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The Bolder Life: Classy Happy Hours


It comforts me to know that as I “grow and mature”, so does the age-old tradition of happy hour. When I was first introduced to the concept of happy hour as a wee twenty-one-year-old, I was introduced to alcohol that was cheap in every sense of the word. These days, even the fanciest of restaurants are blessing the adoring public with many o’ happy hour filled with drink specials and mini menus that offer less expensive small bites. Lately, I’ve been enjoying some classy hours of happiness at a few of my favorite places in North Boulder.

Growing up within the craft beer world, I always felt like I was cheating when I chose a girly cocktail or a nice glass of Syrah over my favorite IPA or Pilsner. But as time went on, and my employment with a local Boulder County brewery ended, I began to venture out into the world of classy adult cocktails. I started off slowly with Lemon Drop martinis, because let’s face it, it was the only drink that I actually understood at the time. Eventually, my tastebuds grew up and I started experimenting with other types of liquor besides my comforting typical choice of vodka. I tried drinks made with lavender-infused gin and blackberry whiskeys—drinks that are full of sophistication and class.

On a day-to-day basis, I have to dress and act like an adult for work purposes. (It’s a real drag). I get up on time, I drink viscous, unsweetened coffee, I put on high heels and red lipstick, and walk around in public acting like an adult. Part of the adult act is dining at local, foodie restaurants filled with complex foods and menu items in another language.

Lately, on the days that I’m the most adult-like—I hang out at my favorite north Boulder restaurants for happy hour.

Starting with Radda Trattoria. If you haven’t been to Mateo’s sister restaurant located across from the Boulder Community Hospital, then I highly recommend that you add this restaurant to your wish list. First of all, they have a south-facing patio with a spectacular view of the Flatirons. In my most adult-like attire, wearing sunglasses that are far too big for my face, I sipped on a refreshing bellini—a combination of crisp, bubbly prosecco poured over a sweet white peach puree. Enjoying the company of my best friend, I sipped my bellini like a grown-up and munched on a variety of happy hour items including French fries dusted with truffle oil and a delicious, warm flatbread topped with parmesan cheese and herbs. Happy hour at Radda runs every day from 3-6 pm.

If you really want to expand your classy drink knowledge, I would suggest paying a visit to north Boulder staple, The Hungry Toad. This establishment has a huge specialty drink list that includes fifteen martini variations to cater to the adult folk. When I’m feeling especially sassy, and sporting the reddest lipstick that I own, I saunter into The Hungry Toad and order up a Carmel Apple Martini. Nothing says sass-a-frass more than a woman wearing red lipstick, pretending to be an adult while sipping something out of a martini glass. You can off-set all of the sweetness and adultness by pairing your cutsey martini with one of the Toad’s twenty-two burger offerings. Seriously. Twenty-two. Happy hour runs from 3-6 p.m. on Monday-Friday, and can be enjoyed outside on the patio where you’ll have a prime seat to people watch the passerybys of north Boulder.

And lastly, it’s not a true north Boulder happy hour until you’ve paid a visit to the fine folks at Dagabi Cucina. I strongly suggest that you bring back-up and settle in for at least an hours worth of sampling tasty menu items from the long list of tapas offered at happy hour. Plus, if you’re interested in a good martini, the bar staff at Dagabi will set you up right. On my last happy hour visit to Dagabi, I ordered a glass of the house red wine during happy hour, and I liked it. I was surprised by the quality taste of the house wine that I paid $4 for. And the house white turned out to be a wonderful drink to compliment a meal composed of calamari, mussels, bruschetta and margherita pizza with. (Whoa—I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no. I did not consume all of that food myself—I had back-up). Although Dagabi’s happy hour is short, it’s totally worth it—so get there early and enjoy grown-up food for a discounted price from 5-6:30 p.m. every day of the week and all night on Tuesdays.

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