No one ever said anniversaries were only important if they end in a 5 or 0, and no one ever said happy hour is the exclusive domain of the post-work pre-dinner time slot. Not everyone can hang out on a patio at 4 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon, after all.
For night owls — or, you know, folks dealing with errands or late nights at the office or hustling kids to soccer practice — there are few sweeter words than reverse happy hour. When twilight is in the rearview mirror, there are still plenty of deals to be found around Cleveland, from beers to drinks to food and even some specials not afforded to the early happy-hour shift.
Judd's City Tavern (10323 Madison Ave.)
Few places have embraced the concept with such immediate fervor and dedication as Judd's, which opened this year in the Cudell neighborhood. It's a new bar with an old feel thanks to 360-degree nostalgia created with vintage signs, gas pumps and assorted memorabilia. And their "prime time" happy hour is built for when most of us actually go out: 8 to 11 p.m., when you can find $1.50 cans of Blatz, Hamm's, Iron City and other tasty treats.
City Tap (750 Prospect Ave. East)
Happy hour at this Gateway District joint with 44 beers on tap runs 2 to 6 p.m., but the experts know the real time to dip inside for a beer is during Power Hour, from 8 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday when just about all of those 44 beers are $3.
Parallax (2179 West 11th St.)
Zack Bruell's Tremont restaurant is almost 20 damn years old but feels like it hasn't aged a day. The sleek modern space proves the perfect setting for the chef's Asian-French menu, and the perfect setting for a late-night special. Grab a seat at the bar on Friday or Saturday between 10 p.m. and midnight and score half-price sushi. And if weekdays are more your speed, find half-price bottles of wine on Wednesdays.
The Clevelander (834 Huron Rd. East)
You've probably found yourself at the corner of Huron and Prospect before or after a ballgame or concert, but if that's the only time you're visiting, you're missing out. On non-event weekdays the Clevelander runs a special from 8 to 9 p.m. when just about everything you order is $2. Yes, two bucks. You're welcome.
Yard House (160 Union St., Westlake)
Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and that's all well and good; but we're more inclined to find ourselves at the Yard House on Sundays through Wednesdays, between 10 p.m. and close, for their late-night food-based happy hour, when 25 appetizers and pizzas (including a more than healthy roster of vegetarian options) are half off.
Chinato (2079 East Fourth St.)
Zack Bruell clearly loves the night owls. His East Fourth Street Italian gem runs happy hour not only from 4:30 to 6:40 p.m., but also from 9 p.m. until close, with a lengthy menu of specials including sweet Italian sausage pizza, crispy shrimp with candied cherry tomato coulis, a fried mortadella sandwich with arugula, mostarda and fontina, and more, all for $10 or less.
Jukebox (1404 W. 29th St.)
There are many reasons to drop by Jukebox, including the, uh, jukebox and the friendly neighborhood tavern vibe. Also among them: Appy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. every day when their buffalo chicken dip, red bean pupusa and other snacks are $2 off; and, for the late-shift sect, soul-soothing ramen specials or pizza bagels on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Felice Urban Cafe (12502 Larchmere Blvd.)
Set in a charming turn-of-the-century Craftsman-style home, this unique and eclectic eatery has become one of the most beloved spots in Larchmere. Summers bring a patio and carriage house filled with diners, while colder months deliver a beehive of activity in the dining areas inside the house. No matter the time of the year, Felice draws crowds for its wonderful cocktails and Mediterranean-tinged menu, the small plates portion of which is priced between $5 and $7 for its reverse happy hour on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 until close.
Dante (2247 Professor Ave.)
You don't need to break the bank to enjoy some of Dante Boccuzzi's dynamite flavors. Sidle up to the bar at Dante in Tremont for late-night happy hour and treat yourself to pork ramen, mussels, Canadian salmon, sushi pops and $3 Asahi beers.
Sarita, a Restaurant (14523 Madison Ave., Lakewood)
The folks at Sarita know happy hours that wind down at dinner o'clock aren't the most convenient for everybody, which is why their happy hour menu runs all the way until 9 p.m. For less than 10 bucks you can choose more than 10 items, including braised brisket nachos, chorizo pizzette, a grilled vegetable sandwich, Jamaican jerk chicken wings and nonna's meatball.