Advertisement

Archive for Monday, June 8, 2009

Go!

Tempered spirits: It’s five o’clock somewhere, but has the party moved on?

June 8, 2009

Advertisement

Jefferson’s Restaurant customers enjoy the shade and a relaxing meal on a Friday evening.

Jefferson’s Restaurant customers enjoy the shade and a relaxing meal on a Friday evening.

Free State Brewing Co. is a happy-hour hotspot downtown.

Free State Brewing Co. is a happy-hour hotspot downtown.

Hanging out on the Free State Brewing Co. porch are, from left, Patrick Stallbaumer, Joy Friedman and Julie Shrack in this 2009 file photo. Happy hour was reinstated in Kansas on July 1, 2012.

Hanging out on the Free State Brewing Co. porch are, from left, Patrick Stallbaumer, Joy Friedman and Julie Shrack in this 2009 file photo. Happy hour was reinstated in Kansas on July 1, 2012.

“It’s five o’clock somewhere!”

That’s the rallying cry for the time-honored tradition called happy hour, a ritual in which colleagues, friends or perfect strangers convene after work at a local pub or restaurant to relax over their favorite libations.

These days, the title is a bit of a misnomer as most happy hours extend well beyond 60 minutes, with restaurants offering discounted beverages to lure patrons to linger longer.

But not in the Sunflower State.

“There’s no such thing as happy hour in Kansas,” says Jerry Neverve, owner of the Red Lyon Tavern.

No such thing in the notorious sense. Kansas law requires establishments to sell drinks for the same price all day. That means no happy hour specials, at least not where cocktails, beer and wine are concerned.

That law, and increased public awareness of the dangers of drunken driving, have forced restaurant owners to get creative in the way they entice weary workers to their businesses after the whistle blows.

“It’s not about doing tequila shots or having some raucous party before you go home,” says James Ferguson, manager of 23rd Street Brewery. “Maybe it’s a little more food-centric now than it used to be.”

23rd Street offers pizza specials in the late afternoon hours.

“I’d rather people overindulge on pizza than overindulge on beer if they’re going to drive home during rush hour anyway,” Ferguson says.

JB Stouts’ Sports Bar & Grill promotes a special menu in an effort to draw the crowds between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Danny Williams, a manager, says so far, it’s working well but it’s traditionally been a challenge getting the word out.

“For the most part,” he says, “it’s pretty tame.”

Rarely tame is the early evening scene at Free State Brewing Company, where the porch is crowded on warm evenings with a sundry assortment of regulars.

“For some people, it may be every Monday night,” says Free State owner Chuck Magerl. “For others, it might be Fridays. I’m going to say there are probably 200 people who are regulars in the course in the week.”

The brewpub doesn’t rely on discounted food specials to pull customers in but, on Mondays, cuts prices on selected beers all day.

“The whole Monday special took off for us simply because we wanted to offer it as a thank-you to our regulars, who really keep us going,” he says. “The weekends here are crowded and hectic with lots of tourists coming in, and sometimes the locals might feel elbowed out.”

Magerl speculates that faithful patrons enjoy a sort of “Cheers” environment where “everybody knows your name” — from the bartenders to the wait staff to the customers.

“I think a lot of places have that same sort of feeling. You can find a lot of the same kind of regulars at Johnny’s and Conroy’s and the Red Lyon,” he says. “In many ways, there is so much isolation with internet and email and what not, that the ability to have a place to park yourself and interact with human beings face-to-face, it’s great old-fashioned way of blowing off steam.”

Of course, not everyone chooses to blow off steam after work by hoisting pints of pale ale to their lips. Fitness enthusiasts opt to lift heavier things, like dumbbells, to get happy the natural way — with exercise-induced endorphins.

Local gyms typically see a rush in business around 5 p.m. Cyclists hit area bike trails, and runners hit the road in rush-hour traffic.

Red Dog’s Dog Days, the free community exercise program, draws 500 to 600 participants at the daily 6 p.m. sessions.

Linda Elwell has been a Dog Days regular for nine years.

“The whole reason I started Dog Days was, I was sitting having my bourbon and water one evening, and my son came in and said, ‘put that down and come to Dog Days with me,’” she says. “So, I did, and I got hooked. It’s amazing how many people you get to know.”

Two-year veteran Michelle Martin says some Dog Days regulars have the best of both worlds.

“What I like about Dog Days is that 20 to 50 of us will occasionally meet at a local pub after one of the 6 p.m. workouts, still dressed in our workout gear, sweaty and smiling,” she says. “We have already unwound from our day and just visit about the fun and interesting things happening in our lives. We always seem to have a great time, even though the other patrons in the bar may look askance at our sweaty attire!”

