Top Late-Night Happy Hours In Connecticut

May 15, 2014 8:00 AM

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In Connecticut, for some bars and restaurants (and their patrons), one happy hour is not enough. To help attract new customers and bring back old ones in these trying economic times, more and more places are offering a second or late-night happy hour. Some do it on traditionally slow weeknights, others only on weekends and some do it every day. For those who can no longer afford or justify spending full price for drinks or bar meals, yet still want to go out after dark, these late-night happy hours are a welcome option.

Trumbull Kitchen
150 Trumbull St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 493-7412

Happy hour is not just about cheap drinks – it is also about the bargain-priced food that accompanies those libations. The Trumbull Kitchen in Hartford has the happy hour food thing down pat, and especially for the late-night crowd. Happy hour comes twice a night at The Trumbull Kitchen. In addition to the traditional 4 to 7 p.m. time, the Kitchen offers a special one-hour, late-night happy hour from 10 to 11 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from 11 p.m. until midnight on Thursdays and Fridays.

There are $2 to $5 beer, wine and cocktail specials, but besides the discount prices for certain drinks, there are five menu items available for $1.99 and two more for just $2.99. These are not bar snacks but light meals, and those menu offerings include rock shrimp jambalaya with andouille sausage and green onion rice, muffaletta “fratbread” sandwiches, oyster remoulade, braised chicken sliders and tapas, as well as other dishes. The atmosphere is warm, classy and cozy, and it is the perfect place to go after the theater or for those who have had to work late.

901 Main St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 244-9084

In December, the owners of the iconic and very classy Dish Bar & Grill opened another restaurant bar in the capital city. To help attract a new crowd, this new place, called Sorella, starts happy hour two at 9 p.m., and keeps it going until closing. The happy hour specials include wood-fired pizza, $5 Chianti and Nero Classico (and other wines) and good buys on beer to wash it down. Some of the best IPAs can be had for a mere $5 for a 20-ounce draft during this second happy hour. The restaurant has a fine Italian kitchen, with very affordable antipasti and pasta dishes under $20.

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Mezzo Grille
106 Court St.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-6000

Throwback Thursdays at the Mezzo Grille is one place where patrons can “throwback” a few for just a few bucks during the late-night happy hour. Cocktails, wines and bottled beers are just $3, just like they were back in the ‘80s – which is mostly the era of music played during Throwback Thursdays at Mezzo Grille. Mezzo is a mix of restaurant, night club and bar, with a 40,000-square foot “Key West Style” outdoor patio in nice weather. It has DJs and live music, specials on bucket beers and wings and even a tiki bar with a fire pit. This a great place to dine, drink or dance, or a little (or a lot) of all three.

Wood-n-Tap Bar & Grill
970 N. Colony Road
Wallingford, CT 06492
(203) 265-9663

Second happy hour, or “Tappy Hour” as it is called at the Wood-n-Tap Bar & Grill in Wallingford, is from 10 p.m. until last call seven nights a week. Selected micros are available for $4.50, which is great for those who want to sample some unique beers without paying full price. There are also $3 to $5 beer, wine, margarita and martini specials during “Tappy Hour.” The espresso martini is a particular favorite, as it offers even more caffeine and alcohol than an Irish coffee.

No happy hour, late night or otherwise, should be without food specials, and the Wood-n-Tap offers “6 Apps for $6.” That offer goes until the kitchen closes, which is 11:30 p.m. on most weeknights and an hour later on Friday and Saturday. The appetizer dishes include a plate of fried calamari, a half-order of nachos, a spinach artichoke dip and wings.

Tisane Euro-Asian Cafe
537 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 523-5417

Happy hour resumes at 9 p.m. and continues until closing on Mondays and Wednesdays at Tisane, a truly unique restaurant, café, bar and coffee bar that also bills itself as a combination European Beer Bar and Irish Gastro Pub. Locals and regulars know about the Monday and Wednesday bonus nights, however, so getting a table or even a space by the bar can be problematic – and Tisane doesn’t take reservations. The nachos, wings, buffalo chicken and avocado sandwiches are all quite good – and the drink special of the house is something called a Sexi Lexi – and is made with just enough lemon to make the drinker pucker up.

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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at