Happy hours in a dry winter
By Bridget Shaw
Editor’s note: There’s always a risk in running a story like this because there are clearly places Bridget missed, so … if she missed you on this story, comment here at www.thesheetnews.com and we can add your input to the online edition.
As a result of the “driest winter on record since the 1800s,” MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory recently declared a resolute promise to keep staff and even feed them, amidst widespread hours-cutting.
Though reassuring to hear, his announcement is a stark reminder of how tough it is for seasonal and year-round employees to make ends meet in a place constantly at the mercy of unpredictable snowfall.
While there are obvious benefits of a ‘summer in winter’ such as hiking, fishing, biking, golf and road trips to usually-closed parks such as Yosemite, people are starting to skip town for snowier pastures.
However, if you are determined to stay here but don’t want to become a hermit until the snow arrives, Mammoth is bubbling over with food and drink specials to get you out socializing, on a budget.
The following breakdown reports the highlights of a mission to sample as many Mammoth happy hours as possible within three nights:
Still mourning the tragic demise of our only Irish pub The Auld Dubliner last fall, and more importantly its infamous Taco Tuesday that went down with it, we were forced to road test two understudies who were quick to fill the void left by our fallen soldier.
Z-Ranch, price-matching Dubs’ bargain tacos at $1 each, now offers the cheapest and messiest Tuesday feed from 5 p.m. until the tacos run out.
What the venue lacks in space and tables, it makes up for in boisterous atmosphere and features semi-regular live entertainment by local band Jeffrey James and the Wanted Gang.
Don’t forget to check out their Mickey’s Monday $5 deal as well: tasty burgers, fries (with potato skins on!), and a beer. Well worth the wait if you can get a seat.
Lakanuki’s Taco Tuesday features a more robust taco at $2 apiece, along with far greater room to move than Z-Ranch. As my friend Kristin puts it “this one’s more of an equal meal, and the tacos stay fused together which is good.”
Are you Team Beef or Team Chicken? Unfortunately no vegetarian options are available yet, but friendly Laka owner Stu Need, assures me he is currently ‘in talks’ with the chef about this issue.
Their daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. is a super affordable night out too, with all meals priced at $5 per item and drinks at $4.
Roberto’s Café has delicious Mexican food and some of the coolest happy hour treats in town. Don’t miss their free nachos and quesadillas with your purchase of happy hour drinks between 4-6 p.m.
Highlights include $2 domestic drafts, $5 house wines, $3.50 margaritas and the bar’s warm atmosphere and tropical beach interior at sunset.
The Bistro at Snowcreek Athletic Club got it right with their ‘living room’ vibe. It is literally like being at home, but way better.
Stacked with huge flat screens, a sea of leather couches, free pool and $6.50 beer pitchers during happy hour, you’ll feel as comfortable as the guy who commandeered a quarter of the room as his own, reclined with his feet up watching City of Angels.
Historic Slocums Bar and Grill, which prides itself as having “Mammoth’s Favorite Happy Hour Since 1983,” pours a bloody stiff well drink for $3.75! They also do $2 PBRs all night long, free hors d’oeuvre platters and can boast an eclectic food menu featuring the “Locally Famous” Angus cheeseburger and fries for $4.
Nestled high up Canyon Boulevard but just a stone’s throw away from the Canyon Lodge hub, you’ll find the Austria Hof Restaurant and Bar. Take the winding road on the Blue Line or the
Gondola from The Village and you will be rewarded with $2 beers, $3.50 well drinks and $3 Jager shots!
Be transported with 30% off their fine dining Starters range as well as other bar menu staples like chicken wings, sliders and sweet potato fries. Front Desk Associate, Jo Louise recommends the happy hour homemade pizzas, which she touts as the “best pizzas in town,” starting from $7.95.
If you’re looking for a rowdy happy hour, where you can react as loudly to sports on TV as you would in a stadium, visit Outlaw Saloon. Their winter happy hour from 4-6 p.m., Monday to Friday, rocks $2 domestic beers, and a $6.50 ‘Beer and a Boom,’ perfect accompaniments for a snack-style bar menu of chicken wings, pizza derivatives, taco wedgies, and so on. You won’t pay more than $6.95 per food item and they are solid portions considering the low price.
The Tap, located above Outlaw Saloon and home of an entertaining open mic night on Thursdays, also does all night happy hours on Wednesdays which includes a ‘Wine Lover’s’ deal of 50% off wine and Japanese sake.
Back in The Village, you can now satisfy your raw fish and beer cravings for cheap at the newly reopened Sushi Rei.
Stay tuned for their sleek new happy hour starting this week, where you will secure a sushi hand roll and PBR for only $5.
Meanwhile, Sushi Rei’s in-town older brother (by 31 years), Shogun Restaurant, is kicking off a new happy hour menu on Monday (see ad page 6).
You can’t beat their salmon collars!
Best late night happy hours
Join in the festivities for the (all day) Thursday happy hour at Rafter’s Restaurant and Lounge, starring a weekly live band and an extremely non-threatening, all-ages dance floor.
Though more pricey than some others mentioned here, their discounted regular menu during happy hour, served from 4-6 p.m. will provide you with a substantial, healthy meal, with full-size pasta, seafood and meat dishes starting from $11.
Grumpy’s, best experienced during sporting events, may overwhelm you with the sheer quantity of TV screens playing simultaneously … I counted 20 just in my line of sight, all playing different channels. It is therefore not advised to choose this venue if you wish to engage in an important conversation with a sports fan, or anyone who is easily distracted for that matter. Late night happy hour, every day from 10 ‘til close, scoring you $2 domestics and $3 wells.
Gomez’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequileria adds a lively addition to the late night scene, with their ‘Happiest Hour’ from 10 p.m.-midnight.
Fill up on 2 for 1 tacos, taquitos or flautas for $4.95 or share a Nachos Grande for $7.95.
Cheapest liquid deals include $3.95 Hornitos Tequila shots, $2.95 Coronas, $3.95 wines and $4.95 margaritas, handmade from a family recipe going back three generations, and boasting 100% Agave Reposado Tequila.