Happy Hour Guide

Posted July 15, 2010 in Feature Story

Raising the Bar

You don’t know how lucky you are. You hold in your hand our latest contribution to Western civilization, an issue devoted to your local barfly oases, watering holes and lush-ious purveyors of malty graciousness. In short, our HAPPY HOUR GUIDE is here to do one thing and one thing only: encourage you to drink. Lots. Preferably in broad daylight. From Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redlands to The Sire in Riverside, from San Berdoo’s The Brandin’ Iron to Claremont’s Back Abbey, we’ve nailed down the perfect places where a boozehound can feel at home . . . and a glass will never go empty.




Since time began, sages and town drunkards alike figured out that the best thing to go with a mug of amber suds is something meaty, cheesy—or both. The genius of Anthony’s in Corona is that this place already had the Fine Art of Kick Ass Pizza down to a science (didn’t you check out our last Restaurant Issue?). Adding to the perfection is that their thoroughly decadent pies just don’t feel exactly right until you help yourself to something from the tap. Pizza and beer—that’s how we roll. (Matt Tapia)

Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta, 13100 Magnolia Ave., Corona, (951) 279-6960. Happy Hour: 4PM-9PM daily.



Why restrict Happy Hour to a few measly hours when budget-friendly liquid pleasures can be had all day long here at Arts? The red-brick exterior gives this downtown Riverside institution that old-school appeal and Arts has you covered when it comes to taking care of your thirst and your hunger in one fell swoop. You can enjoy culinary ventures here that put bar food to shame. I’m talking BBQ ribs, lobster, steak and shrimp—but if you want to keep things on no-brainer mode, the 75¢ Taco Tuesdays will hit the spot every time. (Matt Tapia)

Arts Bar & Grill Lounge, 3357 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 683-9520.


With a selection of over 80 beers from around the world, The Back Abbey is one of the best gastropubs in Claremont. For beer fans and foodies, The Back Abbey offers a variety of brews on tap and an even larger and better variety that comes bottled with food served fresh. And if beer isn’t your thing, The Back Abbey also has a large list of wines. Seating is sometimes difficult to find for large parties on Friday and Saturday nights but the dim mellow atmosphere makes for a good mellow date. But if you’re able to grab a large table, this is an awesome place to catch up with friends. (Lynn Lieu)

The Back Abbey, 128 North Oberlin Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-2642; www.thebackabbey.com.



Oh, this Horse definitely has a name—and if you take a moment to chat with owners Jonas and Tammy Knowlton, they’ll likely make you a convert to their drinking cause with an all-day Happy Hour on Sundays (Aren’t weekends just made for drinking anyways?) that’ll wash away the worries of the work week. Check out the grand re-opening this Saturday. (Matt Tapia)

Black Horse Tavern, 1825 Hamner Ave., Ste. A, Norco, (951) 278-2771. Happy Hour: 3PM-7PM Mon-Fri, all day Sun.



The Brandin Iron not only stands as one of California’s longest running honky tonks, but even more impressive is the fact that for a couple hours on their weekly Wednesday college night, their draft beers go for 50 cents apiece. That’s enough to get even the most rhythmically deficient up on the dance floor. So next time you’re posted up and decide you’ve got to get out, you and some friends can catch a Wednesday sermon, enjoy a taste of Nashville and start rockin’ your cowboy boots. (John A. Waterman)

Brandin’ Iron Restaurant/Saloon & Dance Hall, 320 S. E St., San Bernardino, (909) 888-7388; www.brandinironsaloon.com. Happy Hour: Tues 6PM-1AM, Wed 7PM-3AM, Thurs 5PM-2AM, Fri 7PM-9PM, Sat 6PM-9PM.



