ometimes all you need after a long day is an ice cold beer. Sometimes you need a nice strong cocktail. And sometimes you don’t want just any drink, you want the best drink. Most places will tell you they’ve got a full bar and can serve up anything you want, but why settle for that mediocre margarita or draft beer when you can have the best? We’ve got it all here in our Happy Hour Guide—your list of where to find that specific drink your craving, done right!
3RD CORNER WINE SHOP AND BISTRO
3rd Corner may seem like a fancy restaurant at first glance, but one look at its bar and you’re sure to find one of the best nights out with the girls or a great date.
Drink of choice: 3rd Corner offers everything from sparkling whites to more complicated reds by the glass and bottle. Our taste of choice is a simple red—the 14 Hands cabernet sauvignon to be exact—and it’s only $5 a glass during happy hour. If that’s too spicy for your taste try the house sangria, $4 during happy hour. (Lynn Lieu)
Happy hour: Sun-Sat, 3pm-6pm and Sun-Thurs, 10pm-1pm.
73101 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert, (760) 837-9600; www.the3rdcorner.com.
PACKING HOUSE WINE MERCHANTS
Not your neighborhood pub, this fine-dining establishment is populated by successful people who enjoy wines that aren’t “Mad Dog” or “Night Train,” so dress accordingly.
Drink of Choice: Packing House Wine Merchants has a wine list the size of the Old Testament with selections like Alban Viognier, Rezonja, Seghesio and Farella Alta with glasses between $6 to $14.50. They have a gorgeous beer selection, and a Chimay Blue for $13.50, which is practically grand larceny, so enjoy. (Jasen Davis)
Happy hour: No happy hour, but they offer mid-week and weekend wine tastings where you can enjoy four exceedingly fine vintages for just $11.
540 W. 1st St. Claremont, (909) 445-WINE; www.packinghousewines.com.
SPORTS WATCH BAR & GRILL
With screens above the urinals and mega-sports memorabilia, Sports Watch Bar and Grill has the most flair in the IE.
Drink of Choice: Here? It’s beer. And why not? This place has got 32 micro-pub brews on tap, including its very own Sports Watch Handles label. Hangar 24 is also an option, but there’s beer from all over the world if you don’t want to drink local. Plus, the appetizers rock. (Bill Gerdes)
Happy hour: Mon-Thurs, 3pm-7pm; late night happy hour, Sun-Thurs, 10pm-Close.
27961 Highland Ave., Highland, (909) 280-3250; www.sportswatchbarandgrill.com.
Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Snooki and bad decisions. There are certain things that are just destined to end up together—so let’s add one more duo to this list: pizza and beer! God, was there ever a more perfect pairing? And Romano’s has got you covered like any good Chicago pizzeria should.
Drink of Choice: We chatted up the bartender at the Redlands location and he let us in on a little secret: When in Redlands . . . do as Redlands does—order up some Hangar 21 suds to go with your meat pie. Take your pick of either the Orange Wheat, the Alt-Bier Ale or the Amarillo Pale Ale—or all three. Now you’re drinking like a local. (Matt Tapia)
Happy Hour: When you’re drinking local at Romano’s who cares about a happy hour.
Romano’s Family Italian Restaurants & Chicago Pizzerias, 5225 Canyon Crest Dr., Riverside, (951) 781-7662; 330 Orange St., Redlands, (909) 798-9228; www.romanosrestaurants.com.
THE SALTED PIG
The casual and fun “Pig” is bacon heaven, providing anything and everything a meat-loving gastronome could ever desire (like the luscious, bacon-wrapped dates, for starters), but the craft beer collection is no slouch either when it comes to enhancing baconmania.
Drink of Choice: If you’re in the mood for alternative brews, the Pig’s got them, with daily rotating gourmet draft pints “off the handle” in the $5 to $9 range. The Beer Flight proves to be the perfect date to the bacon-wrapped dates: four tasty, frothy samples at a sweltering $12. (Nancy Powell)
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 3pm-5pm and Mon-Thurs, 10pm-12am.
3700 12th St., Riverside, (951) 848-4020; www.saltedpigriverside.com.
STINGERS BAR AND NIGHTCLUB
Stingers fans, punk rockers, bikers, UFC fighters and pool sharks collide at this watering hole/live music venue resplendent with beer pong and pool tables.
