And so this is happy hour…
But there’s no two-drinks-for-the-price-of-one in Rhode Island (blame RI General Law 3-7-26 –– they really need to listen to Ted Hawkins up on Capitol Hill). But that doesn’t mean bars and restaurants won’t sweeten the deal to lure customers unwinding after work. It’s just that here, they have to offer discounts on food, not booze, to get people in. Call it cut-price calamari hour.
And it’s a good thing, at least in my book –– I kind of enjoy making an early dinner out of appetizers. Most happy hour food specials require the purchase of a drink, so teetotalers be warned, this won’t be a dry meal. It’s just a way to get together with friends without going nuts, leading me to reflect that dining deals are (pretty much the only) upside to the down economy.
This list is by no means comprehensive; please, let us know any more (and thanks to 93.3 Coast FM listeners for their feedback Tuesday morning, I’ve updated this post with their suggestions). In coming weeks I’ll compile some of the other great deals out there, such as prix fixe lunch and dinner. It’s like Restaurant Week never ended.
Bravo Brasserie, Empire St., Fridays, 4 – 7 p.m.
Jumbo shrimp and oysters are $1 in the lounge.
The Edge, Wayland Square, Mon – Fri 4 – 5 p.m.
Cupcake happy hour! All cupcakes are half price with purchase of any (non-alcoholic) drink.
Everyman, off Valley St., Mon – Fri 4 – 7 p.m.
Half price appetizers, including chili, chowder, butternut squash bisque, RI Johnny cakes, grilled chicken pizza or calamari and clam cakes or stuffies.
India, Hope St., Mon – Wed all night
All appetizers, salads, soups and breads are only $1 at the bar with the purchase of a $5 beverage: spicy mussels, shrimp or chicken kabobs, naan pizza, papri chat and samosas, lentil soup and naan, salads like frizze and kale.
McCormick and Schmick’s, Dorrance Street, Mon – Fri 3:30 – 6 p.m.
It’s hard to beat a $2.95 cheeseburger with fries (except when it was $1.95, as it was until a week or so ago). Other items too, such as $1.95 fried Arborio rice balls. Minimum drink purchase $2.50 for a gansett light.
Providence Oyster Bar, Atwells Ave., Mon – Sat 4 – 6:30 p.m.
$1 oysters, littlenecks, cherrystones, shrimp cocktail and pieces of nigiri sushi. And $6 for everything else you could want if you have a seafood problem: lobster rolls, ahi tuna salad, crab sliders, calamari, clams casino, lobster wontons, lobster bisque and sushi rolls.
Rue de L’Espoir, Hope St., has two deals going on.
Mondays 4:30 to 9 p.m., $1 little apps (tiny grilled cheese, tiny lamb chop, crostini etc) with alcoholic drink; Wednesdays 4:30 – 9 p.m. burger and a beer $11.99 (beef, lamb, tuna, veggie burgers and toppings from cheddar and sautéed onions and mushrooms to goat cheese, oven roasted tomatoes and olive pesto).
3 Steeple Street, Mon – Fri 4 – 6 p.m.
Half price apps: large portions of calamari, grilled pizza, empanadas, Mediterranean platter (humus, tabouli, olives, cukes, pita etc) and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms.
Waterman Grille, Richmond Square, Mon – Fri 4 – 6 pm.
“Be happy, pay half” on apps: chicken nachos, calamari, crab cakes, artisan cheese plate, pesto pizza, Szechwan beef skewers, egg rolls.
Zooma, Atwells Avenue, Wednesday all night.
Ladies (without male hangers on) who buy a drink can order off the bistro menu for free, with choices like salads, pan seared tuna, beef carpaccio and Neapolitan pizza.
REST OF STATE
Casual Inn in Bristol, Tues – Thurs, 4 – 7 p.m.
This is a good one: ten big meals are available for $10 each (call it happy hour, call it early bird…). This week choices include sirloin tips, spicy sea scallops, chicken parm and a Cajun chicken caesar at this homey little Portuguese/Italian joint. And the wine list starts at $4 a glass.
Davenports in East Providence, Mon – Fri 4 – 6 p.m.
Half price starters at the bar; classic pub options that are mainly getting pulled out of the friolator, but they’re well priced even before you knock 50 percent off (chicken wings and fingers, calamari, mozz sticks, potato skins and quesadillas, to name a few).
DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Tues – Fri 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Half price appetizers such as oysters, shrimp, lobster claws, steamed mussels and clams, and Indian-influenced dishes like shrimp pakora, naan salad, and duck paratha salad.
Meritage in East Greenwich, every day before 6 p.m. and after 9:30 p.m.
“Almost half price” apps in the lounge only. This means calamari, scallops or nachos for around $6, sushi for around $5 and thin-crust pizza for $6 or so.
Mews Tavern in Wakefield has two specials at the moment.
In the main area, weekdays 4 – 6 p.m. there’s a free buffet with different stuff each night like pizza or Mexican; I hear turkey and stuffing on Wednesdays is the one to hit.
And upstairs during the week there are half price apps at – this is different – 8 – 10 p.m. Pub fare: calamari, onion rings, chicken tenders, stuffed mushrooms.
Remington House Inn in Warwick has knocked a dollar off its appetizers when served in the bar, every evening of the week. Calamari, potato skins, pizza, clams with chourico, nachos.
Trio in Narragansett, which is owned by the same company that owns Waterman Grille, is also offering half-price appetizers weekdays from 4 – 6 p.m. in the bar. Surprise: calamari! But also hummus, beet salad, crab cakes, an antipasto plate and steamed mussels.