A History of Happy Hour

Happy hour history

The workday is done! What better way to celebrate the completion of a good day’s work than with a drink? Happy hour anyone?

While the concept of knocking back a drink or two with colleagues after work is engrained in American work culture, it hasn’t always been about giving the workingman a good deal on after-work drinks. In fact, happy hour as we know it didn’t enter the American lexicon until midcentury.

History of Happy Hour

Before that, the term has a more storied history. The term originally traces its roots back to U.S. Navy traditions starting before World War I. In order to stave off the monotony of long oversea voyages, ships started organizing “happy hours” a few times each week, consisting of wrestling, boxing matches or other athletic competitions.

Prohibition followed closely on the heels of the Great War, and the term subtly changed meanings: Speakeasies and back-rooms started serving bootlegged booze and bathtub gin. Those willing to break the law in order to grab a drink often referred to their trips to the illicit barrooms as “happy hour.”

Prohibition didn’t stick around, but the terminology did. By the early ’50s, barkeeps with a flair for marketing noticed a lull in activity shortly after work. Rather than wait it out for the evening drinkers to arrive, he adjusted prices, giving workers a reason to stop at the pub for a cheap drink on the way home. The marketing caught on, and by the ’60s, the term was being used in popular media.

Five Tables Happy Hour in Loveland

Regardless of the origins of happy hour, we’re happy to keep the tradition alive at Five Tables Café. Join us weekdays from 3-6 p.m. and enjoy the best prices we offer! Save $1 on draft beers, specialty cocktails and tap wines.

Our selection of wine and beer changes frequently, so stop in to see what we’ve curated for Loveland’s happy hour.

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