Are you ready to unwind? When that five o’clock whistle blows, there’s no shortage of options for a memorable happy hour in Arlington. If you’re ready to break out of your after-five routine, check out a few of my favorite places in town to meet a friend for a tasty beverage and some good conversation:
4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge
506 East Division St.
For something out-of-the-ordinary…When I walk through the front door into the cool, darkened, and oh-so-tropical interior of 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge, I’m instantly in a better mood, because that’s just how it is when you know that a flower-garnished or flaming fancy drink is in your immediate future. Plus there’s the Kahunas’ island music soundtrack, which really helps you slip into that beach-y frame of mind. TIP: Get into the spirit of things by donning a Hawaiian shirt or a lei before you head out. Also: Try the Kahuna Pearl Diver, featuring a blend of rums, fruit juices, and a secret “gardenia blend”—it’s delicious!
Chamas do Brazil
4606 S Cooper St.
For a great wine list…Chamas do Brazil is well known as a steak-lover’s destination, but did you also know that it’s a great place to meet up for drinks? Especially if you like wine, since they offer a 150-item wine list that’s supported by servers who really know their stuff. TIP: Consider staying for dinner, even if you’re not much of a carnivore. The restaurant’s 50-item salad bar is so epic and satisfying that it justifies a visit to Chamas all by itself.
R Bar & Grill
2401 E Lamar Blvd.
When you need to talk business…I have an affinity for nearly all hotel bars and restaurants, but the Hilton Arlington’s R Bar is a particular favorite. There’s just something about the atmosphere I really dig, plus they deliver a solid menu of Texas-themed food and beverages. Also: Parking is a snap, and it’s not so loud in the bar that you can’t have a good conversation. All of those selling points, combined with the bar’s “casual chic” ambience, make R Bar an excellent option for entertaining clients or discussing business over cocktails.
1650 E Randol Mill Rd.
If you want action and variety…You really can’t beat Texas Live!. There’s all the variety (you can choose from among eight different watering holes for your happy hour); plus, there always seems to be an electric excitement in the air, especially if there’s a game happening at Globe Life or AT&T Stadium. Not to mention the live music, karaoke, mechanical bull riding, games, and a dazzling arena outfitted with a giant TV screen that’s sure to delight any sports lover. TIP: Check out the Texas Live! Facebook page for upcoming special events that can take your happy hour outing from good to great.
Free Play Arlington
400 E South St.
If you’re hosting a group…Like 4 Kahunas, this super fun retro arcade in Downtown Arlington is a top-notch choice if you’re looking for something a little different, and it’s also a winning option if your happy hour involves a large group who wants something to do besides spread out at a long table. TIP: Stroll across the street to J. Gilligan’s and keep the party going with Irish Nachos, cold beer, and live music.
2544 E Abram St.
If you want to do happy hour at home…I love to entertain, but I don’t have much time or inclination to work in the kitchen, so I’m always on the lookout for good takeout resources. The Daiquiri Depot makes cocktail hours at home fun and easy to pull off, offering both a menu of colorful frozen concoctions to go as well as southern and soul food appetizers and entrees.
Piranha Killer Sushi
859 NE Green Oaks Blvd.
When you’re looking for lots of options…Head to this sushi lover’s paradise near River Legacy Park. They offer tons of budget-friendly food and drink options and happy hour specials, especially if you’re a martini fan—Piranha is definitely known for fancy martinis. My absolute favorite is the Wedding Cake Martini, which features vanilla vodka, Frangelico, pineapple and splash of cranberry juice. It’s like a dessert in a glass!