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8680 Northwest Prairie View Road, 816-746-8668
4-7 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close daily
Yeah, the name is a little goofy, but there's nothing silly about the specials at this bar and grill, which was the first business to open in Zona Rosa back in 2004. More spacious and inviting than its Plaza counterpart, this Tomfooleries offsets its bar-swaggy, poster-intensive décor with low drink prices. The service-industry-heavy crowd partakes of $2 domestic draws and wells and $3.75 Jose Cuervo margaritas on the rocks, as well as $3 appetizers that include buffalo chicken sandwiches, cheeseburgers and chicken tenders during both the midday and reverse happy hours. A good stop for Northland night owls, Tomfooleries serves food until 2 a.m.
Gator's VIII Bar & Grill
6712 Northwest Tower Drive, Platte Woods, 816-746-8888
4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Just off Interstate 29, in a nondescript strip mall in Platte Woods, you'll find the typical bar accoutrements: pool table, shuffleboard, karaoke machine. A cigarette machine also sits next to the front door, with contents that can be consumed on-site. That's right, Gator's VIII is among the last smoking bars left in the metro. And at happy hour, the regulars happily puff away while drinking $2.25 domestic bottles, domestic pints and wells. The place is dark and friendly. And unless you live in Platte Woods, you probably won't see anyone you know, making this an ideal destination for closet smokers, those who need to decompress after landing at KCI, and those "I only smoke when I drink" types.
4110 Pennsylvania, 816-753-4455
3-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday, 2-7 p.m. Saturday
There isn't food or cushy seats at this Westport institution. You can't start a tab; only cash is accepted. And you won't soon forget the smell. But these are the sacrifices one makes to get what might be the cheapest happy-hour beer in the city, and all things considered, that's pretty fair. We're talking $1.25 Bud Light, Miller Lite and PBR drafts and $2.50 wells. You also just might have most of the bar to yourself if you show up early in the afternoon. Progress is inching forward — the fellas at Buzzard Beach have resurfaced the patio and scrubbed those bathrooms — but Buzzard Beach is really about the savings. As one bartender puts it, "Two Jameson here will cost you $8. If you get them at the Power & Light: $14.50."
B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ
1205 East 85th Street, 816-822-7427
4-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
Walking into this iconic barbecue joint just east of Troost feels a little like a trip back in time to a 1930s Southern roadhouse. The happy-hour prices convey that feeling, too. If you're on a bar stool (and not at one of the long, family-style tables), B.B.'s rings up your domestic bottles and your schnapps shots at $1.50. Yes, schnapps. Hot Damn, peppermint, butterscotch, peach — whatever you say goes well with $4.95 smoked chicken wings, rib tips, fries or barbecued meatloaf. Getting to B.B.'s early for these specials also gets you a seat for the evening's entertainment, a major leg up when Trampled Under Foot or the Samantha Fish Blues Band is in the house, and the crowd eventually becomes standing-room-only.
1310 Carondelet, 816-942-8870
4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
In the 1890s, W.E. Emery, Joseph Taylor Bird Sr. and William Thayer took over a downtown dry-goods company (that had once outfitted settlers and pioneers), creating a larger and more upscale department store that took up an entire block on 11th Street between Grand and Walnut that. It was torn down in 1971. Eight years later, EBT Restaurant opened off Interstate 435 and State Line Road (where it shares a building with UMB), using the original column capitals and elevator cages to mimic the store's Gilded Age structure. It's rather fancy, and most of the dinner entrées run $25–$35. You can get a good feel for the restaurant during happy hour instead, when EBT offers 10 appetizers for $5 each, as well as $5 martinis and glasses of wine; $4 wells; $3 drafts, imports and craft bottles; and $2 domestics and Woodchuck bottles. What other bank building lets you eat and drink without making a sizable deposit?