The Origins of Happy Hour

**Courtesy of McKenzie Brew House and their Event Planning & Coordinating experience**

Who doesn’t appreciate some of your favorite bar drinks and food bites at a cheaper price??

I’m talking about ‘happy hour’! I’ve always favored an inviting establishment with well-rounded happy hour bargains… $5 beers, $6 cocktails and a diverse selection of cheap bar bites to choose from. Yes, please!

But, while you’re sipping on your discounted bar drink have you ever stopped to considered where it all began?

I bet you’ll never guess where ‘happy hour’ actually came from…

the navy

Originally, ‘happy hour’ had nothing to do with discounted bar food and drinks. ‘Happy hour’ was actually a weekly entertainment program that was held to ease the boredom of U.S. Navy sailors! They’d gather with one another and watch or listen to this broadcasted entertainment: live music, dancing, movie showings, or boxing matches.

prohibition era

Fast forward to the Prohibition era from 1920-1933 and the saying ‘happy hour’ began to take on a whole new meaning. During this time, drinking became illegal but that didn’t stop civilians from having a good time! They’d gather in secrecy at each other’s houses or speakeasies and consume a few drinks before going out to dinner.


Eventually the euphemism caught on. After the Prohibition ended, restaurants and bars sought out the opportunity to market cheap discounted drinks and food to entice those crowds during the slow, early hours before dinner.

As you can imagine, things got a little unmanageable with those crowds of tipsy, early-dinner drinkers making their way home or their next destination safely after those cheap, enticing drinks. Alcohol-related accidents sky rocketed and things got out of hand, so law enforcement was forced to issue bans and restrictions against the drinking festivity fueled by bars and restaurants.

It may be hard to believe but there are still currently 8 states that ban happy hours such as Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts… Not in Pennsylvania though!

In honor of ‘happy hour’ history do yourself a favor and toast to those that made happy hour possible today with a pick-me-up after work!

**Courtesy of McKenzie Brew House and their Event Planning & Coordinating experience**

Event Coordinator

Sara Elizabeth

(484) 772-8877

Venue Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 11:30AM – 2AM

Wednesday: 11:30AM – 2AM

Thursday: 11:30AM – 2AM

Friday: 11:30AM – 2AM

Saturday: 11:30AM – 2AM

Sunday: 11:30AM – 2AM

Chadds Ford Venues

(610) 361-9800

451 Wilmington West Chester Pike
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Malvern Venues

(610) 296-2222

240 Lancaster Ave
Malvern, PA 19355