Hours of Happy: 5 Spots for Cinq-à-Sept Social Hour in Toronto
Ah, Happy Hour. Is there a double alliteration out there any better than that extra-special HH? I think not. Happy Hour was officially banned in Ontario in the mid-eighties – due to the perception that it encourages over-drinking (a crazed principle, I know). Not until a few years ago was the law amended to allow purveyors of the pour to set 'special' – not 'discounted' – prices on booze for the hounds at different times of the day. All this history is a mere sidebar to what you're really after: some of the best Happy Hour, sorry, Social Hour, sorry Cinq-à-Sept spots in Toronto.
Joy Bistro and Bar
This Queen East spot – it's been around for years – has a weekday Social Hour from 5pm to 7pm. Stop in for $2.50 drinks (bar rail mostly) and a Riverdale crowd mixed with suits and shirts. Bonus: the frites and aioli are pretty rad.
Pravda Vodka Bar
Monday to Friday from 5pm through 7pm – see what I mean about Cinq-à-Sept? – Pravda serves up their famous vodka martinis for $6.15...the regular price is $11. Choose from over 10 martinis as part of this special, then sit back in the Eastern European vibe and let the work day fade away...
When The Bowery opened as a restaurant last summer, things were just heating up for Uniq Lifestyle's latest venue. Soon after serving their first plates, The Bowery opened up its basement concert space and made the leap from mere farm-to-table restaurant to resto/club with a quick switch. They then joined the Cinq-à-Sept crew, offering up daily $5 drink specials and matching daily app discounts.
Yes...this is the clothing store. Lavish&Squalor on Queen West is known for having one of the best selections of indie clothing with a host of local designers. But little known amongst non-regular shoppers is L&S's upstairs 'gallery' space, where Friday night visitors to the shop can head upstairs, have a complimentary cocktail, listen to tunes spun by rotating DJs and just relax at the end of a long week. And yes, L&S does call it Cinq-à-Sept.
Wide Open Bar
Wide Open proudly declares itself a dive bar, and that's just fine by me. It has nightly specials, however Thursday's 'Happy Hour' – which runs from 5pm through 8pm – features $2.50 drinks...any drink you want. No...really. PS Monday nights, they do two-for-one on bevvies. Why the AGCO hasn't hauled over to WOB yet, we'll never know...