Happy hour tour: Where to find discount drinks and snacks on Petaluma’s west side

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This is the third in a four-part series exploring happy hour across the city. Look for the “related stories box” in the text for more neighborhoods.

Happy hour is a time to shake off the day and enjoy bites and drinks at a discount. In this second story, we look at many of the options on the west side/downtown corridor and the southern section of the city.

West side (downtown)

The heaviest concentration of happy hours happens downtown, our restaurant cornerstone, where one can visit several in an afternoon, as they do across the globe. In the Basque Country (northern Spain/southern France), many dine at bars, grabbing one or two pintxos and a short pour of beer, cider or green wine for about $5, before moving on to the next bar. Each bar competes with the next to offer the most creative and delicious pintxos, which loosely translates to “small meals” unlike the Spaniard’s tapas (“small bites”). Pintxos tend to be more intricate and robust than a single bite.

Let’s start our west side happy hour tour on the north end, a bit too far to walk from downtown, where Wishbone offers an eclectic and healthy farm to fork “happiest of hours” Thursday through Sunday, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Drinks run from Olympia ($2) and Death and Taxes ($5) beer to house red and white wine ($5) to plenty of house cocktails for $7. The food menu consists of pickled veggies ($3), Shishito peppers ($4), maitake tempura ($5), B’s salad ($5), hummus ($5), labneh (Greek) cheese ($5), an excellent house-made chicken liver pate ($5) and dirty fries ($6) topped with beer cheese, buttermilk and crispy pork belly.

I was unable to confirm whether the Aquarium or Mike’s at the Crossroads have any happy hour specials before moving south, landing next at Rosen’s 256 North, which has another one of our favorite happy hours that runs Tuesday to Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m., and 3 to 5 p.m. on the weekend. Rosen’s happy hour is so good that it has become our home away from home. Running the gamut from the simple yet delicious pretzel ($3) to the most succulent shrimp rolls ($7) and tender prime rib sliders ($7), everything on Rosen’s menu had us returning within a week for more of the same. We also discovered the Snake River hamburger slider, meatball parmesan crostini, crispy artichoke hearts, Brussel sprout chips and Jan’s famous egg salad crostini. Drinks include house beer ($2), house wines and prosecco ($5), plus everything from a Grey Goose Moscow Mule ($6) to a Benchmark Martini ($6).

Next door to Rosen’s, Buffalo Billiards runs their happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m., with select draught beers ($3), house wine ($4) and an ever-changing snack menu, which at the time included fries ($3), mozzarella sticks ($3), chicken wings ($4) and pizza ($5).

Head to Brewsters Beer Garden for happy hour Tuesday through Friday, from 2-5 p.m., for $2 off wine, beer and well cocktails, plus St. Louis ribs ($2 each) and fries with aioli ($4).

Lemongrass Thai Noodle House presents an extensive happy hour Monday through Thursday, from 5 to 7 p.m. Because the menu in the window was slightly different than the one inside, do not get your heart set on any one of these items, although there are clearly enough to find at least half a dozen that will satiate any hunger. We enjoyed them all. Beer or a generous glass of house wine is only $3, with sodas and Thai iced coffee or tea for $2. All menu items are either $4 or $5 and include crispy spring rolls, chicken potstickers, chicken lumpia, crab Rangoon, imperial rolls, crispy tofu, veggie samosas, prawn wraps, coconut prawns, fresh summer rolls, chicken satay and deep fried ice cream.

The Drawing Board’s happy house is Tuesday through Sunday, from 4 to 6 p.m., with a menu that is simple and clean - draught beers ($3), house wine ($4), well liquor ($5) and well cocktails ($8) such as a negroni, old fashioned, Manhattan or classic martini. There are four food items available for $6 each – chickpea fries, seasonal salad, deviled eggs and two tacos (veggie or meat).

Just across the street, diners will find The Shuckery and deeper inside Hotel Petaluma’s lobby, the Shuckery Parlor, both providing the same happy hour menu weekdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Draught beer ($5) and house wine ($8) are joined on the menu by a sea of seafood specialties, such as raw ($1.50), baked ($2.50) and oyster shooters ($3); popcorn shrimp ($5); daily crudo ($6); red eye gravy and rock shrimp fries ($6); rock shrimp Michelada ($7) and avocado and smoked trout mousse ($7). There is something special about sharing seafood delicacies and happy hour drinks in front of the hotel lobby’s big fireplace.

Maguire’s is currently changing up their happy hour menu, which if I understand correctly, will soon run all day long, and include $1 off beer, wine and well drinks, as well as a large selection of small plates such as fries, tater tots, onion rings and deep fried pickles for $4; potato skins, mini bleu cheese chips, chicken strips and fries and jalapeno poppers for $5; and calamari, mozzarella sticks, beef or pork sliders and mini fish and chips for $6.

Seared’s happy hour is available daily from 4 to 6 p.m., with an additional late-night happy hour from 9 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Chef Joe is constantly rated as one of Petaluma best chefs, which helps explain why the happy hour is usually packed from wall to wall. Drink specials include draught beer ($4), house wine ($5) and cocktails ($6). The food menu is constantly changing but is also consistently filled with quality dishes, such as a prime rib dip, seasonal tacos, filet skewers, oysters, prawns, banh mi, cured salmon and the best calamari in town, all served for $2 to $7.

