The perfect antidote to the dreary grind of the nine-to-fiver, the glorious tradition of happy hour dates back to at least the Prohibition era, when some genius decided that pre-dinner drinking was acceptable. Fast forward to 2012, where dozens of St. John’s bars and speakeasies boast some version of the tipple-iscious temporal vortex of cheap drinks known as the double-H. Here The Scope presents a mostly-exhaustive list of all conceivable happy hours on offer in this thirsty town. Information collected by Nathan Downey & Bryhanna Greenough.
246 Duckworth Street
This popular brunch spot (and winner of Best All Day Breakfast in our 2011 Best of Food & Drink survey) offers caesars, mimosas, cranberry vodka, and fuzzy orange for five bucks ‘til 3pm every day of the week.
Big Ben’s Pub
55 Rowan Street
Though it’s right on the university’s doorstep, Big Ben’s is still within stumbling distance of downtown. Their happy hour runs from 4pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday; Saturdays from 2pm to 8pm; and all day Sundays. Bottles of domestic beer and highballs are $4.05, buckets of beer are $17.25, and pints are $5.75.
Stavanger Drive & Kelsey Drive
If the wind’s whistling, forego the outdoor deck and head inside to an oversized booth big enough for the bunch of you. On Wednesdays 34 oz “Thunder Mugs” are eight bucks and it’s $4 pints every Thursday. If your thirsty enough to drink a small pond, Fishbowl Fridays are the way to go with 3oz highballs for $9/$10. On Saturdays a bucket of five brews is $19. $5 martinis on Mondays, house wine on Tuesdays, and Caesars on Sundays. Drink specials last all day, and the pizza is served on old-timey pedestals.
Bridie Molloy’s/Celtic Hearth
$4 beer and highballs every day from 4pm to 7pm. Bet you never knew there’s even a small deck with a few tables. Hot tip: If you venture to the Celtic Hearth side, the same special is $3.50.
Bull & Finch/Mama Soula’s
411 Torbay Road
$3.50 bottles of domestic and $3.20 highballs everyday from 4pm to 9pm in St. John’s only Greek-style establishment.
Captain’s Quarters Lounge
2 Kings Bridge Road
Hotel bars often serve as a place to hang on the down-low, and this one is off the beaten track. Happy hour specials change all the time, but there is always free pool.
7 Queen Street
Score four tapas (Hot Smoked Pork Belly with Tomato Jam anyone?) and a pint of QV for $27 on Ice Caps nights.
106 Airport Road
Attached to the Comfort Inn, in close proximity to the airport, this spot offers $4.25 highballs and beer every day from 5pm to 7pm. Don’t miss your flight though, kay?
Cornerstone Sports Bar
16 Queen Street
This stone building sits on the corner of Queen and George, and they offer a daily happy hour from 4pm to 8pm with domestic beer and highballs going for $4.25. There’s happy hour pricing on most other beverages too, they say.
Don Cherry’s Sports Grill
290 Freshwater Road
Named after the colourful, outspoken hockey host whose portrait is hand-painted on the building, Don Cherry’s offers buckets of five Corona for $15 and singles for $3.50 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Duke of Duckworth
325 Duckworth Street
Where everybody knows your name. In the heart of downtown, the Duke feels like a neighbourhood pub. Rub shoulders with lawyers from the neighbouring firms, film crew workers, and maybe even the occasional collared pastor. Highballs and bottles of domestic are $3.95 from 3pm to 7pm every day.
186 Water Street
While you might come for the Scope-reader-approved traditional tunes (Best Traditional Session winner in our Best of St. John’s readers’ survey), you’ll stay for the happy hour prices. $3.50 will snag you a bottle of local beer from 2pm to 6pm every day.
Fog City Restaurant
48 Kenmount Road
Every once in awhile I love to head to the mall for a good ol’ fashioned dinner and a show. Fog City has eight varieties of draft beer on tap of which half pints are two for $6.50; full pints of domestic beer are two for $13. You can get a discount on the price of your movie ticket with a meal.
80 Hayward Avenue
Located in the oh-so-trendy ‘hood just north of downtown, the Georgetown Pub is a friendly spot with plenty of local colour. Their happy hour runs from 4pm to 11pm Monday to Thursday, and all day Friday though Sunday. Happy hour pricing is $3.75 for domestic beer and highballs.
123 Quidi Vidi Road
Not exactly a happy hour, but happy enough for me: They don’t sell alcohol, but patrons are invited to bring in their own bottles of wine in the evenings for a $10 corkage fee.
206 Water Street
This slick and sexy lounge is strategically located at roughly the geographic middle between the east Water Street watering holes and George Street. The ‘Vine’s happy hour runs daily between 4pm and 8:30, featuring $4.50 domestic beer and highballs.
Green Sleeves Pub
14 George Street
Green Sleeves boasts the quintessential outdoor deck from which you can watch all of George Street drift by on a sunny afternoon. Bottles of domestic and highballs are $4.50 from 3pm to 6pm daily.
Fall River Plaza, Torbay Road
The stump might be grumpy, but the hours are always happy. Happy hour lasts all day, and features domestic beer and highballs for $3.75, and double White Russians for absurdly cheap price of $4.75.
389 Elizabeth Avenue
Take in Old English ambiance, $3.75 domestic beers, and $4.10 highballs from 4pm to 7pm every day. Daily food specials such as Monday and Tuesday wing night, and mussels on Wednesdays. Plenty of specialty scotch, and beer on tap.
179 New Gower Street
Across the street from Mile One, this could serve as a nice pit stop before a show or game. On Fridays from 4pm to 7pm bottles of domestic are $4.25 and highballs are $4.30.
