Happy hour is a great way to wind down after a long day at work or school, to relax with friends and enjoy a well-deserved drink. While the experience of this on-the-cheap imbibing promotion is great, the hours usually aren't.
Since happy hour is partly intended to bring in customers during weekdays, the time interval in which these specials run tend to fall between 3 and 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. I'm just about always working during these hours, so I usually miss out on all the specials. Even if I allow myself enough time to grab a discounted drink, dealing with traffic just about always makes this a no-go for me.
But happy hour isn't always set by the bar. Thanks to a mobile app called Happy Any Hour, available for both Android and iOS devices, you can create your own happy hour at any participating location. This means no more missing out on drink specials because of long hours or mind-numbing traffic.
Currently, the only participating bars and restaurants are located in New York City and its surrounding areas, so you'll only be able to choose from pubs in East Village, Lower East Side, Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, and Fort Greene.
But, if you love happy hours like I do, install the app and wait until more cities are added. Just don't expect Happy Any Hour to work in Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Utah and other states that ban happy hour promotions for alcoholic drinks.
Sign into Happy Any Hour using an email and password combination or your existing Facebook account.
Through the map, you can view all of the bars that are participating with Happy Any Hour, which show up as green dots. Tap on a location to view the bar's name, its happy hour specials, the times you can select a custom happy hour, and its distance from you.
Underneath the map, you'll find settings for a list view and a filter to choose the location of the bars and its ambience.
Once you find a bar, tap on "Get Happy" to view more details about it: all of its happy hour specials, a short summary about the bar, a description of its vibe, operational hours, location, regular happy hour times, and the happy hour times available only through Happy Any Hour.
When you're ready to start the happy hour, gather up your friends and make your way to the bar before doing anything further on the app. Start the happy hour timer by tapping on "Let's Get Happy," which lasts exactly one hour, and show it to the bartender or host.
For an hour, you and your friends will get to enjoy all the perks of happy hour. When the time runs out, you can obviously continue drinking, but you'll no longer receive happy hour prices.
So far, reviews have been favorable for the service, with many users mentioning that this is not only a great way to save money, but also explore the city and go to bars they would have not discovered otherwise.
As a Los Angeles native, a drinker of alcohol, and an overall lover of saving money, let's hope that this application makes its way to my city and yours in the very near future. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or drop us a line on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.