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Happy, happy hour

Posted May 23, 2013 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

Who the hell am I kidding? They're all my favourites. Especially the one I'm live blogging right now, from the bar at Claret House while the kids knock over a music lesson. I'm drinking a mystery red, a weird Yarra Valley blend of sangiovese and sav blanc. Yep, the Britney Spears of the wine world. They snuck it past my guard. It smells a little rusty in the glass, but drinks dry and light. I'm thinking of having some pate with it and calling that dinner.

It's quiet here tonight, unusually, perhaps because of the cold weather closing in and keeping people inside. S'cool, more elbow room at the bar for me.

I was very happy in this bar in Sydney. Until Annabel Crabb told me I'd be having dinner with Bob Ellis later that evening.

I like this place for an escape from Planet Parenthood. It's friendly and reliable, and the food is a cut above your standard bar nosh. (Pork belly sliders for the win!) Some of the the burg's will know it from previous meet ups and we will undoubtedly meet her again in the future. I'm thinking of having my birthday here next year, but that's not what we're talking about.
Happy hour. Happy, happy hour.

It's a tradition that seems to be falling away in this fast paced go-go world of ours and that's a shame. I think it's still a thing in the US, because I've enjoyed a few very happy hours in this bar and that at the end of book tour days. San Francisco in particular seemed to be keeping the flame alive. The hotel I stayed in last time I was there on my own had the happiest hour of all. Free drinks for house guests! And not just the sloppy seconds from the previous night's unsold, oxidised rubbish either. They uncorked fresh bottles every day at five, show casing a flight of west coast wineries and providing a few nibblies to go with them.

Claret House, do their happy hour – half price drinks – on Wednesdays and Fridays. But the hour runs for two hours. Huzzah.

No trays of party pies or sausage rolls, however, which I recall from the pubs I rolled through in the 1980s. Man, when I found out they were serving food...

I guess the thing that makes it a bit spesh these days is the fact I can almost never get away from commitments and responsibilities for anything like an hour on any given day. I can always dream however, and I'm sure that some of you will have super secret knowledge of a happy hour I can dream of too
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24 Responses to ‘Happy, happy hour’

alexmac puts forth...

Posted May 23, 2013

Ermagherd. I'm going to humbly put forward Boulder, Colorado as the world capital of happy hours. Every single bar and restaurant seems to have one. And we're talking serious deals - unlimited food, $1 beers - stuff like that. You're on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, there's craft beer - what more could you want? Oh, it's a college town and one of the fittest places in America, so the eye candy ain't bad either.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 23, 2013

That sounds like heaven on Earth.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted May 24, 2013

Boulder is a great place, one of my favorite American towns. Figure out a way to stop there, John. I know you. You will love it.

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alexmac has opinions thus...

Posted May 23, 2013

Oh, and "Prairie Oysters"

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted May 23, 2013

I love a happy hour, particularly when they last for 2 hours.

Sauv Blanc. A few years ago, James Halliday wrote an article about S.B.
He said, he had been stunned when a favourite English wine writer mentioned in passing about S.B's well known ability to be be confused with Cabernet Sauvignon in blind tasteings.
!!!????!!
No, Mr Halliday couldn't credit it either.
So he got some mates together, did a proper blindfold tasteing of a selection of S.B.s and C.S.s.
He was shocked and a little embarassed to report that every judge got at least one wrong. Not always the same glass, but every judge called at least one glass incorrectly.
!!

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Bonneth swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 23, 2013

The Pearl Resort in Fiji - Cocktails were 2 for 1 every 6pm -7pm. And they were already cheap (and 80% liquor). Oof!

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2013

Lordy!

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Spanner asserts...

Posted May 23, 2013

Wow. A happy hour? The Responsible Service of Alcoboozeamhol (RSA) has killed the happy hour in NSW.

I have fond memories of this mythical beast. Finding a quality pub with mates that isn't stupidly crowded for a cheap beer or 8 while the nibbles come and go. Sigh.

Me and my middle age shall go and get a glass of nostalgia out of that 2 day old oxidised bottle of red and sit down to chat with my imaginary friends on twitter.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted May 23, 2013

I thought happy hour was if someone else was picking up the tab on the business account.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 23, 2013

That's A happy hour, not THE happy hour.

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Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted May 23, 2013

Happy happy hour JB,

Lucky we don't build cars for a living.

Still there is a glut of Treasury money up for grabs now.

I'll split Ford's share with ya and we'll buy everyone in Austrayla drink.

Good time to set up a car plant in Brisneyland. They'll pay ya to do it JB!

Now what is a good name for an Aussie car? The 'Brisney' ?

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2013

I am puzzled why GMH has never put out a long, thin and whiny car and called it the Holden Caulfield.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted May 23, 2013

w,

Me too. It would look great if the hood ornament was a rotating wire bookrack like you see at the airports.

Ooh and the radio would always play "What about me...it isn't fair..."

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tqft mutters...

Posted May 23, 2013

Once upon a time I used to work in Melbourne. Happy hour at the Someplace Else bar was 6pm-7pm. Working until 6 but on call needed to be logged on at 7. Snacks cheap drinks & free pool.

Later had to move office. There was a pub between office & underground station to get home on Spring St. Quite nice snacks as it was a bit of a posh pub.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted May 24, 2013

My mate was in Las Vegas in about 1980. At one casino, I think Circus Circus, all drinks and all food were free all the time. And, they would give you a dollar for every hour you were there.
My mate said that there seemed no good reason to leave. It was a really good session. He didn't spend a cent and then collected his $24 on the way out.

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BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 24, 2013

I recall being happy for an hour once, in the 1980s, I believe. I had a really good baked dinner. Yeah, good times.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted May 24, 2013

They had happy hour at the REC club at James Cook Uni when I was there as a lass. I vaguley recall there were bands and I drank a lot of half priced cocktails invented by a gay friend called a Dirty MotherFKR. Four white spirits and a splash of orange juice in a 10 oz glass.

If only I could remember it.

BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted May 24, 2013

Q, that reminds me of a lovely evening I had at the UQ Student's Rec Club back in the early 90s. Midweek night, there was a Guns &/or Roses cover band playing, and they were charging $2 for jugs of XXXX all night. Cheap piss, early-90s thrash metal, flanelette as far as the eye could see. A very Happy Hour Or Several indeed.

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Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted May 24, 2013

The Pullman Hotel Olympic Park Sydney has "corporate drinks" on Wednesday evening for inhouse guests. For us it turned into a 5 hour session with the hotel sales manager including a never ending stream of quite delicious snacks from the kitchen. And that was even before we got our bags to our rooms. We had to be "escorted" to our rooms post session as I couldn't even find the bloody lifts.

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Chaz asserts...

Posted May 24, 2013

Yes really like the Claret House.

Most dissapointed in you drinkinga Sauv Blanc blend.

As any fool know the only acceptbale Sauv Blanc is Pouilly-Fume

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted May 24, 2013

I am tired of your hyperbole and outright lies. I am a fool and I didn't know that the only acceptable Sauv Blanc is Pouilly-Fume until just now. I thought Seresin Marama 2007 Marlborough is fairly good, but I'm certainly not a competent judge of such things.

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Kat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 24, 2013

On our trip to Vietnam earlier this year we walked past a bar in Hoi An with a blackboard outside stating

"Happy Hour. 10am - 8pm"

AWESOME!!

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 24, 2013

Rofling now.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted May 24, 2013

One of the best threads about a Birmoverse ever. Not being a magic/orcs/dragons/wizards oeuvre fan I have litle to offer except I just hope that JB caps a few of those smug fucking hobbits.

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