We can all drink to that

Has the boss been breathing down your neck all week? Does managing your employees feel like herding cats? It’s 5 o’clock on Friday — do you know where your drink is?

20150501_ChainlineBrewing_0108

Photo by Rachel Coward

Happy hour is a time to eat, drink, and shake off workday stress. And luckily for Eastsiders, happy hour — or hours — is a well-recognized tradition, and there are plenty of places in which to imbibe.

When it comes to meeting with friends and colleagues after work, proximity is important. Extra points go to establishments with games and activities like shuffle board, darts, and pool tables. After all, there’s nothing like working out one’s frustrations with a little friendly competition. Tasty happy hour snacks take a bite out of the early-evening hunger. Here are some options in various cities:

Bellevue

Tavern Hall is a good option for folks clocking out of major downtown Bellevue businesses like Expedia, Microsoft, and Apptio. Its casual atmosphere doesn’t require club attire, and it offers satisfying food choices for most palates. Electric outlets give patrons a chance to power up before hitting the town in earnest later in the night.
Happy hour daily 3-6 p.m., 10 p.m.-close

Craving Guinness and fish and chips? Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub is calling. It doesn’t have to be March 17 to enjoy this downtown Bellevue bar. Its low- to mid-price beverages are sure to please. The long beer list includes some local brews, and the bar has an impressive stock of spirits, particularly whiskeys.
Happy hour 3-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-1 a.m. daily

Bellevue Brewing Company is spacious enough to accommodate groups, and it’s a good choice for those wanting to venture outside of downtown for happy hour. Its Scotch ale is a local favorite, as are the ribs. The brewery also features new American food including sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. It has five flagship brews, along with seasonal offerings.
Happy hour daily 3-6 p.m.

imagejpeg_1

Photo courtesy Flatstick

Kirkland

Mini golf during happy hour? Why not? Flatstick Pub lets you get your drink on while putting around the in-bar course. If you arrive later than your pals, you may have a better chance at winning this competition — let them get a drinking head start. Flatstick Pub has no kitchen, so you’ll have to bring your own grub; many nearby restaurants deliver. Or you’ll be so busy beating your coworker at mini golf that you won’t have time to eat.
Happy hour weekdays 6-7 p.m., all day Sunday

Chainline Brewing Company, positioned next to the Cross Kirkland Corridor, is only a three-minute walk from the growing Google campus. Stairs connect the brewery to the trail, making it easy for pedestrians and cyclists to access the fun.

The Wilde Rover is Kirkland’s Irish pub. Locals call it “The Rover,” and its ample deck space is especially appealing for summer happy hours. Live bands and quiz nights keep the fun going well past 5 o’clock.
Happy hour 3-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight daily, until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday

Speaking of summer, a beautiful summer day in the office (cringe) deserves some waterfront time. For those who earn their living in Kirkland, BeachHouse Bar and Grill offers a taste of waterfront life while whetting one’s whistle. BeachHouse has a good selection of happy-hour food choices.
Happy hour all day Monday, 3-7 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close Tuesday through Sunday

Photo courtesy Redmond’s Bar & Grill

Photo courtesy Redmond’s Bar & Grill

Redmond

Family-owned and operated Bushnell Craft Brewing Company has a bevy of beer choices and is convenient for the Microsoft crowd. Like many new taprooms, Bushnell allows minors and features a full menu. Swag is an added bonus; buy a pint on a Tuesday, and you get a free T-shirt, the design of which rotates weekly. Wednesdays feature 75-cent wings, while patrons can enjoy street tacos on Thursdays.
Happy hour 3-6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday

Redmond’s Bar and Grill,
also in downtown Redmond, fits the after-5 bill with happy-hour drinks and menu items such as candied bacon, chiles on horseback (above), hot wings, and chicken nachos. A pool table and shuffleboard accompany big-screen TVs. The establishment is open late, just in case happy hour rolls into the wee hours.
Happy hour 3-6 p.m. daily, 9 p.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday

Renton

Renton boasts The Local 907, which is named after its street address. The downtown bar isn’t far from major employers like Boeing and Paccar. Burgers here are a must-try, and patrons can play pool, darts, and shuffleboard after eating. Those who venture out on Monday nights and select Saturdays will find a comedy open-mic night.
Happy hour 4-7 p.m. daily

Bothell

In Bothell, locals flock to Grazie Ristorante for happy-hour specials that include half-off appetizers and plenty of discount drinks. It has a good wine list and patio seating. Happy hour 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

The new McMenamins Anderson School has plenty of options for happy-hour revelers. Tavern on the Square is a standard bar, while The Woodshop is a brewpub restaurant with pool tables, shuffleboard, and a TV. The Shed is a small bar with indoor fireside seating, but lots of outdoor space that is covered and heated by fireplaces in the winter.

Woodinville

Purple Cafe & Wine Bar is a sure bet to shake off those workweek blues. Being in Woodinville, wine takes center stage here. Happy hour features a daily wine (white, red, or sparkling) and specials on beer. The happy-hour snacks will satisfy pre-dinner hunger with options like calamari, crab cakes, and burger sliders, to name a few. Most of the snack options are under $10. Happy hour 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday

This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of 425 Business.