Drink of choice: Beer, beer and more beer, and it’s hella cheap with the occasional low-priced Jaeger bomb thrown in for good measure. (Arrissia Owen)
Happy hour: Mon-Fri, 2pm-7pm.
194 W. Club Center Dr., San Bernardino, (909) 872-0308; www.stingersbarandnightclub.com.
THE BACK ABBEY
The Back Abbey is known for its kick ass artisan burgers and fries done in duck fat, but microbrew nerds will find plenty to appreciate that makes each burger/brew adventure brand spanking new.
Drink of Choice: The 100-plus beer collection at The Back Abbey includes nearly 28 Belgian taps and a robust selection alone from Avec Les Bons Voeux. And The Back Abbey also carries all the proper glassware to serve it. When it’s available, the rare Cantillon is hard to beat. (Nancy Powell)
Happy Hour: Who need a happy hour? These brews are worth the price.
128 N. Oberlin Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-2642; www.thebackabbey.com.
With plenty of TV’s to support your sports addictions and a pretty mean Irish Nachos appetizer, there’s no place worthier to be your next dedicated brew stop than this Irish pub.
Drink of Choice: Limericks has a mean beer selection beyond imagining—it serves a wide selection of microbrews on tap or bottled. In addition to local favorites Dale Brothers and Hangar 24, try another favorite: Stone’s dark, amber-colored Highway 78 Scotch Ale, which houses a variety of interesting tastes in every sip. (Ashley Bennett)
Happy hour: Mon-Fri, 3pm-6pm.
1234 W. Foothill Blvd., Upland, (909) 920-5630; www.facebook.com/limerickstavern.
It’s all about two things here: delicious gourmet burgers and a vast selection of beer. Eureka! has a unique menu and enough beer to satisfy.
Drink of Choice: Eureka! offers a Maple Martini that sweetly seduces you into drinking it’s hidden innards of bourbon, but if you’re in the mood for beer try the tasty, unique and pretty hopped up on hops with Hope Henge Experimental IPA. With a mixture of both hop and citrus, this could very well be the next taste-worthy beer you’ve been searching for. (Ashley Bennett)
Happy hour: Every Day, 2pm-6pm.
580 W. First St., Claremont, (909) 445-8875; www.eurekaburger.com.
Many have written that The Sire is a funky, retro, smoke-smelling, jukebox rocking, living evocation of 1978, and many are right.
Drink of choice: We’d go Bloody Mary here, and not only because they taste like ’78 with The Eagles or The Knack on the stereo and Three’s goddamn Company on the telly. The damn things are tasty too, with the right amount of spice, pepper and tres olivas. Besides if you’re at The Sire you either have a hangover or are working on your next one. (Bill Gerdes)
Happy hour: Drinks are dirt-cheap all day.
6440 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, (951) 683-7473.
You loved this place when it was just a beer bar, and now that it’s a full bar, there’s plenty more reasons to make this your drinking destination of choice. The atmosphere’s casual, the DJs here kill it seven nights a week and my wallet loves the prices here—incentive to buy your friends a round or three!
Drink of Choice: Cruise by the bright red English telephone booth (no kidding) and sample the 17 beers on tap. Want to broaden your horizons? Try the Bacon Bloody Mary they serve up on Sunday. (Matt Tapia)
Happy Hour: Not necessary.
3587 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 779-9169; www.facebook.com/WorthingtonsTavern.
The name might evoke hipster excitement but this lounge, complete with ambient colors and dedicated lounge areas, sports some of the most unique cocktails you’ll ever come across.
Drink of Choice: Among polar opposite cocktails like the Velvet Joyride or Caribbean Snowflake, the Pepper Delirious is one to behold. While I never thought I’d see that day when someone would conjure up a mix of gin with the hint of yellow bell peppers, the inclusion of mint makes for a refreshing treat. (Ashley Bennett)
Happy hour: All Day Mon; Tues-Fri, 3pm-7pm.
7900 Kew Ave., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 899-7999; www.rapourrestaurant.com.
JD ALLISON’S BAR & GRILL
This go-to guzzle fest manages to serve scrumptious food in a family-friendly environment and keeps up with its swinging bar scene once the streetlights turn on.
