You find yourself at the same barstool each week. Sure, you've thought about checking out another happy hour, but when it comes down to it, your gut wrenches with the feeling that it'd be the ultimate act of betrayal against your surrogate bar family. Besides, what if the new bar was a let down?
Chef John Lewis made it his personal quest to be your resource happy hour in downtown Dunedin. He's comparing hours, pricing, and the four main components of a good Happy Hour experience: bartender, ambience, friendly atmosphere and social network. Join Chef John's Happy Hour Club here each week and journey with him through the downtown bars in search of the perfect happy hour.
After an exhaustive survey of almost 20 bars in the downtown area of Dunedin, I found that not all “Happy Hours” are the same.
There are differences in price, amenities and food or snack offerings as well as different hours for Happy Hour depending upon the business.
Most of us frequent a particular bar for one or more of the following four reasons: the bartender, ambience, a friendly atmosphere and it's where our friends hang out.
People usually describe a great bartender as having an infectious personality, remembers what we like to drink and attentive to our needs (like when we need refills!). Ambience covers such things as decor, cleanliness, comfortable seating and views. Friendly atmosphere covers whether or not the place has a “happy vibe.” We also like to go where our friends gather and enjoy good conversations, or in other words, the socializing aspect.
However, when it comes to Happy Hour, price is also important! Regular patrons of Happy Hour and especially our winter visitors are very aware of prices for mixed drinks, wine and beer. Let’s call them value conscious.
Some of these frequent customers are also aware of the amount of the pour for beer and wine. Bar owners should not underestimate the sensitivity of their customers to pricing issues. Regular patrons of Happy Hour have big mouths and tell all their friends what they think!
The hours for Happy Hour in Dunedin vary greatly also. Many are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week, but others have all-day specials on certain days of the week. I'll take a closer look at those times, too.
Join me here each week for a closer look at a different happy hour! At the end of our journey, I'll share my favorites in each category.
Next Thursday, Chef John visits Bauser's. Check out the bar before next week's column and you can share your assessment with "The Happy Hour Club."