As Ernest Hemingway so aptly professed, likely while holding his usual daquiri in a lead crystal lowball glass, “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares. If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.”
The Rocket City has a bar scene worthy of a taste, and one we are intimately familiar with. We wanted to share this knowledge with our fellow local professionals, sowe did a little research of our own and came up with our favorite happy hour spots for your next after-hours outing. Hopefully, drinks’ll be on the boss!
Right next door to the Mars Music Hall is Rhythm on Monroe, a spacious, open-air, full-service restaurant with two bars – one on the ground floor and one on the rooftop. The rooftop bar features glorious views of the sunset and downtown Huntsville cityscape. Downstairs, floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with daytime sunlight and nighttime ambiance.
Rhythm is the perfect spot to stop before or after a concert, show, or event at the VBC, but it also offers a stellar weekend brunch starting at 11:00 AM on both Saturdays and Sundays.
As far as Happy Hours go? These guys might take the cake. They have affordable snacks and swigs for just about everyone, on any day of the week.
Rooftop Riffs 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Monday: Mars Mule Monday (Mars Mule $7, Short Rib Sliders $3)
Tuesday: Taco Tuesdays (Alabama Street Tacos $1, Bud Light Drafts $3)
Wednesday: Wings Wednesday (Wings $1, Jack Daniels $6, Bud Light Drafts $3)
Thursday: Tequila Thursday (Margaritas $7, Draft Beer OTD $5)
Jam Session, Daily from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Craft Beers for $2 off, Domestic Beers for $1 off, Signature Cocktails for $3 off, Well Drinks for $6, Select Wines by the Glass for $7. Take a look at their menu for special pricing on food items and don’t forget to ask your server about their “Featured Drinks”!
With all the sultry ambiance of an Al Capone speakeasy, SiP is an upscale cocktail bar and cigar lounge located on the ground floor of the Times Building on Greene Street. This 12-story skyscraper first opened its doors in 1928 as the home of the Huntsville Times newspaper, its rich history only adding to the atmosphere. At SiP, you and your friends can find cozy alcoves of leather and velvet soft seating in socially distanced areas throughout the space.
The bar and lounge itself are smoke-free environments but there is a designated, enclosed cigar and member-only lounge should you wish to light one up. Bartenders are knowledgeable and won’t hesitate to offer their advice if you’re jonesing to try something new that isn’t on their extensive menu.
Mondays: Half price bourbon, whiskey, and scotch
Tuesdays: Half price tequila, mezcal and margaritas
Wednesdays: Half price bottles of wine
Thursday Prohibition Night: Half price classic cocktails
Sundays: Half price Bourbon Mary’s and 15% off all cigars
Eclectic, classy, and whimsical. Swanky without feeling stuffy. All these together make Stella’s a whole mood. An inviting lounge with varied seating in soft fabrics, décor in striking geometric, art-deco patterns, interlaced with florals and pops of colors – it’s busy but it works.
The rooftop patio is lined with cabanas draped in apricot fabrics and string lights that foster exclusivity but don’t invite pretension. Fire pits offer warmth on chilly nights when you want to hang out on the rooftop until last call at 2:00 AM.
A Happy Hour menu is featured every Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. We suggest you pay them a visit to see what seasonal offerings are on the docket each week.
Look no further to experience the atmosphere of a true English pub than The Poppy & Parliament. This anglophile’s dream is located in the heart of downtown Huntsville, on the north side of the square. The first thing you’ll ever notice before you step foot inside is the striking bright red exterior of this lovely establishment. Reminiscent of the poppy flower, the namesake and curb appeal pay homage to the tradition of donning poppies as a sign of remembrance and honor to fallen soldiers.
Step through the wooden doors and you’ll be transported across the pond for a pint at your local. Focusing on upscale British and Irish fare, the Poppy & Parliament offer lunch, dinner, and Sunday Brunch for dine-in or take-away, while their bar pours imported draft beers, cask ales, craft cocktails and wine.
Happy Hour specials and seasonal offerings are offered and are subject to change. Find them on social media to keep an eye on what they have going on.
Tucked away on Jefferson Street in The Avenue, this “provider of particularly high-end fare, provisions and merriment” (as their name suggests) is for the bougie foodie inside all of us. Velvet tufted booths and high-top tables in dark corners against a backdrop of exposed brick compliment the long, open bar seating at the front of the space. They specialize in exclusive wines “not found anywhere else in Alabama” as well as bourbon, local beers, and craft beers. Their outdoor seating is better for accommodating a larger group.
Keep an eye on their social media to catch any food and drink specials.
Boasting one of the best views in Huntsville, this rooftop bar gets a gold star for location, location, location. Overlooking the Huntsville Museum of Art and Big Spring Park, BarVista is located on the second floor of the AC Hotel.
Clean lines and soft gray, polished concrete gives a modern vibe to the space with plant life flourishing throughout, adding verdant breaths of fresh air.
Their Happy Hour gets top billing EVERY hour – there’s no time limits on these amazing specials: $5.50 House Wine and Well Drinks, $6 Local Craft Beer, $7.50 Josh Cellar Wines, and $7.50 Premium Well Drinks.
A quick trip over to the Village of Providence and you’ll find a modest yet welcoming spot to gather with friends over a cold one. The Casual Pint has ample socially distanced tables inside but also a great patio space, dotted with bright yellow umbrellas to offer needed shade. They are manned not by wait staff but by “BeerTenders, experts in their craft” to answer any questions for those not versed in brew knowledge.
The Casual Pint truly comes through for your average beer-lover by not only offering the usual pints, flights, bottles and cans, but also mixed 6-packs, growlers and kegs. The kitchen features a full menu of delicious appetizers and entrees to soak up everything you’re sipping down.
Keep an eye on their social media to catch their food and drink specials.
Rocket Republic has two taprooms you can mosey on into either in downtown Huntsville on Meridian Street or out in Madison. Personally, I frequent the downtown location and treat myself to a Kolsh while I listen to the stellar lineup of local musicians out on the patio.
You can try one of their 5 Gold Medal award-winning beers or sample from the other 20 on tap. Although there isn’t a designated kitchen on site, there is a semi-permanent food truck available to satisfy any hangry member of your party.
Every day there’s “Hoppy Hour” from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM featuring $4 pours of all beers—you just can’t beat that.
Calling all 80s babies and nostalgia nerds, Pints & Pixels has all the 8-bit fun you could ever conjure for yourself. A family-friendly joint located at Campus 805 (next to Yellowhammer Brewing), you can come for the hand-crafted sodas, shakes, malts, or floats, for the extensive wine list and craft beer offerings, or simply for the 35 fantastic vintage arcade games and pinball machines that will entertain you for hours. If this doesn’t put the happy into your Happy Hour, I don’t know what will. You can find me over by Donkey Kong with a Pilsner and a handful of tokens.*
Keep an eye on their social media to catch their drink specials.
*Wristbands are currently being used for arcade play instead of tokens for the duration of COVID restrictions.
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