As temperatures heat up, stay cool with some refreshing discounted beverages. Hit up the eight places below, some new to the Houston dining and drinking scene and some tried-and-true with newly revamped happy hour menus, for an after-work or weekend drink.
Celebrate new happy hour offerings at Max's Wine Dive on Washington Ave. (Monday-Wednesday from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and on Fairview St. (Monday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.).
While the drink savings — $5 wines by the glass and $3 select beers — are the same at both locales, happy hour bites vary. Washington Ave. offers fried green tomatoes ($6), a fried egg sandwich ($6) and more. Enjoy the likes of a spicy macaroni and cheese ($6) and bruschetta (with poached egg, bacon bits, pesto and balsamic reduction; $6) at the Fairview address.
The restaurants also offer a reverse happy hour, with specials available two hours before closing.
The folks behind Max's Wine Dive have gone upscale Tex-Mex with Anejo, located in the former Arturo's Uptown Italiano space. Expect elevated spins on Tex-Mex favorites like deluxe parrillada platters and items prepared tableside, and a happy hour deal (weekdays; 11 am. - 6 p.m.) with half-off select beverages, including wines by the glass ($6-$16), cocktails ($11-$17) and a can't-miss house margarita ($5.50).
While the frozen rita boasts a floater of orange-flavored cognac liqueur (plus tequila, lime and cane sugar water), the on-the-rocks version takes it a step beyond the standard one-ounce pour with a double shot of tequila (mixed with orange-flavored liqueur and honey water).
Happy hour discounts abound at The Woodlands locale of the casual wine bar and eatery. Save $2 on select wines by the glass, classic cocktails, craft draft beers and beer flights during the week (from 3-7 p.m.) and late night on the weekends at a reverse happy hour (Friday-Saturday; 10 p.m.-midnight). Tuesdays only, get 25 percent off any bottle of wine with the purchase of a specialty pizza.
The 800-square-foot Midtown cocktail lounge with minimal design features an easy vibe, a horizontal window above the bar showcasing downtown building lights and simple but stellar drink list with four global wines, nine beers and 10 cocktails (five classic and five creative) that rotate seasonally. Highlights on the happy hour menu (Wednesday-Sunday; 5-7 p.m.) include select glasses of wine ($5) and the house take on the classic Bramble cocktail (made with gin, fresh lemon juice and black currant liqueur; $5). Just don’t get lost trying to find it: First enter through Cook and Collins restaurant, and then follow the right-side staircase to the second floor.
Bradley’s Fine Diner is shaking things up with a new chef at the helm, Greg Lowry (Triniti), and some new menu items extending to the Heights-area restaurant’s happy hour selections (weekdays; 5-7 p.m.). Enjoy specially-priced wines ($6), draught beer ($4) and handcrafted cocktails ($6) such as the must-try Texas Whisper (gin and vodka topped with lime grenadine). Savor bites from barbecue chicken sliders ($5 each; $8 for two) to an oyster BLT (with crispy oyster, lettuce and speck; $5).
Can’t wait until 5 p.m. to get the party started? Look no further than Ogden’s fast-casual joint, Funky Chicken. Happy hour offerings (daily; 2-6 p.m.) here include $3 draught beers and $3 tap wines.
As the name implies, the menu at the two-story downtown bar and dining spot is heavy on meats (think burgers, ribs, meatloaf muffins) and beers with 42 on tap. During happy hour (weekdays; 4-7 p.m.), get a deal on pints ($3) and snacks like sloppy joe sliders and buttermilk-fried chicken lollipops (served with homemade lemon pepper jam).
Expect classic cocktails, and draft and bottled beers at the two-story bar, with a second-floor balcony, located in the lobby of downtown’s Bayou Lofts. The weekend happy hour (Saturday-Sunday; 4-7 p.m.) features four types of Old Fashioned cocktails from traditional to sotol ($7), a beer and bourbon shot pairing ($7) and a shooter of blackberry brandy ($8).
The second outpost of the South African-inspired restaurant, located inside The Galleria shopping mecca, presents international flavors in a modern setting which features a dining area decked out with LED lights and a glowing 40-foot bar with 12 TVs. Take a break from retail therapy during happy hour (weekdays; 4-8 p.m.) when it’s $2 off select wine and beer and $3 off all cocktails including the Dom Pedro (made with South African cream liqueur, vanilla bean ice cream, whiskey and coffee-flavored liqueur).