The Block – Petaluma offers weekday pints for $4 from 4-6 p.m., but hints at a new happy hour menu soon.

Paradise Sushi’s happy hour is Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m., and includes draught Sapporo ($2), sake bomb ($2.50), small and large hot sakes ($2/$5) and sake cocktails ($7), plus edamame ($2), combo tempura ($4.95) and Hamachi kama ($6.75).

Taps declares happy hour Monday through Thursday, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., starting with $1 off beers when you are seated at the bar. The food menu has everything from smoked pork tacos ($2.50) to mac-n-cheese ($5) to salt and pepper or Buffalo wings ($5.50). There are also deepfried Brussel sprouts ($5) and a burger-and-beer special ($12.50).

Dempsey’s Restaurant and Brewery offers happy hour weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., and Tuesday all day. The food menu is split between $2 items (taco del dia, taco dorado, house-made pickles, Dave’s chili pretzel or beer-spiked olives) and $4 items (nachos, quesadilla with jalapenos, jalapeno fries, sweet potato fries or onion rings.)

Incavo Wine Bar has some wine specials, but orders food from Central Market, so has no happy hour food specials. Central Market serves wine specials at the bar Sunday through Thursday, from 5 to 6 p.m., with free wood-oven roasted pizza. Vine & Barrel wine bar offers and extensive appetizer menu, but discounted happy hour prices only come on drinks.

Sake 107 brings its happy hour menu to the table Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Drinks include Iron Springs IPA ($5), house wine ($5) and hot or cold sake ($7). The food menu has a great selection of seafood and veggie options, including edamame ($4), nasu nanban ($4), veggie hand roll (shiitake, sweet potato or eggplant $4), seafood hand roll (spicy tuna, sake avocado or shrimp tempura $6), tuna tartare in shrimp crackers ($12), as well as Japanese-style spicy fried chicken ($12).

Mi Pueblo El Centro’s happy hour is Monday to Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 4 to 6 p.m. The menu offers a fairly large sampling of their regular menu, but everything costs a few dollars less. Highlights include beers for under $4, margaritas for under $6, tacos for under $3 and chimichangitas for $6.75.

Brixx Pizzeria, in the breezeway of the Landmart Building, runs their happy hour Monday thru Saturday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Beverages are $4 to $5 and include draught beer, house wine, well drinks and Brixx’s infamous Hurricane. Appetizers are half price – cheesy bread ($3), cheesy pesto bread ($4), hummus ($5), meatballs ($6), baked formaggio ($6), and spicy roasted garlic prawns. Tucked away down a “back alley,” Brixx has a real speakeasy feel to it, and with multiple seating areas, including the mezzanine, it is cozy and accommodating.

McNear’s Saloon is currently printing their new happy hour menu, so I did not get a chance to see it. Happy hour is presented Monday to Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m., and again from 10 p.m. to close.

Kabuki offers happy hour Monday through Friday, from 4:30 to 6 p.m, and Saturday and Sunday, from 3 to 6 p.m., with 20 percent off the entire menu.

Red Brick does happy hour Monday through Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m. with select beer, wine and cocktails ranging from $5 to $8, and three food specials – tequenos ($4), house fries ($5) and crispy calamari ($6).

Crocodile kindly gives folks a few extra minutes to get their orders in during the daily happy hour, from 3:30-5:36 p.m.

La Dolce Vita’s happy hour is Sunday, plus Tuesday through Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. Beers are $3, and for $5 per glass, guests can choose from cava sparkling wine, champagne cocktails and house red and white wines. Happy hour bites include gourmet grilled cheese ($5), chicken sausage ($5), eggplant crostini ($5) and caprese crostini ($6).

Sauced runs their happy hour weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. with short pours of guest beers ($1 off), all wine by the glass ($2 off), specialty cocktails ($3 off), and house beers ($4.50 each). The rest of the happy hour menu includes brisket quesadilla ($9.50), smoked brisket or pork sliders (three for $9.50), fried chicken tacos (three for $9.50), and “this, that and the other” ($17.50) which is a hearty combo plate of the other three menu items.

Aqus Café, which is one of Petaluma’s favorite community meetup spots, offers happy hour Monday and Tuesday, from 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday, from 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. Beer is available by pint ($5) or pitcher ($15.75) and wine is by the glass ($6.50) or bottle ($23.50). Offerings on the food menu include the hummus plate with flatbread ($6.95), quesadillas ($6.95.), black bean ($7.25) or turkey chili nachos ($7.95), artisan flatbread pizzas ($8.75), and the shareable sweet and savory Petaluma platter ($8.95).

Quinua Cocina Peruana rounds out the west side. Happy hour is Tuesday through Sunday, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and includes my favorite light beer, direct from Peru, the sweet Cuzquena ($4). Other special beers, wines, sangria and mimosas are also $4, and everything on the food menu is $5. If you have not tried Quinua before, this is a great way to sample their menu, including papa a la huancaina, pollo carretillero, empanada, yuca fries, platanos fritos and salchipapas.

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