B’s Backyard Bar-B-Que’s watering hole establishment, B’s Boathouse, is the only spot on Big Bear Lake to have a few drinks lakeside—unless you’re living lakefront or docked on your boat. But then, you can also dock your ride right in front and saddle up to the bar while you shoot some pool, or wander over to the sand for horseshoes and volleyball. And dogs are welcome! To gnaw at the restaurant’s famous Kansas City-style pulled pork sandwiches and homemade potato chips, you’ll have to mosey a few steps to the restaurant, but there is patio seating (or get it to go and plop down at a table on the shore). But if it’s Saturday or Sunday, you’ll definitely want to make the walk to the restaurant for its hair-of-the-dog DIY Bloody Mary bar ($3 a glass) with all the fixin’s. Grab a glass of vodka and make it bloody swell. (Arrissia Owen Turner)

B’s Boathouse, 350 Alden Rd., Big Bear Lake, (909) 866-5400; www.bsbackyard.com. Happy Hour: 11AM-6PM.



It’s been a place to be seen at and impress your lady companion with since it opened its doors. Café Sevilla continues to impress any and all patrons with its tapas bar delights and luxuriant Spanish-infused atmosphere. A couple of pitchers of sangria or mojitos here and you’ll quickly be on your way toward convincing your date that you’re both the most cultured and studliest dude on the salsa dance floor. (George Donovan) 

Café Sevilla, 3252 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, (951) 778-0611; www.cafesevilla.com. Happy Hour: 4:30PM-6:30PM daily.



If you dig Asian fusion, then you’ll flip over Canton Bistro since they meld Japanese and Cantonese eats here better than any gene-splicer ever could. Of course, after you’ve had your fill of sashimi and this restaurant’s very own Tokyo Roll, it’ll be time to wet your whistle with wine, beer and spirits. Oh, wait—when in Rome . . . drink sake. And cheers to you, big towering Buddha. (Matt Tapia)

Canton Bistro Asian Cuisine, 9980 Alabama St., Redlands, (909) 335-6688; www.myspace.com/cantonbistro. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 3PM-7PM.



Citrus City Grill makes a mean cheeseburger during regular hours, and its bent towards upscale dining can definitely wring a hole in even the most cost-conscientious wallets. Enter Happy Hour, where the food (thankfully) and the drinks that go along with it are über cheap ($5). Best bets—the juicy gourmet mini cheeseburger sliders and pulled pork sliders. Flat bread pizzas, tacos, calamari, tuna tartar and chicken wings round out the versatile menu. On the drinks side, the $5 martinis are good, and $3 drafts make the burgers damn near close to nirvana as one can get. Oh yes, and the option of cushy patio seating in summer? Enough said. (Nancy Powell)

Citrus City Grille, 3555 Riverside Plaza Dr., Riverside, (951) 274-9099; www.citruscitygrille.com. Happy Hour: Sun-Thurs 3PM-close, Fri-Sat 3PM-7PM.



Check out the thermometer displayed above the bar: 27.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Rest assured, this place takes providing you glacier-cold beer veeery seriously. Now go introduce yourself to the lovely—and we do mean lovely—ladies serving up said mugs of frigid refreshment. Now, is it me or did my temperature just go up a degree? (George Donovan)

Dykstra’s Sports Bar, 1535 E Ontario Ave. Ste. 101, Corona, (951) 264-6067; www.facebook.com/people/dykstrassportsbar. Happy Hour: 3PM-7PM daily.



For the average beer fan a trip to the local Yard House would be enough, but for a real beer enthusiast looking for that beer festival experience, Hangar 24 is the local stop. Brewing locally for six years, the Redlands craft brewery welcomes patrons all week to stop by for a pint in its hangar-turned-tasting room. With a backyard feel like many small northwestern breweries, Hangar 24 has a relaxed atmosphere. Some nights, seating is limited depending on the number of empty kegs and floor space available—and if you’re not a fan of spilt beer on your feet it’s best to go closed-toed. (Lynn Lieu)

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, 1710 Sessums Drive, Redlands, (909) 389-1400; www.hangar24brewery.com. Tasting Hours: Mon-Fri, 11AM -9PM. 



