When I considered moving to Denver from Boulder, where I had lived for four years, I told myself I’d return often to visit great friends and run the Open Space trails I enjoyed so much.

But I quickly settled into my Denver zip code, fully embracing my bigger-city life and almost always opting to further explore it rather than fight traffic back to the People’s Republic. Luckily, a Boulder friend offered to help plan the details of my upcoming wedding recently, giving me a good excuse to schedule a few nights out in my former hometown.

We booked one of those planning sessions at Laudisio, a favorite previous haunt. Working on appearances, it’s an unlikely choice for both of us. It resides in the Twenty-Ninth Street Mall, and it looks more like a chain than the out-of-the-way drinkin’ holes we tend to prefer.

But inside, it offers everything we’re looking for, including an almost exclusively young, professional crowd (as opposed to packs of students).

We always enjoyed Laudisio’s discounted house wines, but the happy hour menu has grown considerably, including plenty of $3-$4 appetizers. We asked the bartender to make us a “fruity” martini while they were on special for $5, and we snacked on the golden-fried zucchini before settling on a cabaret show for my upcoming bachelorette party.

The best news? For those of us Denverites beating traffic, the happy hour runs until 7:30 p.m. — which also gave my friend and I plenty of time to catch up without breaking our budgets.

Happy hour runs seven days a week, from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

Martinis are $5, wells are $4, house Bloody Marys are $4.25, house red and white wines are $4.25, and select drafts are $3.50.

Select pizzas are $4.75, and other appetizers range from $1.50 to $4.25.

1710 29th St., #1076, 303-442-1300