Take a picture of this: the 5 o’clock whistle’s about to blow, and you’re set to do the same to whatever taco stand you’ve been slaving at over the past eight hours in L.A.’s perpetually subtropical climate. There’s one question on your mind, and unless you’re in AA, it’s a fair cop to pose it: Where can I go to get a decent drink or blow the froth off a couple cold ones? Fear not, urbane movers ‘n shakers, the downtown area plays host to plenty of post-work rendezvous points, where everyone from business-types to film development big-wigs get their pints pulled or a pinot pour. We’ve compiled one hot handful for this list, all of which reveal perfect places for cacophonous congregation, whether you’re looking to converse with a cadre of contemporaries or just let off some steam about your boss.
1533 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, Calif. 90046
Happy Hour: Nightly Until 10pm
If you’re keen on getting a feel for the great outdoors but not exactly eager to camp outside for a cocktail, this laid-back libation station on La Brea is a place any booze-nippin’ nature boy or girl would happily call home after a hard day at the office. Now based in a space previously occupied by Lava Lounge, The Woods is an indoor architectural marvel. From its deer antler light fixtures to the soft, chocolate-colored leather upholstery of its seating to the tree trunk tabling to the cedar-block décor, it’s a setting that’d fill any Red Riding Hood or howlin’ wolf with a sense of either wonder or nostalgia. Happy hour runs nightly until 10 pm, a choice time frame for folks forced to fight the city’s notorious traffic patterns. As for concoctions, they offer signature cocktails like the mint julep, the Hollow Point Shot, Mr C’s Cucumber Cocktail and more. Other drinks are included in the happy hour fest.
515 W. 7th St. (2nd Fl)
Los Angeles, Calif. 90014
Happy Hour: Daily Until 8pm
Unless you’re an extra strolling the set of Mad Men, it’s a pretty rare sight to see any tie-clipped Los Angeles ad exec quaffing whiskey at the office (that’s why God created desk drawers). But if you want to get a sense of how things were in the old days, when the Don Drapers of the world quietly brokered after-hour deals over two fingers of scotch, then you’ll definitely want to try out this swanky downtown nightspot. Half old school Irish pub and the other half dark-lit punk cigar lounge, Seven G has over 300 high-end whiskeys, rye and bourbon, as well as a dozen ice-cold suds on deck and available for immediate and leisurely consumption. Check out their website for the saloon specials. Beyond that, be sure to get there before 10 pm if you want a seat at the bar; after 11, all’s fair. And a word of warning to shlubs slumming for a quick one: there IS a dress code and it IS enforced. So if you set foot inside wearing a ballcap, shorts, flip-flops or anything baggy, then prepare to have yourself bounced like a used Spalding.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Happy Hour: All night on Monday; Tuesday – Saturday from 5:30pm to 8pm
Not to be confused with the hottest spot north of Havana, the Copa has distinguished itself as a mixologist’s dream by managing to come off both flirty and farm-fresh: they use locally-grown and organic produce both behind the bar and in the booze. Unlike the retro-spin more commonly set to the modern cocktail scene, this ultra-blond and bright-lit bar space doesn’t believe that everything old must be made new again. Rather, it embraces the new aesthetic of alcoholic beverages – girls with wild streaks will love the Moon Goddess (St. Germain, Fresh Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice & Sparkling Wine, Copa Original) while boys with big taste buds will take comfort in not only the draft and bottle beer selection (try the Hofbräu lager), but also the specialty cocktails like the Gold Rush (Bourbon, Honey Syrup & Fresh Lemon Juice). Food is also up for the take including items like grilled panini’s, cheese boards and more. Happy hour menu here.
6255 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 467-9355 6255
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday: 4pm to 8pm, Saturday & Sunday: 5pm to 8pm
Intimate without being insipid, comfortable without being too cool, The Well comes off as both a sexy and sophisticated, thanks to its cozy banquettes and high-walled booths…but when you’re talking about convivial atmosphere, rest assured: The Well is anything but dry. Long hailed for hosting “the best Happy Hour on Sunset,” the staff serves a great happy hour drink menu including well drinks, well martinis, whiskey, flavored tequila, flavored vodka, and specialty cocktails at a discounted price. Plus there’s a wide array taste tidbits available from the bar menu should you feel peckish, and if you arrive early enough, you can have your run of the well-stocked juke, which is likely to play everything from Ella Fitz to Eve 6. Check out the full menu here.
6377 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, Calif. 90028
Happy Hour: 12pm to 7pm
A well-run, no-nonsense nightspot masquerading as a seedy punk dive from the era of Iggy and Sid, this surprisingly clean and jocular joint is devoid of the sort of lean faux-hawked scenesters and posh poseurs who prowl the Day-Glo neon stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. If anything, the crowd is here for the cheer and the cheap eats, both of which are amazingly affordable if not appetizing. For happy hour, enjoy items like a $14 pizza and pitcher combo or $4 whiskeys on Wednesdays from 7pm to close. So if you’ve been freshly spun out of your skyscraper office and are looking to relax in an upbeat and pleasant vibe, their cool, considerate bartenders are at your service. Besides, where else in this lie-down town can you get a shot, a beer and a cigarette (nearly every vice in the world) for only eight bucks?