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Happy hours that provide hours of happiness

An ongoing list of the best places to get cheap drinks and food.

July 05, 2013|By Lisa Dupuy
  • Happy hour at Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. includes Shoestring Fries, bread, Chardonnay, "Cool by the Pool" cocktail, Charuterie plate of salame, soppressata and Saucisson Sec, Stella Artois and sliders. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. The food on the table are:
Happy hour at Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena on Wednesday,… (Tim Berger, Glendale…)

Continuing with my wrap-up of the best Happy Hours in town, this week focuses on the 626 and 323 area codes. There is an overabundance of great Happy Hours in Pasadena, South Pas, Eagle Rock and Highland Park. Here is an incomplete list:

PASADENA

Vertical Wine Bistro

70 N. Raymond Avenue

Tues. to Sat. 4-7 p.m.; all day Sunday

Climb the iron-filigreed stairs topped by a glass domed ceiling reminiscent of Prague to a renovated ballet studio where the ambience is warm and the vibe sophisticated. Fine wines from around the world ($6-$8) go well with a discerning appetizer menu ($5-$10) by chef Laurent Quenioux. Not cheap but a great place to rub elbows with the bourgeoisie.

Reason to come: Gorgeous atmosphere, truffled macaroni & cheese and South African Chardonnay.

Kings Row Gastropub

20 E. Colorado Blvd

Daily 4-7 p.m.; all day Tuesday

The bar stools hold many young, good-lookers but for drinks with friends, head to the tables on the party light-strewn back patio. An inspired craft cocktail and beer menu fit the fun mood.

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Reason to come: Al fresco dining, IPA beer-battered fish & chips ($6), and a Dark & Stormy (like a Moscow Mule but with rum) ($7).

Settebello Pizza

625 E. Colorado Blvd.

Mon. to Fri. 4-6:30 p.m.

Watch the pizzas slide into the fiery oven from your perch at the bar. They're known more for their pies than their cocktails but I can vouch for the quality of their Negronis ($5). They stop Happy Hour early but just in time to catch a 7 p.m. show at the nearby Laemmle.

Reason to come: Best mini-Margherita pizza in town ($5.)

BJ's Restaurant & Brewery

234 E. Colorado

Mon. to Fri. 3-7 p.m. and Sun. to Thurs. 10 p.m.-close

I don't recommend all the food (some tastes previously frozen) and the drinks can be weak. But this new BJ's is housed in the gorgeous old Southwest Savings and Loan with painted ceilings and dramatic chandeliers. And you've got to love any place that has a late night Happy Hour too.

Reason to come: Atmosphere and $4 beer.

Bodega Wine Bar

260 E. Colorado (in the Paseo)

Daily 5-7p.m. and Sun. to Thurs. 10 p.m. to close

An upscale, female-skewed outdoor wine bar with a pleasant breeze and affable service. The food has a Mediterranean bent and the wines are categorized by heft (light to full-bodied). Three dollars are pared off the price of any wine, normally $7-$10 per glass.

Reason to come: Relaxing vibe, fruity Malbec and hummus with warm pita ($5).

Magnolia Lounge

492 S. Lake

Mon. to Sat. 4:30-8 p.m. (until closing on Mondays)

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