Happy hour in the Crossroads

By by camille m. doty
Nov. 9, 2011 at 5:09 a.m.

The name "happy hour" should speak for itself.

It's a time to relax, catch up with friends and enjoy a great beverage, especially after work.

Victoria has so many hidden jewels, newcomers, like yours truly, are discovering new places for happy hour, one spot at a time.

Whether you're into soft music, hard rock or sports, there's a little something for everyone.

This week, we feature four hot spots for happy hour - The Forum, The Oak Room, Texas Roadhouse and Greek Bros.

The Victoria Advocate would like to continue to highlight more places, so feel free to send your ideas of where we should go for the next round of liquid happiness to cdoty@vicad.com


Olde Victoria at the Oak Room has a breathtaking view of the city from the 12th floor in One O'Connor Plaza. They offer happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with half-priced margaritas. Some of the appetizers include stuffed mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella and fried shrimp. Freydoun Darschard, one of the owners, said it's not just about the drinks, but the experience.


Greek's 205 on Constitution Street opened the weekend of Bootfest. Owner Blanche Charkalis compared the venue to the atmosphere on Sixth Street in Austin. They offer "Tini Tuesdays" with $2 off martinis all night. Some other beverages are at a reduced price from 4 to 7 p.m. There are some complimentary snacks at the bar. Small-plate dishes, such as paninis, gumbo and oyster shots, range from $2 to $10. Charkalis said the pulled pork panini is "finger-licking good." Blanche's husband, George Charkalis, said he plans to have live piano music. "This place has great downtown potential," he said.


Texas Roadhouse is a place for families and friends to meet. There are peanut shells on the floor and flat screen TVs on the wall, which makes it easy for some down-home fun. They offer early dining from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. To ensure the beer remain chilly, bartenders serve beer in ice-cold mugs during happy hour. Certain entrees, such as the 6-oz. sirloin, pulled pork and chicken critter salads, are $7.99.

Ruben Bermejo, who is a manager and bartender, takes pride in the Jamaican Cowboy drink. The mixed drink contains Malibu rum, peach Schnapps, a splash of their Original Margarita, with orange and pineapple juices. He said their secret ingredients give drinks a special touch.

"You can go to any store for sweet and sour," he said. "But we have a custom blend."`


There are no strangers at Forum Club. This 21-and-older bar has been a local favorite for many years. It's a quaint, cozy spot nestled between Red River and Eisenhower streets. Happy hour gets extended to happy days, with special prices on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesdays through Saturdays, there are specials from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Canned beer is $1.50 and premiums and imports are $2.25. Call drinks and specials are less than $4. There are complimentary snacks at the bar. Any given day you can hear rock, country or hip-hop music playing. At times, local bands, like Slap Jesse, Hit 'n' Run and Bitter Pill, come to entertain on Friday and Saturday nights and once a month, DJ Big Rob comes with a karaoke machine. Owner Paula Newell said regular customers have become friends, and she always embraces newcomers. "It's just a little neighborhood bar, like Cheers, we all know each other," she said.



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