After a lovely and delicious evening out with a friend, I discovered that I'm no longer a night person. But was I ever? For years, I've been turning in after twelve, thinking a late bedtime meant that I'm a night owl. I was wrong. At midnight in New York, the party is just getting started.
Toward the end of our nibbles and quartinos of wine, the bartender handed us a card and asked if we could stay longer for happy hour, starting in 2.5 hours. We looked at our cell phones; it was 9:30 PM. We read the postcard in disbelief. There it was in big bold letters — "Happy Hour:12am to 4am."
Only a true nighthawk could hang in these wee small hours of the morning. By this time, I'm hitting the hay and getting my best hours of beauty sleep — barring any episodes of insomnia. What happened to the after-work drink hour? Those are still plentiful in New York, and typically discounted times are from 4pm until 7pm, or 8pm until 10pm.
In a city that functions on little to no shuteye and energizes faster than a bunny, this crazy timeframe of alcoholic indulgence isn't so shocking. But I have to stop and ask, "Who goes out for drinks at midnight on a Wednesday?" This seems like the perfect late-hour option for the restaurateur, nurse, or student needing a break from the books, but not for the average New Yorker. Manhattan is a late town, but come on! It's a school night after all.
This 24-hour brasserie's business after midnight might be dwindling. The postcard campaign may be an effort to promote early morning concoctions along with the edible section of the menu past the dinner hour, yet before breakfast. Is the city that never sleeps sleeping more and socializing less? Perhaps just socializing earlier.
Regardless of time or place, $3 draughts, $5 wines and $6 cocktails are a bargain in Manhattan. Soon I may return to my youth, take a disco nap, and attempt to venture out after twelve for a late-night happy hour, followed by an early scramble and a virgin sunrise. I'll leave the tequila to others.
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If you find yourself peckish or in the mood to get happy 'round midnight, give these a try.
352 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea
Half-price food and drinks, Midnight-4am, 7 days
98 Third Avenue, between 12th and 13th Streets in the East Village
Power Hour, $3 Bud/Bud Light draughts--11pm-Midnight, 7 days
344 West 52nd Street in Hell's Kitchen
Sushi Happy Hour Monday-Friday, Midnight-2am
The Anchored Inn
57 Waterbury Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
$4 draughts, $12 burger and beer special, 2am-4am, 7 days
2888 Broadway between 112th and 113th Streets in Morningside Heights
Classic cocktails like a French 75, Negroni, and Cosmo are $7; grilled pizzas are $8. From 11pm-2am, 7 days