Get Your Happy On!

Jose Lucatero, owner of Margaritas Mexican Grill serves mango margarita. (Photo bye Dan Watson)

Whether it’s the end of a long day or week, happy hours are a great opportunity to enjoy tasty food and tempting libations at low prices.

And it’s not just for weekdays anymore. It’s not uncommon to see local restaurants offer happy hour on Saturday or Sunday now, too.

Newhall’s Brewery Draconum features modern bistro fare, artisanal beer brewed on the premises, plus some other attractions.

“We get the game crowd on Monday for football, and then we have band nights on Thursday. It can get pretty popping in here,” said Alisha Sargent, bartender at Brewery Draconum.

Margarita’s Mexican Grill in Valencia has been serving up happy hour pricing since its opening 15 years ago, tempting customers with a heady mix of huge margaritas, seven homemade salsas and traditional Mexican and American appetizers.

“Friday happy hours are always a little busier, we can get really full,” said Jose Lucatero, owner of Margarita’s Mexican Grill. “So are the nights when we play the Dodger games.”

With so many restaurant options in town, how do you know the best place to get your happy hour on? Here are five of our favorites to choose from.


Brewery Draconum

24407 Main Street, Newhall


Happy Hour: Monday to Thursday, 3-7 p.m. and Sunday

Deals: Food $4 to $8; drinks $5 house wine or $1 off house beers


One of the newer kids on the block, or in this case Main Street, Brewery Draconum has a cool, modern industrial vibe. Think high ceilings with exposed beams, stainless steel mingled with wood, and of course, huge brew kettles holding artisanal beer made on the premises. Outside, there’s a large patio with communal picnic tables, lawn games like bocce and plenty of space for live music on Thursday nights.

Of course, you’ll want to order a beer, though it may be hard to choose from the 22 varieties on tap.

To accompany that homebrewed goodness, order fun appetizers with a gourmet touch, such as chili cheese fries with black bean chili, a decadent five-cheese spinach dip or fresh cooked organic potato chips served with dipping sauces like ranch, blue cheese, buffalo, barbecue or chipotle ranch.


Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia


Happy Hour: Monday to Friday, 3-6 p.m. (bar and patio only)

Deals: Food $3 to $8 and drinks $3 to $6


Located in the heart of Westfield Town Center, Lazy Dog is a bustling place that’s prime for people-watching. The usually crowded bar area features booths and high-top tables, while friendly dogs are welcome on the patio, which boasts lots of table and chairs, including some Adirondacks perched by an outdoor fire pit.

There are so many good things to choose from here. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will appreciate the wok-fried edamame infused with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce or hummus trio served with soft, puffy pita bread. Buffalo wings are crisp and tangy or for lighter fare, the ahi poke served with chips is deliciously refreshing.


Margarita’s Mexican Grill

23320 Valencia Blvd., Valencia


Happy Hour: Monday to Friday, 3-6:30 pm (bar only)

Deals: Food $6.99 to $8.25, drinks 50 percent off margaritas or $1 off house wines and beers


With its bright colors and festive atmosphere, Margaritas is a lot of fun. Take a seat at the counter, watch a game or strike up a conversation with other happy hour goers while bartenders mix and blend their famous margaritas available in a petite glass or mammoth schooner.

The trio tacos (beef, chicken and carnitas) are among the most popular happy hour choices here, along with a savory chorizo bean dip served with chips. There are also all the flautas, mini-chimis, and quesadillas your heart could desire.


Olive Terrace Restaurant

28261 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia


Happy Hour: Every day, 3-7 p.m. (bar and patio)

Deals: Food $5 to $7, drinks $3.75 to $4.75


Weather permitting, take a seat on the cheerful patio, surrounded by cheerful hues of deep orange and bright blue, featuring an intimate area with wrought iron tables and chairs, umbrellas to provide shade and heat lamps to ward off the chill. You can also bring your dog! Inside, the classy marble counters and high-topped chairs provide a prime spot to watch live music (Thursday and Friday).

Drinks include sophisticated cocktails like lemon drop or cosmopolitan martinis, as well as bottle or draft beers, well drinks and California house wines. To nosh on, choose from slider burgers on pretzel buns, hummus, falafel, buffalo chicken tenders or champinones (fried white mushrooms with parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing).


Salt Creek Grille

24415 Town Center Drive, Valencia


Happy hour: Monday to Friday, 4-6:30 p.m. (bar only)

Deals: Food $5 to $14, drinks $4 to $5


If “Mad Men” were a bar, it would be the one at Salt Creek Grille. From the black granite bar tops, to the golden lighting worthy of a Hollywood sound stage, to the big leather booths and chairs, this is a swanky, masculine place where you’ll feel perfectly at home ordering retro drinks like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

That decadence carries over to the happy hour menu, with options like bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp and a half rack of baby back ribs served with garlic friends competing with fusion faves such as chicken pot stickers and lettuce cups. There are also tacos, sliders, nachos and spinach dip.

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