Scotch 'N Sirloin Happy Hour

From Shakespeare to the U.S. Navy, the term “Happy Hour” has had a pretty prestigious upbringing. In Shakespeare’s play “Henry V,” the king himself commanded his lords to “Omit no happy hour.” I daresay they obeyed. The phrase later cropped up as U.S. Navy slang for shipboard shindigs in the 1920s, then spread to secret speakeasies serving up deliciously illegal cocktails during the thirsty years of Prohibition.

Happy Hour is now a deeply entrenched ritual in restaurant bars and lounges across America, kicking off the twilight hours after a long day of work or play. Happy Hour holds a near-cult status for many people, and the specific restaurant bar is a calculated choice.

So what exactly is that mysterious magic formula that creates a great Happy Hour? Here are four things that tip the happiness scale in America’s favorite bars and lounges.

Timing is Everything

Especially in larger metro areas, people have varying schedules – so the timing of a Happy Hours needs to be stretched out as long as possible, preferable starting as early as 4:00 and going right up to the dinner hour of 7:00. Really proactive restaurant bars slam-dunk it with late-night menus or a weekly all-day Happy Hour.

Special Menu Items

Giving discounts on regular drinks and eats is a given, but more enticing things include appetizers and cocktails only available during Happy Hour; hosting a weekly Happy Hour buffet; or offering one menu item at a super-low price. The key is giving patrons what they actually want, and introducing unexpected new treats.

Cranking It Up

Raising the energy level in a bar doesn’t have to mean pumping out dance music; in fact, most Happy Hour patrons prefer plain ole conversation, fun games, football or live music from local musicians. Weeknights are the perfect time for acoustic guitar and wine-pour specials.

Spreading the Word

Promoting a Happy Hour grabs attention, which opens up a restaurant lounge to scores of people. Social media spreads the word quicker than wildfire, especially tweets that go out toward the end of a workday. Printed signs have a personal reach, while downloadable digital coupons tap the mobile crowd.

The Scotch N Sirloin in Amherst harbors one of the best Happy Hours in New York. Nightly specials include $1 shrimp Wednesdays and a free Friday Happy Hour buffet. They also slam-dunk Monday night football, with all-night Happy Hour, 50-cent wings and prize raffles. An anytime bar menu features the signature S’ n S Burger and open-face NY strip sandwich.