Right about now we all need a drink. We also need to watch our wallets as we enjoy Mr. Economy’s Wild Ride (right next to Mr. Toad’s at your friendly neighborhood theme park). As you may imagine, many places are sensing this desire and giving us exactly what we want — good deals for happy hour. There are many, many places going out of their way to get your business, so this is clearly a partial list; these are just some of our favorites. So grab your pals after work, find a table at one of these establishments, order drinks and appetizers and commiserate about your woes. I promise this will be the most entertaining complaining you’ve done in a while.
Mijares Mexican Restaurant
There’s nothing complicated here, but we can guarantee you a very good margarita. When you need to drink several kinds of tequila with several friends, this is your spot. Always convivial, Mijares serves no-nonsense food and drink at delightful prices. Monday through Thursday, your delicious margaritas are just $5 — and these are not tiny drinks. Pasadenans know this is the place to go for a drink and some nachos. At the corner of Pasadena Ave. and Palmetto Dr. 145 Palmetto Dr., Pasadena, 626.792.2763.
Pasadena’s most snazzy jazz bar, redwhite+bluezz now serves as a wine shop as well. Happy-hour specials are abundant, but if you can’t stick around, you can still pick up a nice bottle to take home at a surprisingly good price. Technically the happiest time is from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, but many of the drink specials are also available during lunch. Sounds good to us. 70 S. Raymond Ave., Old Pasadena, 626.792.4441.
Scarlet Tea Room
Proof that everyone and their tea-drinking mother is getting in on the happy-hour craze, the lovely Scarlet Tea Room is offering specials on wines, cocktails and sangria (?!). Because nothing goes better with a scone than sangria. Tuesday through Friday until 6 p.m. it’s 50% off all cocktails, beer, sangria and wine by the glass. Wow. Scarlett has also added live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, so that might explain why you’ll see people packed in a tea room far past the traditional hours for high tea. 18 W. Green St., Old Pasadena, 626.577.0051.
McCormick & Schmick’s
Its woodwork and plants give it an ’80s Cheers kind of look, and its bargain happy-hour menu gives McCormick & Schmick’s a steady clientele of business people and friends meeting after word or after a movie — the deals appear from 3:30 to 6:30 on weekdays, and every night but Sunday from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Dishes range from a $1.95 bruschetta to a $2.95 cheeseburger to a $4.95 blackened-shrimp pizza. Some drinks are discounted, too. There’s a reason this happy hour has won Pasadena Weekly‘s Best award more than once. 111 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, 626.405.0064.
This one is for your classy friends. Atmospheric to an almost absurd degree, Magnolia uses its speakeasy pedigree (because nowadays bootlegging sounds cool) to attract a swanky crowd in need of legal drinks. From Tuesday through Saturday, happy hour goes from 4:30 to 7 p.m. — but on Sunday and Monday, happy hour lasts all night. Every day brings different specials — for instance, Tuesday is $5 well drinks and $3 to $4 off food. Time to get your drink on. 492 South Lake Ave., Pasadena, 626.584.1126.