DARLINGTON COLUMN: 'Happy hour' deals help you eat well for less money

I think “happy hour” is one of the most appropriately named events, especially if we're talking about the deals at Charleston's restaurants. Cold drinks, gourmet food and a scenic setting all for a discounted price? If that doesn't make for an hour of happiness, I don't know what could.

Even if you're not a drinker, you can take advantage of these deals around Charleston to eat gourmet food for less almost every night of the week. I've listed only a few popular places, so be sure to ask the restaurants in your neighborhood for their happy hour specials.

We asked our Facebook friends to give us suggestions, and Virginie Rivalain Broth of West Ashley pointed us to her favorite happy hour spot, Water's Edge in Mount Pleasant.

“They have the best food ... and the best view, too,” she said.

The open-air patio is on Shem Creek, so the ambience is perfect for winding down after a long day. From 4-7 p.m. weekdays, you can drink domestic beers for $1.50 each and house cocktails for $2.50 each. Plus, items on the bar menu, such as fried calamari or crab dip, are half-price.

Another happy hour spot with good seafood is Pearlz, which has locations downtown on East Bay Street and in West Ashley's Avondale area. On weekdays from 4-7 p.m., you can get house liquor and local draft beer for $2.50, martinis for $5 and glasses of champagne for $3. The bar menu offers a variety of small plates, with corn fritters for $2, mahi-mahi tacos for $6 and a half-dozen oysters for $6.

At Social Restaurant + Wine Bar downtown, everything on the special menu during happy hour is $4, and it's available 4-7 p.m. weekdays. Small plates include blue cheese potato chips, jasmine rice balls, margherita pizza, bruschetta and shrimp spring rolls. Drink specials include house wines, select beers and premium well liquors.

If you want a happy hour with pub food and cheap beer, head to the Tattooed Moose on Morrison Drive. Happy hour is 4-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and features deals like 50-cent Buffalo wings, $2 duck fat fries and $2.50 corn dog baskets. Drink specials include $2 domestic beer, $10 buckets of Moosehead beer, $4 shots and $6 Miller High Life pitchers. On Tuesdays, craft beer is $1 cheaper, and there's free live music.

Happy hour at Barsa Tapas, Lounge and Bar downtown is 4-7 p.m. every day (even weekends). House liquor is $3, cocktails are $5, wine is $2 off and beer is $1 off. The best deal, though, is probably the half-price paella, which is a Spanish rice dish. Plus, you can stay after happy hour on Thursdays to catch some free live jazz until 10 p.m.



Reach Abigail Darlington at charlestonsavvyshopper@postandcourier.com. See local daily deals at charlestonsavvyshopper.com.

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