Sumo Maya Mexican-Asian Kitchen: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
The Tamarind cocktail at Sumo Maya struck the perfect balance between sweet and sour.
The Spot: Sumo Maya Mexican-Asian Kitchen
6560 North Scottsdale Road
480-397-9520
sumomaya.com

The Hours: Happy hour is daily from 2 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Bringing anyone to happy hour, if they don't mind standing.

Interior: As my happy hour companion noted, you could bring anyone to Sumo Maya and chances are they would enjoy it. Meeting some hip, twenty-something friends for brunch? They'll appreciate the colorful, open decor and the artistry of the giant tree in the middle of the dining room. Taking your parents out for dinner? They'll be impressed with the creative menu that both puts a twist on certain classics and introduces diners to unusual ingredients. Grabbing a drink with some coworkers? They'll enjoy choosing between the signature cocktails, margaritas, sake, wine, and beer offerings.


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Caffe Boa: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
The Desert Drop at Caffe Boa was one of the most interesting sounding drinks on the menu.
The Spot: Caffe Boa
398 South Mill Avenue
480-968-9112
cafeboa.com/wordpress/

The Hours: Happy Hour is daily from 4 to 7 p.m. in the bar only.

Perfect for: Impressing the pants off someone without breaking the bank.

Interior: Tempe is not exactly at the top of the list when we think of our favorite spots for after-work drinks. But we had high happy hour hopes as we walked into the 21-year-old Tempe staple, and Caffe Boa did not disappoint. While we were a little bummed at first that happy hour is only served in the small bar area of the restaurant, there was an undeniable sense of exclusivity as we snagged part of the last open high-top on a Friday evening.


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Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
The Traditional Daiquiri's flavor was spot on, but it could have used a quick straining.
The Spot: Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits
2501 East Camelback Road, #40
602-374-2611
www.tenfareandspirits.com

Perfect for: A cheap, quick bite and drink before a movie at the nearby luxury (read: overpriced) movie theater.

Interior: While sitting inside Ten, we couldn't help but think about the small, private parties we would like to hold inside the restaurant. Office holiday parties, small high school reunions, somebody's 50th birthday, the list goes on. This space just has that feel to it with little corners to hold intimate conversations and a lofted second dining room to escape a larger crowd. For being in the middle of the office-space riddled Esplanade, its dark wood touches and brick accents make it cozy and warm.


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Barrio Urbano: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
The El Picado margarita offered enough flavor and kick to become our favorite part of this happy hour.
The Spot: Barrio Urbano
5632 North Seventh Street
602-287-9000
www.barriourbanophx.com

The Hours: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Sipping on a top-notch margarita while watching cornhole bags fly through the air next door.

Interior: We thought that Lola Coffee at the Yard, which filled the current Barrio Urbano space, had nailed the perfect indoor-outdoor balance, but after walking into the slightly renovated restaurant with added Mexican flair, we realized that Barrio Urbano got right everything Lola had wrong.

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Goodwood Tavern: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
Well drinks are only $4 during happy hour at Goodwood Tavern.
The Spot: Goodwood Tavern
7330 East Stetson Drive
480-990-2388
www.goodwoodscottsdale.com

The Hours: Happy Hour is daily 3 to 7 p.m.

Perfect for: Satisfying that bar food craving while indulging in some Old Town people watching.

Interior: Without a doubt, Aaron May has turned the old Shotgun Betty's into the coziest, most comfortable spot that area of Old Town Scottsdale has to offer in Goodwood Tavern. Though "tavern" does carry certain connotations that don't exactly jive with an entirely open front and patio, the wood-covered surfaces, dim lighting, cushy booths, and woodland animals hiding in the design here and there definitely make guests forget they are sitting just a stone's throw away from nightclubs like Cake and INTL. On a midweek evening at sunset, we dare say it even felt peaceful.

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The Upton: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
The Refresher was one of the hightlights of The Upton's happy hour.
The Spot: The Upton
7216 East Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale
480-991-6887
www.theuptonaz.com

The Hours: Happy Hour is Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Perfect for: Happy Hour for one -- you know, if people actually did that.

Interior: Sitting on The Upton's beautifully renovated, shady patio feels nothing like sitting in Petite Maison, James Porter's beloved French restaurant that filled the same space until last November. But it would be unfair to expect the same feel from this hip, graffiti mural-decorated spot. What is completely fair is expecting the same quality of service and overall positive dining experience we received from Petite Maison, and, unfortunately, we were let down in that regard.


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Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
The pear mojito from Bitter & Twisted was bright and refreshing but lacked pear flavor.
The Spot: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
1 West Jefferson
602-340-1924
www.bitterandtwsitedaz.com

The Hours: Happy Hour Tuesday through Saturday 4 to 7 p.m.

Perfect for: Showing both locals and out-of-towners that downtown Phoenix is worth a look.

Interior:From the lofted ceilings, stained concrete floor, exposed brick walls, dark wood finishes, and relatively nondescript exterior to the fact that we were asked if we had a reservation (we did) for happy hour on a Wednesday evening, it would be hard to argue that this spot housed inside the historic Luhrs Building isn't one of the coolest places downtown has to offer. It's unlike anything else in the Valley and probably the closest thing to something you would find in any of the country's other large cities. Also, the check will arrive in an old cigar box. Just saying.


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The Beverly in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

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Evie Carpenter
Mac & Cheese at The Beverly: plenty to share.
The Spot: The Beverly
7018 East Main Street, Scottsdale
480-889-5580
www.thebeverly.us

The Hours: Happy Hour Monday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m.

Perfect for: A quiet happy hour with someone who's really hungry but doesn't have much knowledge of craft cocktails

Interior: If you're familiar with the space that used to house Mabel's on Main in Scottsdale, once inside you may not even notice that the restaurant and bar has changed names. Now branded The Beverly, it's still dark and cozy with brick walls, wood features, and an intricate tin ceiling. We chose to sit on the open patio to enjoy the little natural light left on a Wednesday evening. The staff was initially inattentive but ultimately friendly and accommodating.


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Happy Hour at The Main Ingredient in Phoenix

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Heather Hoch
East Coast versus West Coast cocktails during Main Ingredient's happy hour.
The Main Ingredient is a neighborhood hang out in all the best ways. It's not frilly and it's definitely not upscale, but it is a nice, casual spot in a cozy old house. The big patio is perfect this time of year to sit and sip happy hour drinks with your pooch or some friend or both. On Mondays you can do happy hour all day from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. and the rest of the week the bar/restaurant offers discounts from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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Happy Hour at The Beverly in Scottsdale

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Heather Hoch
Craft cocktails at The Beverly served up super-cheap.
We'll admit some skepticism when the people behind The Vig took over Mabel's on Main. After all, they had big shoes to fill with the former Aaron May concept being known as an Old Town hotspot for craft cocktails for years. However, with some modest upgrades, the already moody, luxe, vintage-inspired lounge is looking more inviting. Jorge Gomez took over the kitchen's bar menu, while Rich Heider handled the drink offerings.

Stopping in for happy hour at The Beverly Monday through Friday from 4 until 7 p.m. is a good opportunity to try a handful of each without spending a lot of money.

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