It’s a beautiful sunny day (yes, still cold, but there’s SUN!!) here in Michigan. And what should we do?! Well, of course, go get a window seat in one of the many riverside restaurants as we watch the sun-glistening waters of the rivers, the few ships and tankers floating up along, and enjoy the sunset as we ENJOY HAPPY HOUR!!! 🙂 woot! Leisurely enjoy a cocktail or two, and many delightful appetizers and small plates as we spend a weekday evening with friends at happy hour! I love life! I love life like that!
Except… no one around here seems remotely interested in going to happy hours. I’m not sure why it is around here in Michigan (or maybe the whole Midwest?) that they seem not as interested in happy hours as do our East and West Coast counterparts. Breathe the words Happy Hour Specials, and you get a whole lot of friends and immediate acquaintances exploring the juicy world of happy hour specials from 5pm – 7pm (or 4pm – 6pm, or 3pm – 7pm??).
I’ve noticed a few differences here:
1. The happy hours do have very good specials in Michigan. But the restaurants are surprisingly generous with their happy hour TIMES around here. Most of the places start happy hours around 3pm (or even 2pm at some!) and will go until 7pm (or even 9pm!). That is ridiculous! So with such a generous time frame for happy hours… why aren’t there more patrons?
This is insane! If places in Philadelphia ran happy hours they way they did here, either a) they would go out of business, or b) people would clamor endlessly to these places.
2. The general cost of living here is cheaper than the two coasts. Drinks don’t usually run at $14-$16 per cocktail, or $10 per beer. Thus, the idea of paying $5-$6 a cocktail and $4 a beer is very normal and is NOT a happy hour price. Unlike in Philadelphia or NYC, if we smell of a place with $5-$6 cocktails… we will break down that door and stand in line 30 minutes before the start of their happy hour, in fear that when the time comes, it will be standing room only. (which sucks, but we’ll still take it).
Maybe for people in Michigan, they see happy hour prices, and they shrug, and say, “So? Those are everyday prices, silly.” So the discounted and slashed prices are no discount, they are just normal for everyone in Michigan.
3. Maybe people have to drive more around here? I find dense cities with locals that utilize train and subway systems (or cabs and walking…) tend to be more flexible and interested in happy hours. Perhaps it’s because people usually have to drive to the happy hour location and then drive home, thus decreasing the incentive to drink for less (so drink more) mentality. Makes sense. We should all drive responsibly and 0% BAL! (service announcement here…)
4. Rush hour around here seems to start around 3:30pm. While rush hour in the East Coast starts around 4:30pm, and gets bad at 6pm. Perhaps people here get off work earlier than when the happy hours start, thus when you’re faced with a) sit in the office for a few more hours and then hit up happy hour, or b) go home as soon as possible, but no happy hours. Perhaps people usually choose b.
Okay, I know by now, what you’re thinking. “Why don’t you just go to these happy hours by yourself then?” I used to, back in Philadelphia. But apparently, it is not socially acceptable for a normal (not sleazy) girl to go to a happy hour or restaurant bar by herself.
I am texting S-O-S’s to my friends in Philadelphia about my mini-crisis here… “No one loves life here! No one is interested in going to happy hours today! Our first sunny day after a week of snow and grey!”.
Of which one texts back, “Go! Who cares what others think! You can’t wait around for people as life passes you by!”
While another says, “You’ll be back in March!”
Meanwhile… they are about to hit up a happy hour later, and it’s sunny and 55F in Philadelphia.