A Brief History of Happy Hour

Anyone who frequents bars knows about Happy Hour, that time, usually between 4 and 7 p.m., where drink prices are slashed and people gather after work to have a good time and some good cocktails. We’ve taken for granted the fact that it is there, and seems to have always been there. But its history doesn’t actually stretch back as far as you may think.

Happy Hour started sometime in the 1920s. The term was coined in the U.S. Navy to signify the time period when on-ship entertainment was performed, usually in the form of wrestling or boxing matches. Reportedly, alcohol was served during these times so that sailors could have a chance to cut loose a little bit after being at sea for extended periods of time.

When Prohibition was enacted in 1919, people gathered to drink illegally in places known as speakeasies. People working in these establishments attached a different meaning to the term. They referred to it as the time during the day when people would show up to drink before going to restaurants that complied with the law and didn’t serve alcohol.Browse around this website: Jakers

Happy Hour started gaining even more popularity during the 1960s, when an article in the Saturday Evening Post referenced the coining of the term by the Navy. As a result, restaurants and bars across the country started using the concept to advertise drink specials before dinner service. The purpose was to sell more alcohol during these traditionally slow periods of the day. Since liquor profit margins are a great deal higher than those of food, bar and restaurant owners shrewdly marketed Happy Hour to boost their bottom line.

The concept has come to mean a time of day where people can get together at the end of a workday to relieve some stress and socialize. Just about every tavern and restaurant in the company has some sort of time during the late afternoon and early evening where they offer steep discounts on alcohol. Starting in the 1970s, a lot of bars added buffets during this time of day featuring snack-type foods for their patrons. Chicken wings, fries, tacos and quesadillas are some of the more popular types of fare.

Serving food during this time is also a good idea because it slows the absorption of alcohol a bit. There are a lot of people who believe the introduction of buffets during this time of day was in reaction to tougher drunk driving laws being enacted and enforced.