The History of Happy Hour

Have you ever wondered how the term “happy hour” was coined? It’s a phrase so common we don’t think twice about it, but this wasn’t always the case.

It All Started Out at Sea

You might be surprised to learn that the term “happy hour” started out at sea with U.S. Navy officers – and really had nothing to do with alcohol. In the early 19th century, “happy hour” was U.S. Navy slang for the entertainment hours of the day. Normally in the evening, the Navy officers would be treated to movies, boxing matches, sing alongs, and more that would boost their morale and make life at sea more bearable. These were the happy hours.

The Evolution of Modern Day Happy Hour

When the Prohibition hit in 1920, the term “happy hour” was sometimes used by speakeasys to promote drinking hours before dinner. When Prohibition ended in 1933, the acceptability of drinking during the workday began to grow. By the 1950s, it was very common in many white collar industries to find drink specials during the day – and after work. By the 1960s, restaurants began to experiment with the term “happy hour” and offer “happy hour specials” for drinking after work. In the 1970s, workplace drinking became less acceptable and drinking during and after the workday began to fall in popularity. It wasn’t until 2004 when researchers began to see yet another uptick in the popularity of happy hour, and to this day, we can all raise a glass to the end of a long work day over happy hour with our friends and colleagues.

Ready for the best happy hour in Richardson, Texas?! Come see us at Tricky Fish in Richardson or Fort Worth for happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers.

*Specials subject to change. Ask server for details on current offers.

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