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Westport Flea Market
817 Westport Road, 816-931-1986
3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Sensory overload rules this bar, burger joint and swap meet that not long ago was almost razed to make way for a Hooters. TVs are everywhere, pitchers hang from the ceiling, neon and beer signs cover every inch of wall and window space, and sounds emanate constantly from the game room's foosball and pool tables. The dining tables are wedged close, and the barking of food orders over a loudspeaker interrupts the already loud music. Still, happy-hour drinking at the Flea can be a simple affair. It's as easy as making a food purchase from the cashier and choosing any of the 43 beers on tap for 99 cents. Purchases must be made in cash, but an ATM is available. It's all-ages, in case you're on kid duty, but keep a close eye, lest your child end up under a table of antiques or outside on the smoking patio, hanging with the regulars.
703 Southwest Boulevard, 816-472-8272
2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, 4-6 p.m. Sunday
La Bodega isn't the only place in the Crossroads to find small plates, but it might be the most romantic. A thrumming, sunny Spanish happy hour gives way every afternoon to dim lighting and a not-unpleasant din that keeps anyone but your hot tablemate from hearing your overtures. Move in closer with five different red and white wines for $5 a glass and half-price sangrias, wells, drafts and Boulevard bottles. Turn up the heat with half-price tapas; try the calamares a la plancha (sautéed squid in olive oil, garlic and lemon sauce) or the pincho de solomillo (skewered pork and apple with red onion and currant relish). Vegetarians also have options. Leave with enough dinero to pick up a bottle at nearby Royal Liquors and call it a noche.
435 Westport Road, 816-389-4180
3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
A crappy day can make an about-face come happy hour at this bar, which is owned by the same folks who run McCoy's and the Foundry. A friendly bartender is always willing to pour out a $4 cosmo or a $2 shot of house whiskey. Often, another regular is there, bellied up to the bar feeling the same way and drinking a $2 gin and tonic. The conversation goes from work to traffic to the last movie you both saw at the Tivoli. Passers-by stare in the huge windows and wish they could be inside drinking a $4 glass of Chardonnay followed by a $2 Bud Light draft instead of meeting their study buddy at Broadway Café. The sun and the indoor lights go down after a couple more $2 Michelob Ultra bottles. Time to go home, pass out happy and do it again tomorrow. It's another evening in Westport.