1221 E Madison St, 206-324-2854
Wander into Pony before The World's Tiniest Tea Dance every Sunday at 4 p.m., and you may have the place to yourself; it can be a bit quiet in the early afternoon, so it's perfect for casual conversation, a low-pressure date, or reading a book if you simply must. Happy hour runs until 8 p.m. every day and all night on Wednesdays—you'll get $4 tall wells and microbrews, $2 Busch drafts, $2.50 Bud Light microbrews, and $7 pitchers. That pitcher deal is not to be missed, and neither is Go-Go James when he gets on the pole. Plus, there's a patio.
1021 E Pike St, 206-324-9210
You can also pick up some food down the street at Wildrose, and if you're lucky, you might catch the eye of a lovely ladyfriend. This is Seattle's only lesbian bar. Every drink is a dollar off from 3 to 7 p.m. every day. Pop by midweek for Taco Tuesdays, if you know what I mean. (Beef or bean tacos are $1, chicken are $2.)
619 E Pine St, 206-322-8828
R Place is a perfect place to meet and mingle. Or, if you've made life choices similar to mine, a perfect place to sit alone and listen to podcasts about Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are three floors, with dancing and performances on the top floor at night. But during daylight hours, R Place keeps the music at a conversational level, saving you from having to pack your own earplugs, and they offer $3 domestic drafts from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and all day Sunday.
314 E Pike St, 206-621-7591
Sidle on down the hill to the Eagle for $3 Goose Island IPA, offered every day until 8 p.m. You can also get Bud Light and Rolling Rock for $4, and well cocktails from $4 (or $6 for a double). There is nothing stranger than being at the Eagle during daylight hours—somehow it feels like it should be shrouded in perpetual dark, like a Gotham City where Batman suggestively rubs Burt Ward's package in a shadowy corner. It makes a squeaky noise.
1413 14th Ave, 206-322-1080
Hands-down, this is my favorite happy hour. Definitely get to know this bear bar during daylight hours, when you can appreciate the soft sunlight pouring in through the skylight. (Night owls, did you know this place even HAD a skylight?) Weekend happy hour goes from noon to 5 p.m., and you can get $4 double well drinks (those are the ones made with the cheapest booze), $1 off draft beers (the ones that come out of a keg), and $1 off tall beverages (cocktails served in a bigger glass with more mixer). During the week, happy hour runs from 2 to 7 p.m., and you can get $5 food specials: nachos, mozzarella sticks, quesadillas, and the chicken strips are the best. You're in good hands when Tim's working the bar. The last afternoon I was there, a group of bears was celebrating someone's birthday and gave everyone in the bar Hello Kitty pinkie rings, so I'm not convinced this bar isn't an enchanted fairy glen.
1701 E Olive Way, 206-726-0565
Just call it "CC's." I love CC's—it's the first place I hit when I'm going out, and the fetish nights (first Saturday of the month) are a solid don't-miss—but it is an institution not without the occasional surprise. You may not know what you'll find there until you arrive in person, but you can be assured that whatever it is will be good. As of this writing, happy hour goes until 8 p.m. every day and 6 p.m. on Sundays. Double wells are $5 and domestic drafts are $2.25—a steal! Their advertised hours of operation indicate that doors open at 2 p.m. on weekends, but I know I've stopped by to grab a comfort-food brunch around noon.
1533 13th Ave, 206-323-1525
Do not call the Cuff to ask about happy hour, lest you suffer the same fate I did: "I don't have time to go into every single detail with you," said a man on the phone before hanging up. Because they are so busy there at the Cuff, you may want to bone up on the menu ahead of time. Happy hour runs from 2 to 8 p.m. every day, with mysteriously named "shot specials." There are also occasional specials like $2 PBRs and $5.50 domestic pitchers to go with the leather on the patio, the revelers on the dance floor, and the sportsball on the TV screens.
5401 California Ave SW, 206-937-1540
Not to worry, gay dads, there's a bar just down the street from you in West Seattle. Outwest's happy hour couldn't be simpler: It's from 4 to 7 p.m. every day, and you can take $1 off well drinks, draft beers, and house wines. Wines! Wines in the happy hour! Enjoy your rum and coke, kids, I'm having WINE.
2103 N 45th St, 206-545-8363
Rumor tells of a land across the sea, reachable only by climbing inside of a sea creature and then releasing a modicum of snuff so that you are ejected from his blowhole into a region known only as "Wallingford." If such a place exists, surely the happy hours would be something like $3 single wells and $5 doubles every day from noon until 7 p.m. And perhaps while traveling this realm, you might encounter the mythical "super happy hour" from 4 to 7 p.m., during which single wells are $1.75 and doubles are $3.50. But such wonders could not possibly be, could they? No, surely not, though the folly of it all surely won't stop feckless adventurers from venturing into the great unknown North, returning as poor pathetic madmen who gibber about a "green lake" and trolls under bridges. Also, there's karaoke on Sunday and Wednesday.