In case you thought lingerie belonged only in the bedroom (or on Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Google her), let Hard Hats correct your wardrobe misconception. You see, the folks at this Norco establishment know that nothing says “fun atmosphere” like hot chicks and cold beer—quite frankly the best combo since peanut butter and you-know-what. Correction: When we said “hot chicks,” we meant to say, “hot chicks in lingerie.” Feelin‘ thirsty? (James Abraham)

Hard Hats Sports Bar, 1950 S. 4 Wheel Dr., Norco, (951) 734-0276.



Yup, this bar’s got a Taco Tuesday, but who ever heard of Spaghetti Wednesday? Now you’re talking. At Joe’s Bar & Grill, it’s all about making your beer disappearing act a little more different, a little more stimulating. And speaking of stimulation, check out the American Idol trying-to-bes abusing the karaoke machine on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights. This kind of a floor show will always make savoring your barley pop that much more interesting. Beer and bad singing have been hanging out since the Mesopotamians began praying to Ninkasi, the goddess of beer. Oh, looks like you just got a history lesson too. (Matt Tapia)

Joe’s Bar and Grill, 10909 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, (951) 637-3931.



Johnny better be good because the stripper pole in this joint is an architectural marvel. While it’s not exactly holding the roof up, we suspect it’s there because the three (count ’em) full bars housed inside Johnny G’s, the drink specials and the dim lighting have all been known to combine and create an atmosphere for the kind of moves you won’t see on Dancing With the Stars. Sure, they’ve got pool and darts here, but that fizzy lass swinging around’ll be the best pole position you’ll catch all night. (George Donovan)

Johnny G’s, 27725 Jefferson Ave. #101, Temecula, (951) 506-0399. Happy Hour: 7AM-7PM daily.



And you thought Hooters had an obvious name. Actually, while this place sports a cleavage-friendly moniker, this Montclair bar’s first and foremost holy mission is to put the sports back in sports bar. And that, my friend, is why we say, “Mission Accomplished.” And order another pitcher while you’re at it. (George Donovan)

Knockers Sports Bar, 5363 Arrow Hwy., Montclair, (909) 445-0301. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 4PM-7PM



If you fought the law and the law won you can always drown your sorrows with a cold beer . . . or seven. Law’s always has the classic jams on the juke and the grub and drinks are reasonably priced, but you might have to navigate your way through an army of bikers sporting beards and leather. So if you can’t find yourself a stool at the bar, don’t make a big thing about it. The billiard tables and the live bands are chill alternatives. (John A. Waterman)

Law’s Lunch and Dinner, 9640 Indiana Ave., Riverside, (951) 354-7021; Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 4PM-7PM.



If you’re looking for your average, cliché drinking spot, you’re in the wrong place; Abner’s is the watering hole for those with a certain style. It’s always good for a quick drink and a faster game of pool. But fellas, keep an eye on your lady friends. If they approach the bar and ask for a “Porn Star” the tender’ll respond with a chuckle and reply, “What’s a porn star? Lady, this is a freakin’ dive bar. We’ve got clear stuff and dark stuff—which’ll it be?” (John A. Waterman)

Lil Abner’s Woodcrest Lounge, 17960 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, (951) 780-0114. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 4PM-7PM.



If you thought karaoke was a lost art in the Age of Guitar Hero, think again, Broseph. As you’re enjoying The Lounge’s kick-ass selection of stick-to-your-ribs shots (yes, I’m talking Goldschlager!) and tasty domestic bottles, you can sing till your esophagus runs dry during their karaoke nights on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Plus, if you’re feeling rather Field of Dreams-ish, this is the perfect place to watch any baseball game. If the game you’re looking for isn’t on, it probably doesn’t exist. (George Donovan)

The Lounge, 1125 W. 6th St., Corona, (951) 808-9122. Happy Hour: 4PM-7PM daily.



We’re not sure what it is about this place that just takes it up a notch: The cozy, classy vibe. The circular fireplace. Or maybe it’s the relish plate that everyone seems to rave about. No matter, after you’ve had their prime rib—which is to die for (and the appetizers are free!)—and enjoyed something fine and amber from a snifter, you’ll be feeling all the magic that this thoroughly unique, non-chain institution will provide. Enjoy, gents. (George Donovan)

Magic Lamp Inn, 8189 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 981-8659; www.themagiclampinn.com. Happy Hour: 4:30PM-6:30PM Tues-Fri.



