Happier hour

During these difficult economic times more restaurants and bars are turning to the tried-and-true happy hour to get customers in the door. But to cater not just to the value minded, but also to the customer who wants something different, or memorable, today’s happy hour has to be innovative. Here’s a sampling of happy hour strategies that go beyond the usual.

The establishmentThe gimmickThe hoursThe dealThe extras
The Clarmont Columbus, OhioIt’s the restaurant’s first happy hour promotion in 67 years5-7 p.m. weekdays, at the bar only$5 appetizer specials, including prime rib sliders, fish tacos, mini meatloaf, steak pizza, grilled chicken pasta; and happy hour priced drinks: domestic beers $2.50, import beers $3.50, well drinks, $4.25, call drinks $5.25, martinis $5, house wine $4.25Had to open an area at end of bar to accommodate the crowd; going to knock down a wall for more space.
Von’s RoastHouseSeattleBartenders spin a wheel to determine 30-minute LTO drink specials, which are announced over loudspeaker11p.m. until closingVarious drinks: lemon drops, watermelon ’tinis, shots, house wine; priced $3.50-$4Additional regular happy hour from 5-6 p.m.; 50 percent off all appetizers. Customers love to give the wheel a spin.
New York
Vintage ’01 Sundays & Mondays, rolls back happy hour prices to the restaurant’s opening in 2001Sunday, Monday; 5-10 p.m.Lychee martinis, red and white Southeast Asian Sangria, Vietnamese Bloody Marys, house red and white wine are all $4; Yeungling beers two for $5Lychee martinis are $4 till midnight, which keeps customers at the bar after happy hour. Regular happy hour every day, 5-10 p.m., with $5 drinks. May extend Vintage ’01 beyond anniversary year.
Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant PhiladelphiaLate-night happy hour brings in restaurant industry crowd and second shifters11 p.m. to 1 a.m.Beer, wine, and select cocktails and appetizers are each $4Same deal at regular happy hour, 5-7 p.m., Monday through Friday
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar Kansas City-basedCasual chain runs late-night happy hourEvery night from 9 p.m. to closingHalf-price appetizers and drink specials; varies on unit basis, but can include classic margaritas, Long Island Ice Teas, draft beer and appetizers such as Buffalo wings, onion rings and potato skins 
Tavern 17 in the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel PhiladelphiaHappy 17:00 Hour; military time themed to restaurant’s 17th  Street address17:00-19:00 (5-7 p.m.) Monday through FridayDraft beer half off; daily wine specials; 5 appetizers for $5 each, including crab and avocado toast points,  chicken tostadas, fried tomatoes with cheddar and primavera sauce, beer-battered onion rings with smoked chili mayo, and hummus with grilled pitaAdditional
happy hour
on Sundays from 9-11p.m. (21:00-23:00)
Sonic Corp. Oklahoma
Fast-food chain runs non-alcoholic happy hour2-4 p.m. every
 Half-price fountain and Real Fruit SlushesCustomers can choose from 398,929 fountain drink and slush combinations.


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