Happy Hour, where?

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The-Prohibition-Era-39-HotelI hope you don’t think by this title that I was going to tell you where the best happy hours in town are! Even if I did it would of course be at Amazing Grapes! Anyways…I thought it would be kind of fun to talk about where in the heck the term “happy hour” came from! I was actually shocked myself when I researched it, so I’d like to share my knowledge with you.

According to the web (oh the famous place of knowledge), the term “happy hour” comes from the sailors in the United States Navy circa 1920’s. In this era, they used the term to describe the period of time during the day scheduled for entertainment. Sailors would use this time to relive the stresses of their lives on ships by consuming a few drinks and watching boxing or wrestling matches. Some of the sailors would participate in these matches as a way to relax their minds of the sea-life. “Happy” was the word they referred to as the feeling they got during this free time and the state of mind they entered after a few drinks.

As for the United States citizens back on land, they had to get their alcohol illegally as Prohibition was in full effect during this era. Renegade drinkers now had to find their alcohol illegally, and the most popular of places were at speakeasies (an illegal drinking establishment). For many people, the best time to go to a speakeasy was in the afternoon just before dinner. The fact that people could not get alcohol with their dinner anymore enticed individuals to stop in and have moonshine before a meal. Some people made this a ritual which thus, paved the way for future generations to enjoy happy hours as we know them today.

But how did this term become popular? It wasn’t a household expression until the 1960’s. What changed this was a 1959 article about the military that featured in The Saturday Evening Post, which described the sailor entertainment period which was dubbed as “happy hour”.

Not long after the mainstream media picked up on this term, bars and restaurants started to feature these specialty hours on certain days. But, like all new things, there was a backlash in the 1980’s. There were issues with happy hours because many thought drunken driving would increase due to the low priced drinks being offered early in the day.

Because of the scare of drunk driving and binge drinking from happy hour, many states in the U.S. today have regulations against happy hour. For example, Massachusetts was one of the first states to implement a state-wide ban on happy hours in 1984. Also in 1984, the U.S. military abolished happy hours at military base clubs. In 2011 the Utah State Legislature passed a ban on happy hours that went into effect on January 1st, 2012.

On the brighter side, Pennsylvania extended the period of time for happy hour from two hours to four hours in July 2011. And in June 2012, happy hour became legal in Kansas after aindex 26 year ban!

Pretty interesting stuff, I know! With that said I hope you know about our great happy hours! They are from 4-6pm Wednesday through Saturday. What’s unique is that we welcomed happy hour on a Saturday, which not many people do; so it’s more of a reason for you to come on down and enjoy $5 starters, select glasses of wine and draft beers and no corkage fees! But, please drink responsibly!

Until then, “Surely, it’s 5:00 somewhere…” ~ anonymous