They say (and by “they” we mean The Breakfast Club) that if you mess with the bull you get the horns. In this case, that’s not a threat, but an invitation to have a boot stompin’ good time. The beverages here are as well endowed as the bartender ladies and it’s a concert here every Friday and Saturday evening if you’re running low in the decibel department. And that’s no bull. (Matt Tapia)

The Maverick Saloon, 3841 Old Hammer Rd., Norco, (951) 734-6640;  www.mavericksaloonnorco.com. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 2PM-7PM.



The Tobacco Lounge is definitely the place to hit if you’re looking for something a bit more refined than a 27 Blend and a Coors Light. This is the institution to sip on a well drink—or something dark on the rocks—and puff on a cigar that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic with the word “Swisher” stamped on it. The live tunes are always in full swing and this lounge is the perfect place for big cats to just chill back and blow smoke rings. Oh, and if bullets of that 80 proof madness isn’t how you like to get fatal, ask the tender for a “big-ass-beer.” He’ll know what you’re talking about. (John A. Waterman)

Mission Tobacco Lounge, 3630 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 682-4427;  www.missiontobaccolounge.com. Happy Hour: Sun-Sat, 11AM-7PM.



Are you hardcore enough for the music room? Think carefully, young buck, cuz the bikers, barflies and boozehounds that have been picking up their mail here since 1958 will make you man up real quick. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all friendly-like here—but don’t do anything silly like ask for anything ending in ‘-tini” or that requires drinking with your pinky finger sticking out. And do be sure to tip the girls behind the counter. What, you thought those itty-bitty bikinis were free? (Matt Tapia)

The Music Room, 4360 N Sierra Way, San Bernardino, (909) 883-6513.



The Press is one of those classic restaurant-turned-bar places, but what makes it special is its lineup of local performances. A stage is perfectly situated at the end of the restaurant with views from the dining rooms and the bar. Except for Mondays and Wednesdays, performances are lined up all week. But The Press is no mere live music venue by any means; with its eclectic menu and creative martinis, the Press has all the makings of a good lounge—but with a restaurant and bar setup. (Lynn Lieu)

The Press Restaurant, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-4808; www.thepressrestaurant.com. Happy Hour: 3PM-6PM daily, Thursday until 1AM.



Trendy, urban and a natural draw for hipsters, with a decidedly upbeat, rocking vibe and plenty of tropical drinks to wow the socks off the decidedly younger crowd. If you’re looking for seafood, Ra Sushi is a worthy competitor. Select sushi rolls and appetizers are half off, hot sake rings in at a mere $2 a pop, and Kirin beer (with sake, if requested) costs a cool $5. Check out the Viva Las Vegas Roll—crab and cream cheese on the inside, tempura battering outside, with spicy tuna, more crab and spinach tempura bits soaking up sweet eel sauce rounding out the décor. The coolly seductive Blushing Geisha is anything but innocent. (Nancy Powell)

RA Sushi, 2785 Cabot Dr. Ste. 101, Corona, (951) 277-7491; www.rasushi.com. Happy Hour: Mon-Sat 3PM-7PM.



If you are looking for a heavy pour of Arctic-cold beer, Roscoes in Chino Hills is where you’ll find it. Served up in a mug scaled for a mythological god, you better make sure you have the extra wrist power to hold it steady. No one likes a beer-drenched dance floor. Which brings us to the dance floor: crowds of happy patrons, swaying and bobbing to a live band are what make Roscoes Famous Deli everyone’s favorite place on the weekends. (Leslie Lopez)

Roscoes Famous Deli, 14700 Pipeline Ave. Chino Hills, (909) 597-3304; www.roscoesfamousdeli.com/chinohills.



If Norco is Horsetown U.S.A., then that must make the Saddle Sore Saloon the official City Bar. Or at least it should. When you’re in the mood to dust off the Stetson and take Trigger out for a spin, the full bar and country music-steeped jukebox will make all your Cowboy Cha Cha dance steps that much smoother. The sawdust on the floor will help. (James Abraham)

Saddle Sore Saloon, 343 6th St., Norco, (951) 272-8283; www.myspace.com/saddlesoresaloon. Happy Hour: 3PM-6PM daily.



