Best Happy Hour Spots in New London

July 21, 2011 9:00 AM

By Vanessa Willoughby

For some people, there’s nothing better than kicking back after work with a few friends, some great food, and a couple of cheap beers. Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without an amiable atmosphere. Fortunately, these New London bars offer an unbeatable happy hour experience. Whether you’re looking for an amazing round of wings or a brush with colorful local characters, these bars will be sure to deliver.

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Photo Credit: Hanafins via Facebook

Hanafins Public House

312 State Street
New London, CT 06320
(860) 437-9724
Hours: Open Mon-Thurs, Sun: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m., Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

This self-proclaimed “most authentic Irish pub in Connecticut” is a family-owned and operated business. After years of working in the flooring business, Owner Diarmuid Hanafin opened the pub in New London in 2005.  Five years later, Hanafin’s moved to its permanent location. Be sure to stop by on the weekends for live music and a vibrant crowd. Enjoy a pint of Guinness to complete the experience. Happy Hour is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Photo Credit: Hot rods Café New London

Hot Rod Café

114 Bank Street
New London, CT 06320
(860) 447-2320
Hours: Tues – Thurs: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Fri – Sun: 2 p.m. -12 a.m.

Got a craving for wings? Look no further than Hot Rod Café. When owner Rod Cornish left his job at Merril Lynch in New York, he decided to open up a bar that would appeal to his personal style sensibilities. After gathering experience in local establishments, Hot Rod Café was born. Although some patrons come for the atmosphere, it’s undeniable that many go for the wings. Every Wednesday is “All You Can Eat Wing Night,” while every Sunday from 5pm-7pm is “50 Cent Wing Night.” Three dollar happy hour is from 4pm-6pm, Monday to Friday.

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(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Stash’s Café

95 Pequot Avenue
New London, CT 06320
(860) 443-1095
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m.; Fri-Sat, 10:30 a.m.- 2:00 a.m.; Sun: 10:30 a.m.-1:00a.m.

Featuring 25 different beers, pool tables, dartboards, outdoor seating, and a jukebox, Stash’s Café is the perfect place for low-key festivities in a congenial yet casual atmosphere. In addition to the usual bar food such as burgers and fries, Stash’s features main dishes and entrées such as chicken parmesan, baked salmon, and broiled cod. Additionally, numerous local bands provide live entertainment. Happy Hour is every Thursday and Friday, beginning at 4PM. Thursday features a taco buffet, while Friday features a live band.

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Photo Credit: Bank Street Roadhouse via Facebook

Bank Street Roadhouse

36 Bank Street
New London, CT
(860) 443-8280
Hours: Tues-Thurs: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Fri – Sat: 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

A New London favorite since 1993, Bank Street Roadhouse contains back deck seating overlooking the Thames River. You may not find a menu packed with anything more than the typical bar food, but you will find the occasional live band, pool tables, foosball, jukebox, skeeball, and air hockey. Deemed designated driver for the night? Bank Street rewards its DD’s with free soft drinks. Regarded as “biker friendly,” Bank Street Roadhouse is famous for its “Blue Collar Happy Hour” every Friday from 6PM-8PM.

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Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Dev’s On Bank Street

345 Bank Street
New London, CT
(860) 442-3387
Hours: Tues-Thurs: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri – Sat: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

In the mood for something Mediterranean? Be sure to check out the newly opened Dev’s On Bank Street. Dev’s is a Mediterranean tapas bar, which combines the tradition of Spanish dining with a touch of Asian cuisine. Dev’s is keen on using the freshest of ingredients and locally-grown products. Apparently, the locals aren’t the only ones that are taking notice of this unique explosion of taste and cultures. The New London Day described Dev’s as “well prepared and interesting…the best cocktail meatballs yet.” Happy Hour takes place every Tuesday-Saturday from 4PM-6PM.

Vanessa Willoughby lives in Waterford. A recent graduate of The New School’s MFA program, she also blogs for the entertainment and music website,