Top Five RVA Happy Hours

by Rebecca Frankel

All day long you’ve been sitting in class, doing homework, or trying to absorb the world’s most confusing textbook in time for a nasty exam. Now it’s four o’clock and you are ready to kick back and grab a drink and a bite at a local bar. But how do you decide where to go for happy hour when there are just so many local bars to choose from? It’s overwhelming! You shouldn’t have to deal with these kinds of decisions! Luckily, I have done that for you. This writer braved the frigid weather, trekking around Richmond, slipping on ice and damaging her liver to find her top five happy hour spots.

821 Cafe
Located at the corner of West Cary & Cherry St., this restaurant is conveniently close to campus. It’s a cozy environment and the food is always hearty and delicious. At happy hour, I suggest sitting at the bar stool with a friend. It’s quiet enough to carry a conversation and the people who work there are quite friendly if you start talking to them. They have food specials starting at 5PM, something different for everyday of the week.
Monday they have $2 glasses of bourbon, $2 burger sliders, and $2 vegan sloppy joes. I was hitting that deal up a lot towards the end of last semester when I had run out of meal blocks.
Tuesday they offer Brinner, breakfast for dinner and they also have $3.50 mimosas. The food is priced the same as usual, but a tall glass of mimosa for only $3.50 was pretty great.
Wednesday is Taco Night and they offer $3 margaritas.
On Thirsty Thursday they offer happy hour all day long with $3.50 rails and pints.
Friday they have something called Kate’s Plates in which Kate makes something different every week. The prices for these plates vary.
Saturday is Can Cookout in which they sell hot dogs and $3 canned beers.
On Dirty South Sunday, they offer southern classics like fried chicken, grits, ect. It varies week by week.

2. Strange Matter
If you are looking for a place that will make you feel really cool, go to Strange Matter. Most nights there is a cover charge as some punk band is always sure to be playing there. I managed to get in without paying anything, as I told the guy that was checking IDs that my friend and I were merely there for food. Let me tell you, don’t expect to have a great conversation at the bar if you are at Strange Matter, as it is extremely loud. But it more than makes up for it with amazingly fun videogame inspired wall art, neon lights, arcade games, and thunderous music. They offer:
$1 off drafts and $2 rails.
½ off burgers on Tuesdays from 5-10 PM.
I ordered myself a black bean burger for $3.50 and added avocado for a dollar more. It was seriously so good. I had never tried a black bean burger before so I was unsure what to expect, but I loved it. It was a large burger too, so that was a good deal. So I sat back, ate my burger and enjoyed feeling the thump of the music and watching all the interesting looking people.

3. On the Rox
On the Rox, located on N. 18th Street in Shockoe Bottom, is a bar and restaurant with a nice, open area. It has a classy sports bar feel. It’s also right across from the alternative club Fallout, so you could start happy hour there and then head across the street for some dancing.They offer:
½ off everything except top shelf liquor and 750mL bottles of beer.
Mondays-Fridays starters are ½ off from 4-6 PM, and from
Mondays- Fridays 6-7 PM there is free bacon. What more could you want?
On Tuesdays $5 angus burgers all night.
4. Tobacco Company Restaurant
This is the place to go when you want to be a class act with your friends. It is in Shockoe Bottom on E Cary St. and is really swanky.
From 3-7 PM they offer ½ off martinis, rail drinks, and beer.
From 5-6 PM, they offer ½ off their oyster sliders, T.C. Burger, Fried Yellow Tomatoes, and their Virginia BBQ Bruschetta.
I love going to happy hours at nice places like the Tobacco Company Restaurant, because it allows me to try food I normally can not afford.

5. Sticky Rice
Located in the fan on W Main Street, Sticky Rice is such a fun place to go as a VCU student. They have Tuesday karaoke night, Wednesday bingo, DJs on the weekends, and trivia night on Sundays. They also have happy hour all week long from 5-6 PM. It’s only for one hour so make sure you get there on time.
They have $1 PBRs, but I’d personally take advantage of the ½ off house sake.
They also offer ½ off edamame, miso soup, side tots, and sticky balls.
This isn’t technically a happy hour, but on Monday nights from 10:30 PM to 12:30 AM they have Sushi Heaven in which their sushi is ½ off!

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