The Independent’s barfly guide to the happiest hours of all by Hope Rurik and Mary Tutwiler Photos by Robin May
Monday at Cafe Habana City
Monday is for mojitos. Cafe Habana stirs up 2-for-1 mojitos every day from before noon, if you’re needing it, till the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. That’s a two-fisted 10 oz., one for each hand, which will set you back $6. Cafe Habana introduced us to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite drink five years ago, and we’ve been happily idling in the stream of rum ever since. We’re huge fans of its bar food as well. Tostones rellenos, green plantains fried in the shape of small cups, filled with enchilado de camarones — shrimp in a Spanish sauce — is distinctly Cuban, not Mexican. At this point, your soul should be twitching to a Latin beat. Dance classes and drink specials are on Thursdays, to get you ready for Latin Night, Fridays, 10 p.m. till 2 a.m. Happy Hour is all day, every day. Wow.
Tuesday at Tsunami
There’s not necessarily much going on Tuesday nights, but judging from the crowd at Tsunami, discounted sushi and cocktails are a great excuse to look weekend-ready before the week even gets under way. Huddled around huge plates of sushi are business partners and coworkers with ties loosened. Groups of girlfriends laugh and chatter over colorful cocktails and wine at the bar. It’s a rare opportunity for foodies to satisfy pricey sushi cravings when the price is right, which it certainly is: An eight-piece roll and a cocktail weigh in under $10 on Tsunumi Tuesdays.
For its extended happy hour, Tsunami offers 25 percent off all rolls $9 and under, and with its selection, sushi lovers have 17 rolls to choose from. Over the bar a chalkboard suggests the restaurant’s signature cocktails like its blood orange creamsicle martini, $4 during happy hour. Happy Hour 4 to 10 p.m.
Wednesday at Jolie's Louisiana Bistro
All the women sitting on bar stools at Jolie’s look beautiful. It’s just the nature of the place. On a buzzy Wednesday night, when drinks dip to half-price and the Jolie crowd gathers for glasses of bubbly Veuve Clicot for a mere $8, one can imagine another French coquette singing about the night they invented champagne. Jolie’s bartenders love to tint the champers with a drop of flavor, be it the elderflower-scented St. Germaine or a pretty Cassis-colored pink. But there’s more to love than liquor alone. Nightly, inventive bar snacks that incorporate house-made charcuterie run for about $5 — a steal folks, and during Happy Hour all appetizers are half price. That’s enough to make a meal, or at least keep you from swaying on your stool as the evening progresses. Happy Hour 5-9 p.m.
Thursday at The Bulldog
There’s something to be said for weekly rituals, especially if that ritual starts with 2-for-1 drafts and liquor and ends in a free pitcher of beer or a $25 bar tab. That’s what teams of regulars and rivals play trivia for every Thursday night at the Bulldog on General Mouton Avenue. While its location lends itself to a large student following (for the burgers of course), the crowd on trivia nights is a blend of all sorts ready to test their wits and alcohol tolerance.
At 7 p.m., teams are huddled in their respective zones around the bar with a drink and a note pad ready to write down and submit answers to life’s hardest questions: “How many points did Michael Jordan score against the Cavaliers on March 28, 1990, for a career high?” or “What was Toto’s real name?” or “Why does it take so long to get a shot down here?”
Every week, Jason “JT” Thomas is the man at the microphone armed with 10 questions pulled in advance from Trivial Pursuit. Once all answers are in and the points are tallied, the top three teams are announced, with third place receiving nothing more than a pat on the back. Maybe.
Thomas says there are about 15 teams that play every week and, generally, teams “Dadats” and “Beardos” are the ones to beat. For regulars like these, the Bulldog is planning to award a cash prize of $250 for the team averaging the most wins over the course of a few weeks.
After the game, winners and losers alike stay in place as the bar fills for beers, burgers and games on the big screens. Drinkin’ and Thinkin’ 4 to 8 p.m.
Friday at Philippe's Wine Cellar
Philippe Simon has spent the last decade educating Lafayette’s palate. Local wine drinkers know that the Languedoc, heretofore a wasteland of wine, now produces indie garage wines, that good burgundy often has a barnyard nose, and that Sancerre, a wine some of us love the way a trout loves a shady hole in a cold stream, tastes like cat piss, according to Simon.
It takes a lot of sipping and spitting to develop a head for wine, but Simon makes it easier for us by offering free Friday night wine tastings. He takes us around the world, Oregon one week, South Africa the next, flights from a single winery or thoughtfully chosen companionate bottles. Once a month, Simon concedes to the whiskey and beer drinkers, pouring brewskies and single malts, or whatever is au courant in the spirits world.
The gathering is always interesting. Aficionados often bring their own glasses and use the occasion as a way to connect with friends and head out afterward to dinner. Newbies get a chance to taste and learn the lingo. Wines tasted that evening are always discounted, making it a good opportunity to pick up a mixed case of wines you know you like. Best of all is the spirited attention of Simon, who mingles, comments, jokes and cajoles. It pays to get there early, precisely at 5 p.m., because Simon always lays a nice spread of cheeses and charcuterie, which go very fast to first comers. Happy Hour 5-7 p.m.
Saturday at Pete's
Pete’s isn’t really a place people stumble into on accident. It’s set back from Johnston Street, and if not for its marquee, it would be easy to just drive by without noticing. But Pete’s has a loyal following of night owls. Starting at 10:30 p.m., Pete’s has possibly the latest happy hour in Lafayette, where nocturnals and service industry folk can get $2 drafts and $3 wells until 2 a.m.
At Pete’s, there’s pretty much something to fit whatever mood strikes in the middle of the night.
There are high-walled booths for a quiet drink. There are bowling, golf, car and motorcycle racing and shoot ’em up arcade machines lining the better part of the north wall for when the beer sharpens up that competitive edge. There are more than 24 televisions where sports are always on. The burgers, homemade potato chips and fried pickles are served until midnight. Another unique thing about Pete’s:
It’s non-smoking. “It’s like Cheers,” says frequent visitor Steven Laborde. “I walk in the door and they have my drink ready.” Happy Hour 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday at Zea
Zea Rotisserie and Grill brought a combination of class and comfort food to Lafayette. Its all-day drink specials make it easy to slip into a cocktail before noon or at noon or any time.
On Sundays, lunch comes sizzling off the rotisserie. A classic rib and chicken barbecue plate is elevated by Zea’s choice of sauces and rubs: roasted garlic and herb, sweet and spicy chili, hickory, Thai or a Memphis dry rub. Add in the killer grits, sugar snaps and buttered sweet potatoes and you’ve got a traditional meat and three, Zea-style. The drink special Sundays is a sunny Mimosa — what better way to make rise and shine. Happy Hour 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.