Comments

Ernest Barteldes 4 years, 10 months ago

Hmm. Interesting law. But if we had that here in New York, I bet most bars (at least in Manhattan) would go out of business before you could say "get me a bucket!"

0

Quigly 4 years, 10 months ago

No kidding, I think it has been in the news almost all week.

0

loki8025 4 years, 10 months ago

HEY It's June 9th, how long has this article been in the paper? Cmon people. You are getting paid for this?

0

Andrew Stahmer 4 years, 10 months ago

We live in a society that is so centered around alcohol; I've been there myself...sneaking booze during my teen years, and then going nuts at college and partying more that studying! I'm just grateful I outgrew it. No 12-step program, no AA. I have no desire for alcohol...in fact pretty much the opposite. About the only drink I ever liked the taste of was wine (and wine type drinks). Of course today the amazing thing would be the fact that my dad died from alcoholism, so some would (wrongfully) say I'm predisposed to the "disease"...what a load of garbage! I had a bad habit, I tired of it and quit. Is it that simple? Yeah it sure can be depending on your outlook.

0

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

A few years back we hit the places depending on the happy hour menus in the Tulsa area.

The best we liked were mexican food munchies with tiny mini burritos,chips,salsa,carrots and other finger foods accompanied with rice and beans. This food is inexpensive and was served at "no charge" so long as drinks were purchased. It was serve yourself cafeteria style. Small plates and utensils. The food brought in the patrons by the numbers for at least two hours.

The exercise thing is a place to go after happy hour.

0

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 10 months ago

Py, please don't pick on Tumbilweed. His posts are not all that bad. He is simply expressing himself. Is there a prize for the most consistent good speller? If not, then why is there such an emphasis on spelling and grammar? Too bad there's not a way to red mark the posts. HEY_FUQ the man didn't say a thing about the intelligence of grade schoolers or anyone else. He said that you take a shower after PE, so it follows that as adults we would take a shower after a workout. And, Michele wrote that the patrons look askance at their sweaty attire, nothing about odor.

0

Pywacket 4 years, 10 months ago

Come ON. If people wear pit stick, they won't smell bad even after a workout or long run. They'd look sweaty, but no pit stink. This is not rocket science.

I suspect that the coffee group that gathers after their Dog Day workouts does not stink any worse than Tumbilweed, who seems to be oozing something foul every time he posts.

0

HEY_FUQ 4 years, 10 months ago

I noticed that too. So I guess I didn't have a point either!

0

livetocook 4 years, 10 months ago

HEY_FUQ You may also want to check your spelling. Resteraunt is actually spelled restaurant.

0

HEY_FUQ 4 years, 10 months ago

If it is really that bad then perhaps tumbilweed should not be in the coffee shop after their workout. Sounds like they show up roughly on a consistent time in the morning. Obviously, the owners get more buisness when they come in which is probably greatly appreciated. I know when the Dog Days group comes in where I work, I really enjoy them and so do other customers. They are some of the friendliest people around that do a great service for this community. If it is that bothersome and you can't tolerate the small time they are there, go somewhere else!

Hey bearlybrewed. If you are going to insult someone by insinuating that they aren't as intelligent as grade schoolers, you may want to check your spelling before you post. It kind of takes away from your point. And BTW if it were a resteraunt I would agree with your point, But their is a difference between a heavily scented coffee shop and an eating establishment.

0

bearlybrewed 4 years, 10 months ago

HEY_FUQ You're a self proclaimed judgemental idiot. I'm with tumbilweed. The last thing I want in a food or drinking establishment is to smell pit odor and sweaty bodies. Perhaps HF you should have some social awareness that there are indeed others around you that may be turned off by the lack of social politeness with lack of proper post workout hygeine. I learned that in gade school after PE class.

0

HEY_FUQ 4 years, 10 months ago

Tumbilweed really has some built up anger about the dog days and the coffee shop he or she goes to in the morning. I have a hunch this person has alot of anger in their life in general and is not a pleasent person to anyone inside or outside of the coffee shop. It really is pathetic that this is the second time in less than several weeks that this has been brought up by tumbilweed. I would suggest that tumbilweed find a hobby that doesn't involve sitting around and drinking coffee all the time. All that caffeine over time has evidently made tumbilweed a little stressed out and cranky.

0

tumbilweed 4 years, 10 months ago

"even though the other patrons in the bar may look askance at our sweaty attire!”

or, Michelle, they are looking because you smell bad.

Especially in little cramped coffee shops after the morning workout.

0

RoeDapple 4 years, 10 months ago

"No such thing in the notorious sense. Kansas law requires establishments to sell drinks for the same price all day. That means no happy hour specials, at least not where cocktails, beer and wine are concerned."

Wasn't aware of this change. A good law, Thank you Kansas lawmakers

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.