The older we get, the more we tend to rely on happy hours—not as a reduced-price way to pregame before a hardcore evening of drinking, but as a time and cost efficient method of lining our stomachs and working up a decent buzz, before committing to some serious binge-watching on Netflix.
Thankfully, happy hours have come a long way since our barely legal days, evolving past PBR cans, well drinks and Chex Mix, to include dollar oysters, thoughtful bar snacks, and perfectly passable glasses of wine. In fact, if you play your cards right, you can spin early bird forays into completely legitimate, utterly economical meals, especially if your destination is Williamsburg, which—despite being almost exclusively populated by inexhaustible under-30s—is brimming with establishments that gamely pull out all the stops from 4-7 each day.
One of the most notable new happy hour locales is The Federal Bar; a next-door adjunct to the famed, relocated music venue, The Knitting Factory. And whether or not you’re just biding time until one of their 7pm shows, it’s well worth jumpstarting an evening with $3 tall boys, $20 carafes of wine and $6 cocktails (such as the Autumn, made with vodka, St. Germain, cucumber, pineapple and lime), accompanied by ludicrously cheap and filling food—think two for $3 pork rillettes, two for $5 corn dogs (a duo of full-sized lamb merguez links, striped with olive tzatziki and romesco sauce), $6 burgers and $3 sides, including fries, salad, dirty rice and sautéed greens.
Eager beavers will be duly rewarded at Grand Ferry Tavern as well, which offers half-priced oyster platters from 4-6pm, and 11am-12am each day (meaning that the Grand Ferry assortment—featuring twelve oysters, six littleneck clams, four shrimp and a Skipjack cocktail—will only set you back $27.50). And if you’re shrewd enough to stop by on a Wednesday, when they concurrently run their half-off wine promotion (choose anything from the list, such as the organic Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie), you’ll double down on deals, scoring a seafood feast and a bottle of good booze for a scant $50. See, there are some benefits, at least, to being a penny-pinching, early-to-bed adult.
The Federal Bar: 367 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
Grand Ferry Tavern: 229 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg