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How Did Happy Hour Begin? December 3, 2018

Central Business District, Cincinnati
How Did Happy Hour Begin? , Cincinnati, Ohio

You’re undoubtedly familiar with happy hours, when you can kick back and enjoy drinks on a budget. These days, the term even extends to appetizers, milkshakes, and other menu items. While you might enjoy happy hours regularly, you may not know the origin of the term. Here’s a brief history of this relaxing tradition.

A History of the Happy Hour

The Origins of ‘Happy Hour’

Before it was associated with drinking alcohol, happy hour referred to a smoking-based social gathering for sailors aboard the U.S.S. Arkansas. This time alleviated boredom and kept the sailors from getting too restless while they were at sea, but there wasn’t any drinking involved. Around the same time, Prohibition was in place, making the production and consumption of almost all alcoholic beverages illegal.

Did this keep Americans from drinking? Absolutely not. Instead, people would gather in illegal speakeasies, called so because customers were encouraged to keep their voices low to avoid detection. Pretty soon, customers had co-opted the term happy hour from the navy to refer to these illicit gatherings. Even though Prohibition ended in 1933, the idea of happy hours stuck around.

Happy Hour Today

happy hourNowadays, you don’t have to worry about going undetected while you’re enjoying a happy hour cocktail or beer. The term has also expanded to cover many types of food, including shareable appetizers. And in many places, the “happy hour” has grown to two, three, or even four-hour spans where you can enjoy discounted food and drink. Whether you’re looking to gather with friends, network with business connections, or relax after a hectic day, this is the perfect time to do it.


If you’re looking for a local happy hour in a comfortable environment, visit Kitty’s Sports Grill in Cincinnati, OH. Located near the Central Business District, it’s the perfect place to gather and enjoy delicious food, cold drinks, and a sense of community. With multiple TVs, it’s also the ideal spot to enjoy sports games any day of the week. Call (513) 421-8900 with any questions or visit them online to browse their menu.

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