I love happy hour. I really do. I love a good cocktail, I love small plates, and I love a deal. And I'm not alone in this - in our "recessionista" culture, value is king.
But diners still want the ambiance, service, and quality that are offered in higher end restaurants. And the older customer demographic, of whom there are plenty in our area, enjoy beverages.
“The one thing about this older group going to restaurants is, they drink,” says trend watcher Liz Sloan, president of Escondido, Calif.-based Sloan Trends Inc. "When the kids empty the nest, they party."
With one girl in college and another one in high school with wheels, I'm almost there, so what's a girl to do? Embrace happy hour.
Earlier in the week, my BF and I visited Patrick David's in the Danville Livery. Why there? Well, thanks to Danville Patch, I knew that the restaurant's days are numbered, and I wanted to check it out before they close. They are waiting on permits from the Town of Danville to do some major remodeling and then open as a martini concept aptly named Martini Sky. In the light of day, we could see that the bar is showing signs of wear and tear.
At this point, there's no special bar menu at the Patrick David's, but they allow you to order one each of three appetizers on their regular menu for $3 per piece - an Angus Beef Slider with White Cheddar Cheese and Caramelized Onion, Lobster Pot sticker with Kaffir Lime, Beurre Blanc and Tobiko or the Jumbo Tiger Prawn with roasted garlic, jalapeño and orange gastique. Their cocktail choices are broader - you can order any cocktail that you'd like with well liquor and it's only $5. As martini lovers, we order classics, one made with gin (Beefeater's) and one with vodka (Smirnoff) and Brian McGuirk, the resident mixologist, poured them up generously.
Drawbacks? The bar is small, the menu, as mentioned, is limited, and at $3 per piece, the food tab adds up. Still, if you love the restaurant, go this month to say goodbye, and if you haven't tried it before, here's your chance. For me, I welcome the change, for with four wine bars in town, it's time to cater to the martini crowd.
Patrick David's offers happy hour Sunday - Thursday until closing.
Check back for my weekly happy hour blog, and get grazing.