The Weekender Sign up

Know what's happening with our weekly newsletter. Enter your email. Start knowing things!

About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. By day, she is an online content producer for and the Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

Send an email | Read more from Susan

Things to do This week

Posted: November 7, 2013

Happy Hour: 22 places for deals on drinks in Portland

Written by: Susan Axelrod - staff writer -

Shutterstock photo

The origins of “Happy Hour — like so much of drinking history — are a little fuzzy. The term was coined on board U.S. Navy ships in the 1920s; it was how sailors referenced scheduled recreation, when they were allowed to box or wrestle to let off steam.

At about the same time, Prohibition helped launch the practice of drinking cocktails before dinner. Since restaurants couldn’t serve alcohol, “cocktail hour” at an illegal speakeasy (or bathtub gin shaken into martinis at home) became the way to jump start the evening.

It wasn’t until the “Mad Men” era that Happy Hour took on its current meaning — a time to loosen ties and unwind at a friendly watering hole after a long day at the office. Of course, Happy Hours are also synonymous with reduced prices on drinks and food, appealing to those whose day never even includes an office, or a tie.

Whether you’re an artist or an accountant, here are 22 places to kick back, relax and get happy on the Portland peninsula. No boxing or wrestling, please.

Old Port

Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room

86 Commercial St. (Custom House Wharf)
Dining room and bar: 4-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Oyster Room: 9-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 p.m.-midnight Fri & Sat.
5-3-5 Happy Hour includes $5 cocktail specials, $3 draft beers, house wines and prosecco; $5 flatbreads

DiMillo’s on the Water

25 Long Wharf
4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
$1 off all alcoholic drinks and large list of $5 appetizers

Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

75 Market St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Food and cocktail specials

Ri Ra Irish Pub

72 Commercial St.
4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Half-price appetizers


10 Cotton St.
3-7 p.m. daily
Bar food specials (wings, burgers, etc.)

The Corner Room

110 Exchange St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Complimentary antipasto offered with drinks; $3 house red/white wines and prosecco; $3 draft beers

The Grill Room

84 Exchange St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
All 12 draft beers, wines by the glass and bar snacks are $3

The North Point

35 Silver St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
$4 wines-by-the-glass and $3 draft beers

The Salt Exchange

245 Commercial St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Half-price appetizers, beer wine and cocktails

The Thirsty Pig

37 Exchange St.
4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Shipyard drafts $2.50/pint

Vignola Cinque Terre

10 Dana St.
5-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
“Wine Hour:” all wines on the list half-price


505 Fore St.
4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close daily
Half-price on all appetizers, including guacamole; $2 off specialty margaritas



22 Monument Square
3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
$3 draft beers; $5 martinis; $3 cocktails and wines by the glass, plus specially priced appetizers

MJ’s Wine Bar

One City Center
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
$5 wines-by-the-glass

West End

Hot Suppa

703 Congress St.
4-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
All drinks $1 off; $1 oysters; other bar snacks $4-$6

Little Tap House

106 High St.
4-7 p.m. daily
Bar & Barrel (small plate with a beer) specials announced daily on Facebook; $3 glasses of house wine, $3 well cocktails

Local 188

685 Congress St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday
$4 tapas; Allagash white $3; housemade Fresca cocktails $5; wine $4 glass/$16 bottle

Pai Men Miyake

188 State St.
4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30-midnight daily
10-oz hot or cold sake for $5; $4 well cocktails; $4 draft beer and house red or white wine $3 Kirin Ichiban; $2 Narragansett

Petite Jacqueline

190 State St.
11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Half-price glasses of wine and draft beer


Portland & Rochester Public House

118 Preble St.
3-5 p.m. daily
$3 wines, draft beer specials; $5 cocktails; $2 oysters

Munjoy Hill

Blue Spoon

89 Congress St.
4:30-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
“Wine Time:” one red and one white offered at $2.50/glass; small bites menu

The Snug

223 Congress St.
5-7 p.m. daily
All drafts $3 (except for Guinness), well drinks and Guinness drafts $4

// Comments

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use

comments powered by Disqus