Jay Dees Lounge
125 Queens Rd
Its storefront is so incognito that if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you’d pass right by, but Jay Dees Lounge dishes out domestic beer for $3.50 between the hours of 12pm and 7:30pm.
286 Torbay Road & 657 Topsail Rd
On Wednesdays a bucket of four Molson is $12.99 with the purchase of a pound of wings from 4pm to close. Available at Torbay Road and Topsail Road locations only.
10 George Street
Everyday buckets of five domestic beer for $16.25. That works out to $3.30 each, plus there’s a wraparound deck at the corner of Adelaide and George Street.
3 George Street
With its nostalgic tunes, signature White Russians, and lack of cover charge, a visit to Lottie’s is pretty much an inevitable part of the George Street experience. More of a night joint, double highballs or two bottles of Molson are $6.50 after 10pm, Sunday to Thursday, and double White Russians are $5.25 all the time.
In the last year or so Martini Bar expanded the outdoor seating and it may well boast the largest street-level deck on George. One dollar off all Labatt products every Friday from 5pm to 9pm.
201 Water Street
Nautical Nellie’s offers unpretentious pub grub in a cozy downtown setting. They also feature free live music a couple nights per week. Their happy hour stretches from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays, with highballs and domestic beer going for $4. During brunch on the weekends caesars are $5.
O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
13 George Street
Serving up traditional tunes and distinctive North Atlantic flare. Their happy hour runs from noon to 8, Sunday to Thursday, and from noon to 10 on Fridays. Highballs and bottles of domestic beer will run you $4.50, Yellowbelly beers are $5.50 a pint, and Molson Canadian and Coors Lite is a buck off. Their patio can seat about 30 thirsty souls.
Peter Easton Pub
29 Cookstown Road
Happy hour? More like happy day! The Peter E just might have the happiest happy hour in town, with beer and highballs going for $2.95, from freaking 9am to 6pm. See you there.
Quidi Vidi Brewery
15 Barrows Road
The view from the bar is epic: along the gut the sea laps against rocks, moored boats bob in the waves. Brewery tours ($10) are offered year round and include a sampling of the varieties all made on premises. In the summer, the bar is open to the general public is from 4:30pm to 7:30pm with live trad some days.
Quintana’s de la Plaza
57 Rowan Street, Churchill Square
Say hasta luego to your work week at Quintana’s, with happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 8pm. Beer is $3.50 for domestic and $4 for imports, and sangria, margaritas, and
pints of draft are $4.50. They feature a nacho bar for $5 a tray, and you can wash that down with a $12 pitcher of beer.
Rack & Roll Lounge
62 Hamlyn Road
Rack and roll all night, or at least during happy hour, which runs from 12pm to 6pm daily and all day on Tuesdays. Two bottles of domestic beer will run you $7.50.
Rose & Thistle
208 Water Street
On downtown’s main drag. They open early, but happy hour runs from 12pm to 8pm seven days a week. Domestic beer and high balls are $4.50, are double $7.25.
Rustler’s Bar & Grill
272-276 Torbay Road
Tucked away in the east end at Fall River Plaza, Rustler’s features a daily wing special. With the purchase of any alcoholic beverage, you can get two pounds of wings for the price of one, between 7pm and 10pm.
340 Water Street
A fairly new addition the traditional Irish/NL pub scene. Comfortable and dark with food service available. It’s a buck off highballs, draft and bottled beer from 2pm to 7pm every day. Live music to follow.
265 Duckworth Street
A local live music favourite, The Ship also happens to have quite a comprehensive happy hour. On the daily from 3pm to 8pm, bottles of domestic beer and highballs will run you $3.95, pints of Black Horse are $5.95, two bottles of Jockey Club are $7.25, doubles of Lamb’s Navy are $7.25, and you can get 3 Jager Bombs for $14.95. (Maybe you should share that last deal with a friend.)
Smitty’s Family Restaurant
131 Duckworth Street
If you like your booze with breathtaking views, hit up Smitty’s at the Courtyard Mariott on Duckworth. In the lounge every day from 5pm to 8pm, house wines are half price, Iceberg Rum and Vodka doubles are $6.50, pints of QV 1892 are $5.25, and pints of Iceberg Beer are $5.50.
7 Hutchings Street
Located under an overpass—not The Overpass, though—the Station Lounge is a quick jaunt from downtown west. They’ve got a patio for the hot days, and their happy hour prices are dece: $7.25 for two bottles of domestic beer or two single highballs, and buckets of five beer for $16.25. It runs from 11:30am until 7pm, daily.
Steve’s Twin Lounge
48 Ropewalk Lane
Steve’s isn’t on the usual well-trodden trails to the watering hole, but might be well worth the journey for its happy hour prices. It features double highballs or two bottles of beer for $6.50, and runs from 12pm to 12am daily.
33 New Gower Street
Boasting one of the biggest patios in the downtown battle of the decks, The Sundance is invariably blocked solid on sunny days. There’s plenty of daylight during their happy hour, which runs from 3pm to 7pm daily, with domestic beer and highballs available for $3.75.
Trapper John’s Pub
23 George Street
Apart from being an unpretentious and slightly kitschy Newfoundland bar, Trapper John’s is well known for its screech-in ceremonies, of which over 100,000 have been performed according to the bar’s website. Their happy hour runs daily from noon to 10pm, and features two domestic beer for $7.50, and $6.50 for doubles of Screech and Old Sam’s.
Features a semi-private-but-exposed-to-the-sun rooftop deck overlooking George Street. Everyday, beer & highballs are $4.25.
288 Water Street
Known for brewing its own beer in house, Yellowbelly is a commanding presence on the corner of Water and George. Skipping out of work early will bag you pints of their delicious beer for $4, between the hours of 4pm and 6pm.