As members of the nine-to-five [Ed. note: ten-to-six!] New York City workforce, we are beholden to the power of Happy Hour. We schlep to work every morning both tired and bleary-eyed, whether it be amid the ice and dreariness of winter or the sluggish humidity of summer, and at the end of the day we almost always desire a drink. Most happy hours are unremarkable—we go to certain bars to drink beer in the company of friends or semi-tolerable colleagues and more often than not, the venue rarely stands out as memorable.
But every once in a blue while, there is a happy hour to slay all happy hours, and the time-slot between 5:00-7:30 pm weekdays at Rye in Williamsburg is one such earth-shattering occasion. There are two very simple reasons for this, and they both cost five dollars. Cheeseburgers and old fashioneds do not usually tip the scales at under eight dollars, and most of what you’d find at that low price would be a bargain your tastebuds might not thank you for; but Rye serves both these items at their very best for a price worthy of your middle school allowance.
Lets start with the cheeseburger: It’s a slider, but don’t despair! It comes with two patties and it’s rich, gooey and packed with all the charcoal-goodness you’d expect from a dimly lighted place like Rye. The old fashioned is as simple, tart and strong as your grandfather enjoyed in the years prior to the drink’s resurgence (probably due to Mad Men), and at its modest price point, they offer a reason to flirt with serious intoxication before 8pm.
This isn’t a deal to pass up or overlook. If you work in midtown, you might be more accustomed to the concept of happy hour* (asterisk intentional), where faux-Irish pubs serve pints of Guinness for six dollars. While it isn’t Paddy McSwiggin’s fault for charging you such a calamitous price, it is certainly yours for frequenting such an establishment.
So why not make the trip to this quiet spot when you clock out? If the bar and surrounding tables at Rye proper are jam-packed once you arrive, there’s always The Bar Below Rye, which is literally a basement bar beneath the restaurant that makes for some intimate, chilled-out vibes.
Rye is located at 247 S. 1st Street, Williamsburg, 11211
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