current Top-Four Favorite Happy Hours

Julie Besonen, Paper magazine contributor

Paper Mag article At the close of the week, our thoughts turn to happy hour, which, as it happens, is rarely limited to a single hour. Amazing discounts for quality booze and/or food at these four favorites make cutting out of work totally worth it.

1. Maialino
2 Lexington Ave., (212) 777-2410, Gramercy Park
Danny Meyer’s paean to Rome has a new summer happy hour and bar snacks menu devised by gifted executive chef Nick Anderer. On weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m., a square of impeccable, thin-crust pizza (potato and thyme or eggplant and ricotta) is $2, even better washed down with a $5 Italian beer (Forst Premium Lager is especially good). Deviled eggs with pickled sardines ($2), pork cracklings with spicy vinegar ($3) and light, crisp potato skins with Pecorino and black pepper ($3) are also incredibly delicious deals, especially when considering that appetizers on Maialino’s dinner menu cost way more.
2. V Bar St. Marks
132 First Ave., (212) 473-7200, East Village
Happiness is a choice, and the variety of half-price drinks at this airy, East Village bar brings nothing but gladness. Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. all wines by the glass are eligible. All. Over 50 choices, mostly Italian, are offered, but in summer I’m partial to the crisp, citrus-y Sancerre that’s normally $14, reduced to $7. What’s more, top shelf liquor and specialty cocktails are slashed from $12 to $6. If you get peckish, food is full price, though $9 for a plate of fried calamari isn’t bad.

3. Shoolbred’s
197 Second Ave., (212) 529-0340, East Village
The East Village has the highest density of happy hours, so it’s only right that two out of our four top picks are in the neighborhood. Shoolbred’s is a dark, pleasant hangout, vaguely Scottish in design, with professional barkeeps who pour generously. The hours are generous, too, with two-for-one drinks from 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays. Belgium’s Delirium Tremens on draft is ecstasy; while you might quibble at the $9 pricetag, you’ll stop griping when you get a wooden chip that buys you the second for free. (Guinness and Brooklyn Lager are $6 a pint.)
4. The Half King
515 W. 23rd St., (212) 462-4300, Chelsea
This comfortable Chelsea haunt attracts artists and writers, partly because Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) is one of the owners. He also co-directed, with photojournalist Tim Hetherington, the acclaimed documentary Restrepo about the Afghanistan war. Hetherington, a former Half King regular, died in a different war in April, covering the conflict in Misrata, Libya. That same day his colleague and another friend of the bar, Pulitzer-prize nominated photographer Chris Hondros, was also killed. Moving tributes to these courageous men are on Half King’s website. When you visit the bar, raise a toast to them. From 5-8 p.m. draft beers are $4. The pub food is good around the clock.

For more nightlife coverage, visit papermag.com.


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