I’m not usually one to drive 25 minutes for discounted drinks. Especially with at least 10 bars in a three-block radius of my downtown apartment that offer great deals. But I was set on expanding my happy-hour horizons, and so I recently found myself heading south down Santa Fe Drive in late rush-hour traffic.

Destination: Leo Goto’s Riverfront, a five-month-old Asian-fusion restaurant located blocks from the quaint Old Town area of Littleton. The interior of the restaurant is sparse, with white walls and 15 or so tables covered in black cloth. After two hours of chatting over more drinks than we had planned to order, a pal and I found Leo’s happy hour to be well worth the effort. And we decided that four reasons will take us back:

1. The deals run late. On weekdays (the only days happy hour is offered) the specials keep going—until 8 p.m., which is perfect for those who work late or who want to wait out the traffic.

2. The service. Restaurants and bars survive or fail on their service, and Leo’s waitstaff stands out. Not only are they friendly and prompt, but our waitress politely stood at our table for what must have been 10 minutes helping us decide what to drink. Mondays mean two-for-one cocktails, but I wasn’t in the mood for the mundane. Which is how my friend and I ended up with Dirty Shirley’s (a grown-up Shirley Temple with vodka) and an improvised mix of white grapefruit juice, vodka, and a splash of soda.

3. The drink specials change. Happy hour always means $6 martinis, $5 cocktails, $4 wells, and $2.50-$3 beers, but there are also daily offerings—and they’re great deals. On Wednesdays, get a pulled pork banh mi and any draft beer for just $10. Or stop by on Friday for a complimentary bottle—yes, bottle—of wine when you order two dinner entrees.

4. If you’re not a party animal or are hoping to avoid the younger crowds at some of the more well-known happy hour spots, Leo’s is for you. It’s not a bar; it’s a restaurant. And while the staff is friendly, they’ll also leave you to your business, letting you chat away even as your glasses sit empty.

2852 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton, 303-865-8500

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.