Updated: Jan 6
There’s nothing better than kicking back with some friends and having a few libations and appetizers after work, especially when they are on special! The concept of “happy hour” in Albuquerque, typically in the hours of the early evening, has become commonplace to boost bar sales during slower or off-peak times, and it isn’t only a marketing scheme cooked up to try to bolster sales – it comes with a strong connection to America’s modern history!
Happy Hour – A Naval Invention
Happy hour in Albuquerque began in the early 20th century as a way for US sailors to blow off steam and boost morale to combat the monotonies of life at sea through events like live music, dancing, and even boxing matches. Interestingly, happy hour wasn’t initially associated with alcohol at all (notwithstanding the tradition of Grog), as it was mostly about the entertainment, until (you guessed it) the Prohibition Era.
Once again, society picked up on the Navy’s slang (you’d be surprised how many turns of phrase are naval in origin!) for this exciting and enjoyable time and used the term “happy hour” to describe when Prohibition Rebels would slip out to Speak-Easies for a bit of convivial conversation and an illegal beverage prior to going home and settling in. After Prohibition, restaurants, and bars continued using the term to indicate when their drinks (and later food) would be on special to keep this tradition (and help bolster off-peak profits), which is probably one of the reasons that the term ‘happy hour’ has survived so long, even in Albuquerque.
Happy Hour in modern times
Unfortunately, many states have banned this American tradition on what they consider valid grounds, like trying to discourage unhealthy consumption of alcohol. Want some good news? New Mexico considers adults to be adults that are able to choose to drink responsibly, so it ISN’T one of those states. The tradition of happy hour continues in Albuquerque at The Salt Yard (both East and West locations), where you can save money on good food and great drinks, achieving that appropriate ‘happy’ state without a big hit on your wallet. This means that you can come for Happy Hour a few times a week, and still stay within an appropriately designed budget.
The next time that you are out with your friends enjoying your half-priced wings and $3 cocktails, raise a toast in honor of the sailors, bootleggers, and Prohibition rebels that paved the way for your modern happy hour. When looking for a great venue, delicious food, and satisfying drinks, consider The Salt Yard when you want to partake in the American tradition of happy hour in Albuquerque. And remember, even when drinking in honor of tradition, drink responsibly – we look forward to seeing you again and again.