It’s Friday, and you know what that means: cheers to the weekend! Whatever kind of week you had, you now have a few days to relax and unwind. I don’t know about you, but my relaxation will likely involve an ice cold Oberon in hand.
If you’re looking for somewhere to spend time with your friends after work today or sometime next week, look no further. What provides better bonding time than a local happy hour? Cold drinks, tasty snacks, good company; sounds like delightful hour to me.
Vinotecca, 417 S. Main St., Royal Oak, holds happy hour every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Thursday from 9 p.m. to close. Quick, send out a group text and tell your girlfriends to meet you after 5! You’ll all be able to enjoy half off small plates, half off wine by the glass and 20 percent off wine by the bottle.
Shareable small plates include Vegetable Pakora (sliced veggies with a curry batter served with Sriracha dipping sauce), Hazelnut Scallops (encrusted in hazelnuts with a red pepper, spinach and pancetta sauté), Gourmet Beef Sliders (two sliders with goat cheese, house cured pancetta and fries) and Asian Spring Rolls (with braised pork, bean sprouts and bok choy, served with a red chili and mango glaze).
The wine list is great for beginners, as a handy key shows you whether a particular variety is sweet, crisp, earthy, etc.
Coach Insignia, 100 Renaissance Center, Detroit, is housed atop the GM Renaissance Center, and if you’re like me, happy hour is really one of the only occasions when you could possibly afford to dine here. Luckily, the happy hour offerings are great!
Happy hour is offered Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. The happy hour menu includes snacks like Duck Glazed Marcona Almonds, Bacon Fried Rice (with scallions, Sriracha, spicy garlic and soy) and Coach Loaded Fries (with scallions, prosciutto, spicy Giardiniera, cheese sauce and black garlic crème fraîche).
Obviously you can’t forget about a signature cocktail, such as the Coach White Sangria (white wine and house orange cognac liqueur with fresh fruit), Honey Moon (Drambuie, scotch, honey and flamed orange) or Border Patrol (tequila, peach-raspberry Grand Marnier, cranberry and orange).
Monday through Thursday, Coach Insignia offers specific happy hour specials as well, such as a $5 house ground burger and $4 select bottles of beer on Wednesdays.
Courthouse Grille, 41661 Plymouth Rd., Plymouth, is located next to the 35th District Court, in what used to be Ernesto’s. Happy hour takes place in the fireside lounge Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. During that time, appetizers are half off, as well as draft beers and house wines.
Go for an order of Blue Crab Cakes (formed with roasted bell peppers served with tomato garlic aioli), Spinach and Sundried Tomato Dip (with Pepper Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese, baby spinach, garlic and sundried tomatoes, served with chips and flatbread) or CHG Beef Sliders (with Michigan Cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, condiments and deli pickles).
Steelhouse Tavern, 1129 E. Long Lake Rd., Troy, advertises itself as having the best happy hour in the city, so you’ve got to try it for yourself. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. You must dine in the bar (and patio, when seasonally appropriate) in order to get happy hour deals!
During happy hour, enjoy half price cocktails, $4 craft beers and $5 wines. There is also a happy hour food menu, including Smoked Pork Nachos, Pulled Chicken Sliders, Loaded Fries and Pepperoni Pizza, all of which cost just $5.
Red Hawk Bar and Grill, 316 S. State St., Ann Arbor, now offers an extended happy hour, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as late night happy hour from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Happy hour here just consists of drink specials, but they’re pretty good drink specials: $1 off bottled beer, $2 off draft beer, $3 off glasses of wine and well cocktails, and $4 off specialty cocktails.
While you’re there, you’ll want to order an appetizer or two, including the Red Hawk Wings, Chicken Sopes (with black beans, avocado, salsa verde, lettuce and crema) or Roast Cauliflower (with black olive tapenade, tahini and balsamic tomatoes).
Sterling’s Bistro, 13905 Lakeside Cir., Sterling Heights, always offers a fresh, seasonably appropriate menu, and happy hour is a great time to check out what this restaurant has to offer. Happy hour runs daily from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., when you can take advantage of half off cocktails and glasses of wine, along with $6 martinis, appetizers and sushi.
Bar bites include Meatball Lollipops (stuffed with cheese and served with pomodoro sauce), Pesto Mozz (basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, fresh basil leaves and tomato) and Ebi Roll (tempura shrimp, cream cheese, toasted coconut, avocado and Sriracha aioli).
Late night happy hour rolls around again from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
No matter where you are in Metro Detroit, there are numerous happy hours just waiting to be discovered. Now that you’ve got a starting point, go forth and be happy! With a cocktail in hand, that won’t be too difficult.