Cincinnati, Drinking, Musings

Waiting for Happy Hour (prices)

The toughest time for me downtown is just after 3 pm and up until 4 pm when I’m hungry and hankering for an adult beverage. My social brain tells me to immediately solve the problem and have a seat at one of my places. My financial brain tells me to chill out and kill time until 4.

Why?

Because all the good Happy Hours start at 4.

It seems dumb to buy a drink and a snack or meal that is about to drop in price. A $6 beer at 3:59 costs $4 at 4:00 pm. My financial brain knows to buy low. I’m a patient person so, I wait it out. Surely, I look like a disturbed person lumbering around bars and checking my phone for the time updates as my blood sugar drops. A number of bars don’t open until 4, so add stalking/lurking to my list of inappropriate behavior. I should carry a sign that says, “I’m not crazy, I’m just cheap.”

At 4:01 (I don’t want to look too eager), I’m ready to stop into my bar of choice. Wherever I start, I like to get a beer on the table quick and take a few fast pulls. Reason being, my blood sugar is low, and I calculate that a few quick swigs of beer will get me a quick, well-earned, mini-buzz. This is one of the little things a lifetime of drinking has taught me.

One of my favorite “meal” happy hours is at Quan Hapa on Vine St. A meal happy hour means I’m going to eat enough food so I don’t have to eat again for the rest of the evening. Having a small appetite helps this plan work. Tuesday is ½ price wing night. Cheap wings and cheap beer makes me nostalgic for 25 cent wings and $1 pitchers of beer night…I have been drinking a loooooong time! Otherwise, on any other day of the week I go for the $2-off House Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) a shredded potato pancake with Japanese mayo, tontaksu (pork), bacon and green onion top with a fried egg. I can eat half of one of these so I get breakfast or lunch the next day.

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Half a pancake waits for me!

Two beers and two meals for just under $15 with tax. I throw down a 20 because the waiter gives me the same service even though the food is temporarily cheaper. Even tipping at a high percentage, I’ve saved money and leave well fed. And I’m home by 6. Again, I’ve learned a lot in my social drinking lifetime.

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