Drink of choice: J.D Allison’s Love You Long Time martini is a lovely concoction of Smirnoff raspberry, Island Blue Pucker, soda water, lemonade and a splash of grenadine shaken to perfection for $8. But if you’re looking for some happy hour action, go for the $4 Smirnoff shots or $3 margaritas. Better yet, dry out for an hour and starting at 8 p.m. the late night happy hour offers $2 Smirnoff cocktails for the first round, $4 for each round after. Keep ’em coming. (Arrissia Owen)
Happy hour: Mon-Fri, 3pm to 7pm; Sat-Sun, 11am to 5pm; late night happy hour, Mon-Fri, 8pm-12am.
291 N. 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 982-4469; www.jdallisonsbarandgrill.com.
ROSCOE’S FAMOUS DELI
Gigantic food portions and a young crowd always mix well for a good time. At this part-time sports bar you can find college students, under middle-aged urban professionals and a full bar with dozens of beers to entertain you.
Drink of Choice: The Rod’s Absolute Morning Cure provides Absolut vodka Bloody Mary’s for $6 and bottomless Mimosas for $9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday. If that and the dinosaur-sized breakfast doesn’t cure your hangover, consult Dr. House. (Jasen Davis)
Happy hour: No happy hour, but Tuesday Night Trivia winners can score free drinks if they answer correctly. DJs call the specials every night, so expect a surprise.
14700 Pipeline Ave., Chino Hills, (909) 597-3304; www.roscoesfamousdeli.com.
ART’S BAR AND GRILL
If Art’s Bar and Grill could speak it might just tell us to get off its lawn—it’s lovably old, cranky and just may be wearing a Life Alert bracelet.
Drink of Choice: Geez, where to start. The liberal pours at Art’s have been stunning liver functions for many moons. Go for the vodka tonics; there’s nothing special about them, except you’ll taste the vodka . . . for days afterwards. In an era of optic-bottles and douche drinks, Art’s still makes ’em stiff. (Bill Gerdes)
Happy hour: No happy hour per se. They claim to be happy all the time.
3357 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 683-9520.
DUKE’S BAR AND GRILL
Built on the figurative ashes of the old Frank’s Place, Duke’s is the most interesting semi-new joint in Riverside.
Drink of Choice: The whisky and Cokes at Duke’s have the potential to turn ordinary humans into rabid beasts. Look around you and half the drunks in this place (and there are scads) have been consuming these deliciously sweet/strong devils. Tread carefully. One whisky and Coke at Duke’s equals happy; more than two and you’ll find yourself getting escorted out forcibly like the poor sad bastard I saw at a recent comedy show here. He was last seen babbling about whisky and bad punch lines outside the Kmart. Enjoy responsibly, my friends. (Bill Gerdes)
Happy hour: Sun, 11am-11pm; Mon-Fri, 4pm-6pm.
3221 Iowa Ave., Riverside, (951) 248-1143.
THE AMIGO ROOM at ACE HOTEL
It may seem a bit hipster here, but what can you expect from Ace Hotel? And we don’t mind being hip.
Drink of Choice: The Amigo Room has a strong collection of brews and a short list of wines, but when you’re in Palm Springs, you order a cocktail—and this bar’s got the menu! They may seem strange at first, but the cocktails at The Amigo Room are nothing short of refreshing and strong! The crowd favorite is The Desert Facial, a mix of muddled cucumber and mint, vodka and pineapple juice. But we recommend the Figa, muddled fig and orange, house-infused fig vodka, fresh OJ and Earl Grey tea. Weird? Don’t knock it ’til you try it! (Lynn Lieu)
Happy hour: Every hour is happy hour—but if you’re looking for a deal, check out Tacos and Tequila Tuesdays.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, (760) 325-9900; www.acehotel.com.
ROCK THE KEYS
For a $10 cover you get a rock-and-roll flavored combination of piano and comedy. The place is always packed with successful 30-something-plus suburbanites, so reservations are suggested.
Drink of Choice: Rock the Keys specializes in unique, themed cocktails with goofy, referential names like my favorite, Rocket Man (an accelerating infusion of Jägermeister and Red Bull), Back in Black and Footloose, all for $8.50. With a dozen unique concoctions to enjoy, there’s something poisonous for everyone. (Jasen Davis)
Happy hour: Varies from evening to evening, depending on performers.
10134 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 987-9322; www.rockthekeys.com.
This family-friendly restaurant serves up a fusion of California, Mexican, Texas and Italian specialties in a classy and refined environment, with exotic cocktails to match.
