What: Two fancy pants happy hours
Why: Because sometimes you need something other than half-priced vodka sodas in your life
Who: A bunch of friends who just got paid and were ready to switch up their normal happy hour routine
Happy hours are great, but they usually don’t include a ton of options. $2 beers, $3 shots, $5 mixed drinks, we get it. But there comes a time when you just need a change.
Fancy Happy Hour 1: Manhattan Brew & Vine
That change came for me this past weekend when I decided to hang out with some uptown friends. We decided to hit up Manhattan Brew & Vine on the Upper West Side where some old college friends of mine live. It sits on the corner of 108 Street and Columbus Avenue and has happy hour from 4-7 every day. I usually never venture this far uptown because, well, it’s far and everything I need is located below 34th street. But I didn’t have to work on Monday and figured I would grace them all with my presence.
Price: to my great surprise they had $5 wines for happy hour.
Quality of drinks: Sometimes if you’re lucky enough to go to a bar that does offer wine on the happy hour menu it usually tastes like shit. This wine, however, was quite delicious, rich and savory (these are all wine words, I think).
The atmosphere: laid back and very classy. They had a huge wine, champagne and beer selection and offered a wide array of finger foods. If you find yourself in the area, lost and confused as to why you’re so far uptown, I highly suggest going there. It’s a real gem.
Fancy Happy Hour 2: 10 Degrees
As pay back for the trek, I made all my friends come downtown. It was a rare occasion where a few of us took a Monday off, the sun was shining, and we had all just gotten paid. I always pass by 10 Degrees on St. Marks and Avenue A, but it’s usually so crowded that I’m too intimidated to go inside. Luckily for us not many people are out drinking on a Monday at 2 p.m.
Now 10 Degrees has a happy hour from 12 – 8 p.m. and while this worked in our favor, I never understood why places have happy hours that clearly start during work/school times because it just doesn’t make any sense.
Price: ALL the drinks are two for one. Including all the fancy ass $11 cocktails; naturally I ordered four and got to it.
Quality of drinks: They were amazing! I had the French 75, a Tom Collins, Campari Champagne and a Gimlet. The bartender was also so gracious (probably because we single handedly paid her rent with the size of our order) and always happy to help suggest new combinations for us.
The atmosphere: The bar is surprisingly big for an East Village watering hole (sorry I hate that phrase) and they also have food! The bartender was friendly and super welcoming and helpful — what can usually make or break a bar experience.
And the winner of the fancy happy hour face-off goes to…
10 Degrees for two reasons:
- It’s walking distance from my apartment
- I also love drinking fancy cocktails and not paying full price.
I remember when I was younger (2 years ago when I still lived at home) I thought to myself, when I’m older (aka when I move out) I’m going to buy a fancy bar cart from West Elm and fill it with liquors and liqueurs to make myself cocktails after work. Unfortunately I can barely afford my rent and still buy wine from Duane Reade so these fancy happy hours are the closest I can get to that long lost dream.