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The History of Happy Hour

Who doesn’t love a good happy hour? A long-standing tradition that’s been a part of being social for generations. The history of happy hour is full of thirst-quenching stories, ranging from its origins in the 19th-century Navy ships to more familiar tales from dive bars across America. Here at Schmitty’s TimeOut Tavern, we want to share a bit of this history with you. From pirate lore to modern trends, everyone can find something special at happy hour, especially when you’re enjoying happy hour at the TimeOut Tavern in La Crescent.

What is Happy Hour and Where did it Come From?

Who doesn’t love kicking back with a cold drink after a long day? That’s where happy hour comes in! A beloved tradition that dates back to the early 1900s when the Navy introduced a scheduled period of physical activity and entertainment on ships to boost morale. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that happy hour started to become synonymous with discounted drinks at bars and restaurants. These days, happy hour is the perfect excuse to gather with friends and coworkers to enjoy some tasty snacks and libations and forget about the stresses of the day. Is it 4 o’clock yet?

TimeOut Tavern man with beer

How Happy Hour Became Popular

As the minutes of the afternoon tick away, that anticipation grows for your after-work plans. A time to unwind with friends and raise our glasses to great deals on drinks and apps. But have you ever wondered how happy hour became so popular? Well, let’s take a walk down memory lane to the 1920s when Prohibition was in full swing. It was a time when a bunch of folks gathered in secret spots to enjoy some boozy drinks past the threshold of “legal” hours. Fast forward to today, and happy hour is an intrinsic part of our social lives - a time to relax, kick back and enjoy some adult beverages.

Happy Hours Around the World

Happy hour isn’t strictly an American thing. You’ll find different types of happy hours in many places around the world. In Spain, they have “La Hora Feliz” which translates to “the happy hour” where they serve tapas along with discounted drinks. In Brazil, “Chopp Time” is a popular happy hour where you can get discounted chopp, which is draft beer served in a smaller glass. In Japan, “Nomihoudai” means “all you can drink,” where you pay a flat fee for unlimited drinks during happy hour. It’s good to know other cultures like to have a good time.

TimeOut Tavern beer taps at bar

The Stories

A part of what makes happy hour so happy is the stories. Whether it’s stories the bartender has to offer or the fella on the barstool next to you, there’s always something entertaining coming along with the next round. A friendly atmosphere and a good time are key components of a great happy hour. As for some great stories, that’s the cherry on top of the mixer.

The Eats

Happy hour is also a great time to indulge in some delicious food. From popcorn to pub fare and sophisticated plates, happy hour always seems to have something munchable within arms reach. Here at the TimeOut Tavern, check out our starters for some tasty eats. Our Ruben Rolls are always a favorite, as are our Tavern Pretzels, served with beer cheese and stone ground mustard. When there’s food and drinks, it’s hard not to be happy!

Happy Hour at the TimeOut Tavern

Shake up your routine with a stop at Schmitty’s TimeOut Tavern in La Crescent, Minnesota for our happy hour! Monday to Friday from 4-6, get 2-4-1 domestic bottles, wine, and single-shot rail drinks. And if you’re hungry, you’ll find just what you’re looking for on our menu. This concludes our little lesson on the history of happy hour. If you’re like us, you learn better by doing - so drop by the TimeOut Tavern, can’t wait to see you!


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