Happy Hour Explained

Bars and restaurants offer drinks, snacks, and appetizers at discounted prices during happy hour. It’s an exciting time for bars and restaurants and their clients. Customers enjoy drinks and snacks for as cheap as half price while business owners get their establishments to buzz outside peak hours.

Although bars make less than they could during happy hour, they’re delighted to make something while promoting themselves during the lull that precedes the dinner rush. But happy hour is much more than just a business opportunity. It offers friends and workmates affordable socializing and relaxing avenues.

When is Happy Hour?

What is happy hour

Happy hour typically starts late afternoon or early evening (about 4:00 pm). Different establishments have drinks on offer at different times. While the name suggests that the period lasts an hour, the “happy hour” duration is not restricted.

Some businesses have happy hours as long as three or more hours. Every bar or restaurant decides how long they can afford to reduce prices and still make a profit. If you want to take advantage of happy hours, check your local bar’s website or social media pages for scheduled happy hours. For instance, we regularly update our west village happy hour schedule at White Horse Tavern.

What Does Happy Hour Mean?

Happy hour used to be a time to get draught beer and wine cheaply. As years go by, however, more items, including foods and non-alcoholic drinks, have entered the happy hour menu.

The “happy” in the name suggests that customers can expect to have a good time. Of course, business owners are happy to have customers at otherwise slow hours.

“Hour,” on the other hand, can refer to any length of time. For example, in the saying “at your hour of need,” an hour doesn’t mean a sixty-minute duration but rather an indefinite amount of time. So you can expect happy hours to last as long as business owners deem appropriate.

You can take advantage of happy hours to:

  • Get drinks and food cheaply
  • Meet up with friends to have a good time
  • Have a midweek break
  • Meet new people
  • Relax and unwind after work

So, when and how did happy hour start?

Origin of Happy Hour

Did you know that happy hour originally had nothing to do with alcohol? The idea of having a fun time at a set time of the week started in the 19th century. By the early 20th century, happy hour had become a common practice among the crew of SSR Arkansas. But they did not associate it with drinking.

Because being in the navy meant they spent a long time in battleships, the crew would quickly become mentally exhausted. So, they decided to have weekly entertainment breaks to deal with the exertion.

During happy hour, they would enjoy movies, dancing, music, wrestling, boxing matches, etc. The use of happy hour concerning alcohol came later — during the prohibition era. Prohibitionists banned the production and consumption of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. To evade detection, illegal drinkers met at private homes or speakeasies to drink before going to dinner.

Later, when the ban was lifted, bar owners continued to offer happy hours when customers would get cheap drinks before dinner. Today, happy hour has evolved to include more than just alcoholic drinks. Businesses have included mocktails and other snacks on the menu during happy hour to attract non-drinkers.

A “Happy Hour” Summary

Here are a few fun facts about “happy hour.”

  • Drinks, food, snacks, and appetizers are typically cheaper during happy hour.
  • Happy hour can be as long as a specific bar or restaurant prefers.
  • Happy hours don’t have to be in the afternoon.
  • Every time you enjoy happy hour, remember to thank our friends at the US navy.
  • Happy hour (as regards alcohol) started as an illegal way to drink alcohol during the prohibition.
  • Happy hour is illegal in some states, such as Alaska.
  • Some states (like Hawaii) allow happy hour with restrictions. For instance, “drink-all-you-can” at fixed prices is prohibited.

Although drinking alcohol is legal across the states today, everyone can take advantage of happy hour offers to save money. We’re glad to serve you at happy hour at our bars in New York. You can enjoy a west village happy hour with your friends and family as you meet new friends here at White Horse Tavern.