Happy Hour of the Week: Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill

January 2010
Some people refer to St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve as "amateur drinking nights." And I've found some validity in that sentiment. On those holidays, most of my favorite bars are suddenly filled with a new crowd ordering Jäger shots, and unsavory liquids tend to be expelled inside public transportation vehicles at the end of the night. Happy hour also has a tendency to attract loud crowds of people who come to slurp down cheap drinks, generally leaving the bar a much quieter and more manageable place by 7 p.m. My visit to Charlie Brown's happy hour last week was a welcome relief on a day I didn't feel equipped to handle a boisterous atmosphere. I've always loved Charlie Brown's for its beat-poet history, but I also appreciate walking into a quiet, dark bar at 5 p.m. and noticing that everyone is generations older than me and either talking quietly or reading. The bartender informed me that domestic beers were two-for-one. I opted in, and she matter-of-factly opened two Coors and set them in front of me. After finishing the second one, I looked around to see that the happy hour had attracted a few more people, and that the heated patio had filled with smokers. The piano player took her seat, and a few regulars sidled up to have drinks alongside the piano. That's when I realized it was the right type of "happy" for this hour, a contained relaxation after a long day, a place where you can hear yourself breathe. Charlie Brown's happy hour runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. seven days a week. The first round of domestic beers, wells, and house wines are two-for-one. The earlier happy hour on Friday also includes free hot wings. 980 Grant St., 303-860-1655