photos by Blake Bonillas
10626 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
Bold repurposing turned a North Phoenix fast food drive-thru into a cozy neighborhood bar with a chill, urban vibe and a dedicated local following. On breezy summer nights, the fenced patio is the perfect place to take Spot for a walk: Puppy gets time in the great outdoors while owners score $6 mint lemon drop martinis and Italian spritzes with Campari, muddled fruit and orange juice. Food isn’t technically included in happy hour, but there are plenty of munchies on the cheap from 4-6 p.m. Try $3 bruschetta planks with a glass of house wine ($5) or make a mini-meal of five-buck starters like artichoke dip, tuna salad and hummus. The small yet eclectic selection of craft drafts includes Lumberyard’s Knotty Pine and Left Hand Black Jack Porter ($4 each). 6 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
15 E. Sixth St., Tempe
Rather than relying on boring shade cloth, the folks behind Mill Avenue’s swanky C.A.S.A. created an artsy display of patio umbrellas to shelter man and beast from the summer sun. It’s a pretty hip spot for a former newsstand and hot dog cart. Sit under the misters at happy hour and enjoy $5 caipirinhas and mojitos ($6 for fresh fruit mojitos), plus $3 Dos Equis pints. Grub deals aren’t included, but dirt-cheap street tacos ($1.50 each) and C.A.S.A.’s delectable mac-and-cheese burrito ($6.50) are worth the splurge – especially when you consider the pocket change saved on $2 Tecates and $3 Coronas. Wednesday nights, this house busts out $2 wells and $3 fireballs for a retro-themed bash. 3-7 p.m. M-Tu, Th-F; 5 p.m.-midnight W.
4280 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
Managed by Reed and Jaret Johnson, whose father ran Macayo’s for four decades, Milagro Grill juxtaposes warm star-shaped pendant lights with natural wood against slate grey walls for a welcoming, contemporary feel. The pooch-friendly patio is equally chic, with comfy lounging couches and plenty of shade. Happy hour wine specials range from $5 Van Duzzer riesling and Red Diamond pinot noir to $9 St. Supéry Virtú, an award-winning blend of sauvignon blanc and Sémillon. Family matriarch Nana Johnson had a hand in crafting the menu, which includes tasty short rib, chicken and al pastor taco plates available for $7 during happy hour. Six-buck guacamole or camarones dulces might be safe from Fido’s hungry gaze, but expect to concede some pork belly if you nosh on PB&J de Puerco with tomato jam and peanuts ($8). $4 premium wells. 3:30-6:30 p.m. daily.
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West Side Story
Phoenix doesn’t have the Jets and Sharks, but when it comes to neighborhood pride, there’s a definite east-west divide. Score drink discounts and noteworthy nibbles at these westerly happy hours. ...
Set your grape expectations high with cut-rate Cabernet and reduced Riesling at these three upscale vino bars. ...
Brewing up a Storm
With craft beer shops opening on a near-weekly basis, the Valley is holding its own as a brewing hotbed. Soak up the suds for less during happy hour at these three locally-owned microbreweries. ...
Fall hook, line and sinker for ocean-fresh appetizers and breezy cocktails at these Valley seafood restaurants ...
Take Me Out
Sunny weather and a surplus of stadiums make Phoenix the perfect place for MLB spring training. After the game, score big with discount drinks and notable noshes at these three ballpark-adjacent eateries. ...