The Happiest Hour
Hard Rock Cafe
Description: Located in downtown Seattle, the Hard Rock Cafe is a vast and corporate terrain littered with rock-and-roll artifacts, including dozens of glass-encased guitars, Jimi Hendrix's purse, and a handwritten letter by Courtney Love that's too traipsing and deranged to read.
Unexpected bonus: It's thronging with interesting people. A Muay Thai boxer explains his kicking technique (connect with the shin, not the foot). An Illinois man is still dazzled by his hometown's museum of barbed wire: "There's at least 10 different kinds." A psychic bartender suddenly emits a bonanza of facts: "You're from the Midwest, you grew up with horses."
Fair warning: The company policies are punitive and bewildering. For instance: Outside of happy hour, a Bud Light with tax costs $5.16 and arrives in a plastic cup. And there's a lovely rooftop lounge that the managers sporadically leave closed, even on the sunniest of Wednesday afternoons. Why? "Because nothing makes sense here!" an employee says, laughing emptily.
Happy hours: Mon–Fri 3–6 pm.
Happy-hour drink specials: $3.30–$4.40 drafts (Full Sail IPA, Mac & Jack's), $4.68 wells, $4.50–$6.05 Washington wine.
Happy-hour food specials: Half-price appetizers, including $6.75 chicken lettuce wraps, $5.13 balsamic tomato bruschetta.