Off the Clock

Your time-off itinerary for things to do in Long Beach and beyond.

Give the “Bitchen Sangria” a try at The Bungalow Long Beach during their one-hour happy hour on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Photo courtesy of The Bungalow.

Good morning, summertime sippers and welcome to part two of Off the Clock’s ever-expanding happy hour guide. Last month’s roundup can be found here.

Today, we’re going to check out a $22 sangria carafe, $7 margs, $8 pizzas and more. But first, some history.

Our beloved drinking-before-dinner tradition seems to have reached the U.S. during the Prohibition era of the 1920s, when Americans would gather at their local speakeasy after a day’s work. But it didn’t really enter the modern lexicon until 1959, the year The Saturday Evening Post illustrated a gathering hour for the lonely soldiers stationed on the Cape Canaveral base. Going even further back, the first use of the phrase can be traced back to William Shakespeare’s King Henry V.

“Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour,” the king himself proclaims. 

Heeding that advice, 👉 onto the post-work drinking deals.

🐟 Gaucho Beach 780 E. Shoreline Drive

A man jogs by as he does his morning run as the Gaucho Cafe is set to open this weekend at Alamitos Beach in Long Beach, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

When: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.

What: First stop, the beach, or more specifically, Gaucho Beach. It’s been labeled a “concession stand,” but your typical ice-cream-slinging beach hut hardly stacks up to this sleek new cafe. The waterside joint just opened up on Aug. 4 and is a satellite of the Argentinean restaurant Gaucho Grill.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, for a city that has beach in its name, it’s slim pickens as far as places you can go to enjoy a drink or a bite on the water, let alone happy hour.

During happy hour, they offer $5 beers, $10-$11 wines, $9 sangrias or a $22 carafe (red, white or rose), a $13 Gaucho Burger, $8 calamari, $10 shrimp taquitoes, $19 steak and fries and beyond.

Most cocktails are $12, including their signature Gaucho Mercado, with vodka, lime juice, cucumber purée, simple syrup and a tajin rim; and the Smoked Old Fashioned with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, simple syrup, angostura orange expression, which is served in a smoking box.

🍸The Bungalow Long Beach2ND & PCH

The Fuzzy Naples cocktail is $8.50 during happy hour. It’s Illegal Mezcal, lime, prickly pear and cucumer on the rocks. Photo courtesy of The Bungalow.

When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m.

What: I won’t lie to you, dearest OTC readers, The Bungalow is pricey, but they happen to also be one of the only joints in town with a harbor/waterfront view. When I first interviewed owner Brent Bolthouse, he described the space at 2ND & PCH as an “airy rock ‘n’ roll oasis.” Nailed it.

Last week, I visited the immersive upstairs bar for a pre-“Barbie” cocktail (AMC is close by). The Bungalow Margarita?👌

Sunset Sips,” The Bungalow’s literal “happy hour,” offers 50% off all cocktails (most of which are LB-themed), beer, wine and all food. Everything. If you arrive hungry, do yourself a favor and order one of their Neapolitan-style pizzas. For me, it’s the spinach and mushroom pie that stole the show.

🌮 The Hawk468 W. Anaheim St.

The author of this newsletter enjoys a vegan burrito and a $7 margarita on a recent Tuesday at The Hawk. Photo by Kat Schuster.

When: Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, all night; Saturday/Sunday, until 4 p.m.

What: Ah, The Hawk. This wonderfully dark and cozy (and air-conditioned) establishment in the Willmore neighborhood has my heart for many reasons, but today we’re going to talk about its healthy rotation of food vendors and drink deals. They also have DJs spinning vinyl almost every night.

First off, The Hawk gets bonus points for having happy hour every day of the week. Here’s what they offer: $2 off all specialty cocktails (try the new hibiscus Paloma), $1 off all draft beer, $5 cabernet, $6 well cocktails, $7 whiskey sours, $9 rye old fashioneds and more.

And there’s more:

Meatless Mondays – Pool is free all night and they often host vendors serving up everything from from vegan sushi to vegan tortas.

Taco Tuesday – $3 beers and $7 margaritas all night. Plus, tacos and more Mexican street cuisine.

Thirsty Thursday – $4 beer, $8 old fashioned, $10 boilermakers all night.

Pro-tip: Do NOT rely on Yelp or an establishment’s website to find happy hour pricing. Thanks to inflation, prices have gone up in the last year, so most of everything you see online is outdated. Always call ahead or check recent social media posts.

And next month, we’ll dive into more. Do you have a favorite happy hour spot or bar in Long Beach? Tell me your secrets. Email or DM me on Twitter @katjournaling.

Kat Schuster is the assistant editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her at [email protected].