THIS WEEK'S FEATURED BARGAIN: Kupros Bistro
1217 21st St., Sacramento
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Happy hour: Noon to closing Monday, noon-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 3 p.m. to closing Sunday
The real steal: Enjoy a dollar off all 13 of its draft beers and $3 well drinks and house wines. If you're hungry, bring a large group and enjoy three appetizers for $10. Kupros has 13 choices including beef and veggie sliders, sweet potato fries and poutine. (The latter, a French-Canadian dish, consists of french fries covered in gravy and melted cheese curds.)
The vibe: The owner converted a two-story house into a bistro. Downstairs has a restaurant feel, with a bar area that has oversized booths around the perimeter and an outside patio. The second floor feels more like the actual house and is filled with tables and chairs, a lounge area and a balcony, giving you a more intimate dining experience. By the way, congratulate the Kupros staff, which won a Slow Food USA-Sacramento Snail Award for being a green restaurant, using plenty of organic and local ingredients.
Signature drink: Try the Deschutes Abyss or La Trappe Quadrupel Trappist Ale, two of the most popular beers. The Abyss is $6 during happy hour and has an 11 percent alcohol content, and the ale, $8 during happy hour, is almost as strong with a 10 percent alcohol content. The ale is hand-brewed by Trappist monks in the Netherlands. If you're looking for something brewed a little closer to home, try the Loomis India Pale Ale.
Bathroom break: There are bathrooms on each floor. Downstairs, there are two stalls and plenty of mirror space for touch-ups. Upstairs, there is a private bathroom with plenty of space. It's great for those who want a little more privacy in a public bathroom.
Alternative libations: If you're in the mood for something sweeter, try a cocktail such as Cruel Intentions or the Midnight Express. The latter, a combination dessert and drink, is made with Godiva liqueur, in a chocolate-swirled martini glass, and garnished with a mini Oreo on top. Cruel Intentions is made with bourbon, ginger beer, cinnamon, agave nectar and muddled apple slices. These artisan cocktails, however, are not on happy hour. They range from $9 to $12.
Something extra: Happy hour works all over the restaurant; however, the favored seating is actually at the bar itself. Sitting there, you can eye the beautiful stained glass dome ceiling overhead. It was created by local artist Mickey Abbey. You can also see the fast pace of the bartenders muddling up everything from apples to mint to jalapeños.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE CHEAP
MVP Sports Grill
2110 L St., Sacramento
Hours: 11 a.m. to closing daily (This sports bar closes when the last person leaves, but the kitchen usually closes between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. Last call for the bar is around 1:30 a.m. most nights.)
Happy hour: 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday
The deals: Enjoy $2 domestic draft beers, $3.50 well drinks, and half off all appetizers except the sampler platter. Both the regular and boneless wings are popular options and come with three sauces on the side: the MVP sauce, the hot sauce and an inferno sauce. Appetizers range from $3.50-$4.50 but can be as low as $1.50. On Tuesdays there are $5 margaritas and $3 tequila shots, and Wednesdays are "Well Wednesdays" with $3 well drinks all day.
Kinnee O'Reilly's Irish Pub and Restaurant
1010 White Rock Road, Suite 100, El Dorado Hills
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday
The deals: Enjoy a dollar off all well drinks during happy hour. The appetizers average $9.95 and are large enough to share with friends. Try the popular Kinnee O'Reilly's Irish Pub Chips, which are house-made potato chips covered in Irish cheddar and Dubliner cheeses with corn beef and scallions, and a Guinness ketchup, a horseradish aioli and chive sour cream.
The Davis Graduate
805 Russell Blvd., Davis
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily. Closes at midnight on some Thursdays and Sundays.
Happy hours: 4-8 p.m. daily
The deals: Enjoy the "Four at Four," also known as happy hour at the Davis Graduate. Every day, the number four becomes your favorite number with choices such as four different pitchers for just $4 each, 56 different pints for just $4 each, $4 double well drinks, Long Island ice tea, premium liquors and spirits. Appetizers, also just $4 each, include onion rings, french fries or nachos.