Drink of Choice: At Tropica, Happy Hour is all about the mixology. It boasts a wide and varied selection that includes $3 domestics, $5 martinis, $4 sangrias and $4 margaritas. The drink of choice for most patrons is the tropical pomegranate martini of vodka, Triple Sec, PAMA and lemon squeeze, at the sweet cost of $5. (Nancy Powell)
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm and Sat-Sun, 3pm-7pm.
11849 Foothill Blvd., Ste. A, Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 481-9500; www.facebook.com/pages/Tropica-Restaurant-And-Bar/224295794314746.
Downtown Redland’s upscale Thai joint offers low-lit ambiance and killer sea bass.
Drink of choice: Settle into the Mutini (get it?) Bar and sample one (or two, or three . . .) of the bar’s 40 vodkas in one (or two, or three) of its trazillion martinis Mu mixes up—they’re all $1 off during the happiest hours of the day. But hey, why not keep it classy. Go for the straight-up Grey Goose dirty martini before heading out to the patio to feel the wind on your face. (Arrissia Owen)
Happy hour: Mon-Fri, 5pm-7pm.
309 W. State St., Redlands, (909) 798-7747; www.mumartini.com.
VIVE TEQUILA LOUNGE AND NIGHTCLUB
It’s the upscale, big occasion club of choice for those seeking to impress, a place where for a magnificent night of disco, ’80s music and the club’s celebrated martinis.
Drink of Choice: For a shop renowned for its martinis, the Tamarindo martini of vodka, fresh tamarind, liquid Chamoy and chili garnish would most definitely take the prize as most original martini in the IE. The price is steep—$10—but the flavor explosion is worth every penny spent. (Nancy Powell)
Happy Hour: Wed-Fri, 6pm-8pm.
184 W. 3rd St., Pomona, (909) 622-2020; www.vivelounge.com.
This newly revamped bar is as lounge-y as it gets while offering a cool atmosphere and a ton of alcohol to boot. Not only does it reside on 135 East Street, but it also boasts the ability to make 135 different drinks!
Drink of Choice: You can get a fruity-tini all you want (and there are plenty to be had), but there aren’t too many sweet drinks like the Chocolate Martini. Experience the unique sweet taste of chocolate mixed with some adult-friendly vodka that might just satisfy any and all sweet cravings. (Ashley Bennett)
Happy hour: Mon-Fri, 3pm-7pm.
135 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 629-8100; www.135east.com.
THE OFFICE SALOON
San Bernardino has a reputation and the Office Saloon does its inebriated best to contribute to it.
Drink of Choice: You’re in Berdoo, and you don’t’ want to let Trudi, Connie, Lacey, Tristan, Kasey, Ashlee and Amanda down, do you? Is there any other choice but tequila and preferably shots? They’ve got a fine selection of imported agave-based spirits, and they mix up a tasty Tequila Sunrise too. And, anyway, one of the lovely ladies will call you a taxi if you overshoot the mark. (Bill Gerdes)
Happy hour: Daily, 4pm-7pm.
123 N. E St., Ste. B, San Bernardino, (909) 884-3088; www.theofficesaloon.com.
As close to Ireland as you’re going to get in the IE, this pub is perfect for getting your grub and your craic on.
Drink of choice: You don’t go to Killarney’s for a cosmo. The pub offers rotating taps and bottles of microbrews from throughout the world, but try your best to man up for a swig of Irish whiskey. Killarney’s offers everything from Bushmills to Connemara Single Malt to Jameson 18. Just don’t be afraid of a little culture clash: the $1 street tacos are bueno. (Arrissia Owen)
Happy hour: Daily, 3pm-6:30pm.
3639 Riverside Plaza Dr., Riverside, (951) 682-2933; 32475 Temecula Pkwy., Temecula, (951) 302-8338; www.killarneys.com.
You have two choices of music at the Brandin‘ Iron Restaurant/Saloon & Dance Hall: country and western. There’s also a mechanical bull and line dancing. Cowboys and bros, kicking it old school, and Willie Nelson is the principal.
Drink of Choice: This is cowboy country, so this is the place for beer and whiskey. Drink specials are around $7, so order a shot of Jack Daniels and a beer that is very, very domestic. (Jasen Davis)
Happy hour: Wednesday night is College Night, with $1 drafts between 7pm to 9pm, and $2 well drinks from 7pm to 11pm. On Thirsty Thursdays, you can buy $1.50 well drinks all night long.
320 S. E St., San Bernardino, (909) 888-7388; www.brandinironsaloon.com.