A $6.99 roll all day, any day is a no-brainer when it comes to deal breakers of the decade. Add in happy hour specials like a $5 five-piece sashimi platter, gyoza, calamari rings and $1 edamame, and the result is a self-induced omakase that is likely to incur less damage than what a trendy night elsewhere would cost you. So while Shogun Sushi is more sedate in vibe and not so much with the hip ratio like Ra, if cheap and affordable sushi is your game, then Shogun Sushi definitely has your name. (Nancy Powell)

Shogun Restaurant, 275 Teller Rd., Corona, (951) 737-3888; www.restaurantshogun.com. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 4PM-7PM, Sat-Sun 3PM-7PM.



If you’re a rambler, a gambler, or even just someone who appreciates a beverage with a percentage, The Sire ain’t a bad place to grab a steak and kick your feet up. This spot sports furnishings you’d likely see at Fairplex Park with racing photos and memorabilia, but all bets are off. If you’re not exactly sure where the place is, just take a drive down Magnolia Avenue and keep an eye out for the giant horseshoe—you can’t miss it. And if you do, you don’t need any more booze. (John A. Waterman)

The Sire Restaurant, 6440 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, (951) 683-7473.



See those three fine females on the billboard off the 91? You can drink with them. Seriously. They work here at Sporty’s. I guarantee you won’t know what hit your eyeballs—the lingerie models raffling off sports gear or the five plasma screen TVs broadcasting the latest game. Time to call the missus and tell her you’ll be, ahem, “working late.” (Matt Tapia)

Sporty’s Bar, 21779 Temescal Canyon Rd., Corona, (951) 277-9786. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 4PM-6PM.



And, if you need a little breather or cool down from all the Roscoes hoopla, walk 10 feet across the way to Swasdee. It’s a Thai restaurant that has a tiny bar with great bartenders and lets not forget ZATO!!!!!!!!! It’s similar to cold sake but slightly sweeter and imported straight from the mother country . . . yummmm. The bartenders will offer up Zato cold and soon you’re dancing and singing in a small restaurant bar. But don’t feel shy, because the next thing you know everyone will be up and dancing with you . . . even the bartenders. Great place. (Leslie Lopez)

Swasdee Thai Cuisine, 14720 Pipeline Ave. Ste. B, Chino Hills, (909) 393-8001.



So she finally said “yes,” but you don’t have the dibs to wine and dine her like you want? Sycamore Inn’s Happy Hour offers the perfect scenario for the luxe life on wallet crunch. Head to Rancho for Prime Time at the Wine Bar any day of the week for half-off all wines by the glass (they boast more than 40 varieties), martinis, mixed drinks and appetizers. A glass of vino at full price would taste just as sweet, but a glass of 2006 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc at half-price pairs even better with equally frugal Oysters Rockefeller broiled on the half shell with spinach, smoked bacon, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. You’ll need to come up with your own moves from there. (Arrissia Owen Turner)

Sycamore Inn Prime Steakhouse, 8318 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 982-1104; www.thesycamoreinn.com. Happy Hour: 4:30PM-8PM daily.



Even with its New Orleans-inspired upscale sophistication, Taps has one of the liveliest happy hours around, which should not be a big surprise since TAPS brews some of its own libations—and with the more than 30 styles of ales and lagers, beers definitely are the main draw. The gold medal-winning cream ale with the crab and artichoke dip makes for many a happy camper, while the tasty $7 sampler of seven brews comes in a close second. Plus, the occasional live guitarist provides just the right amount of moody blues to go along with the brews. (Nancy Powell)

TAPS Fish House & Brewery, 2745 Lakeshore Dr. Corona, (951) 277- 5800; www.tapsfishhouse.com/corona/. Happy Hour: Sun-Fri, 2PM-7PM, Sat 11AM-5PM. 



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