Well, the sun was out when I started compiling this list. Wait, now it’s back. And now it’s gone again. As usual, it’s playing with our hearts and our wardrobe choices. But when the weather does start to cooperate, beverage-seekers flock to any available outdoor space with a liquor license.
Some places are sneaky and limit happy hour to the indoor recesses of the bar. These establishments are not those places. They're also perfect for a chill afternoon: sit back, drink a beer, and enjoy the sun.
Of course, this southernish Capitol Hill spot has happy hour beer specials that include $2 pints and $8 pitchers of Rainer, also Manny’s or Elysian IPA for $3.50 or $13. Way to make those hipsters try drinking out of a glass for once, instead of a tallboy, Blacks. There are six $4 food items ranging from a beet salad with chevre to baked Tillamook white cheddar mac and cheese. Plant yourself on the front or back deck from 4 to 6pm every day or all day on Sunday and Monday for specials.
The Ballard Loft
Happy hour runs Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 7pm, and 4 to close on Sunday and Monday at this sports bar. Pick from a selection of appetizers, maybe the little Baja sliders with Swiss and guac or house roasted BBQ pork with slaw, both for $5.50 an order. It’s a dollar off wells, bottled beer, and drafts too. The patio, dining room, and loft area are all ages before 9pm, so even if you don’t have babysitting, you can still get your HH on with kiddos in tow.
Nickerson Street Saloon
Since ’95, the Nickerson has been serving up all-American pub grub and beer to the Fremont neighborhood with a view of Lake Union. Happy hour here runs weekdays from 3 to 6pm and includes the corner-facing deck area with a massive view of the Aurora Avenue bridge. All 18 draft beers are $3.50, while house wine and wells at only a buck more for $4.50. The six item food menu goes for around $2 to $6, including a burger and quesadilla.
Eastlake Bar and Grill
This well-known deck hangout has a ton of happy hour choices everyday from 3 to 6 and 9 to close. A Greenlake margarita will run you $3.99, but why stop there? Make it a double for $5.99. I think I’ll pass on this shot, but I’m sure some college kid will go for a Bruce’s headbutt—Bailey's, Rumple Minze, and 151—for just under $5. Food specials lean to traditional bar grub with a little extra spice, like fried habanero mac and cheese balls for $3.50 or spicy buffalo chicken wings for $5.50.
Frolik Kitchen and Cocktails
The newly remodeled (and majorly impressive) Red Lion hotel outdoor patio has one of the longest happy hours in the city, lasting pretty much all evening from 4 to 10pm. This joint actually ditches the “hour” and calls it “happy evening.” With 13 food items from $5 to $9, like bourbon bacon popcorn and chipotle chicken sliders you'll have time to try the lot. Drinkwise, choose from four $5 cocktails including caipirinha or a ginger mojito.