The Five Points Cafe recently announced a new happy hour. It’s 4 to 6pm on weekdays and begins Friday, March 12. Deals include a cheeseburger and fries for $2.50, $3 deep-fried Beecher’s cheese curds (hmmm, at that price, I wonder how they compare to Steelhead’s), and calamari for $3.50. Well drinks are also $3.50 while domestic draft beers are $2 and microbrews cost $3.

Another good dive-bar happy hour is that at Owl N Thistle. I’d always thought of the out-of-the-way basement bar on Post Ave as a sleepy lunch spot, but it comes alive at HH. Bud and Bud light are $2 a pint, micros and well drinks are $3. You can get fries or soup for $2.25, a burger, beef stew, hummus platter, or spinach and artichoke dip for $2.95. Fish and chips are $3.50.

But what really recommends Owl N Thistle is that the staff is generally welcoming to everyone and the customers tend to be pretty mellow. I’ve been in dive bars in Seattle where juiced-up bartenders wielded insane accusations at customers for no reason, and others where customers drank too much and put the staff in the unfortunate position of giving them the boot. I’ve also been at dive bars where the bartender would only serve his friends and/or was obnoxious to everyone whose clothing didn’t reflect die-hard death metal fandom. There seems to be a minimum of such bad energy at ONT, and the service is always friendly, casual, and slightly inattentive. (This isn’t Canlis after all, no one needs to put your napkin on your lap.) That’s the way it should be at a proper dive, and the reason I suggest it to you.