St. Louis County Neighborhoods: Clayton


Araka
131 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton; 314-725-6777 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Weekdays 3 to 6 p.m.; appetizer specials, $2 Anheuser-Busch beers, $3 imports and microbrews, $5 white or red sangria and Stolichnaya cocktails, $6 glasses of wine

With ample patio seating and a stunning, spacious bar, Araka provides patrons with more than enough room to enjoy happy-hour deals. The crowd can range from professional folks flying solo (perhaps staying at the nearby Ritz-Carlton) to stay-at-home boutique-shopping moms to up-and-coming Clayton coworkers. Read: If you're planning to wear jeans, they best be designer. Glasses of wine, Stolichnaya cocktails and Anheuser-Busch beers are all cheaper during happy hour, and many of the reduced-price dishes are big enough to serve as your supper. The flatbreads are especially delish (and five bucks off), plus the restaurant offers other affordable eats perfect for snacking — the Parmesan truffle French fries are a can't-miss at $3. (AS)


Barrister's
15 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-5007 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Weekdays 4 to 7 p.m.; $1 off drafts, $2 domestic beers, $5 appetizers

It'd be easy to chalk up Barrister's charm to its Clayton address alone. Sure, it's a sports bar, but it's also subtly sophisticated and not content to skate by on standards. Instead of fried cheese, you'll find herb-encrusted goat cheese; soft pretzels come with Guinness cheddar dip instead of a generic neon, semi-solid, cheeselike product. Barrister's décor takes its cues from soccer: Team scarves, their rankings and flags are found throughout, and there's an array of beer from around the world to match. There are plenty of domestics, but there's also Boddingtons, Smithwick's, Chimay and others — it's like a mini World Cup of beer titans. Happy hour gets in the game with $1 off drafts and $2 domestic beers, and the aforementioned apps are only $5. (KM)


Jimmy's Cafe on the Park
706 De Mun Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-8585 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; half-price select appetizers, $5 martinis

Jimmy's Cafe on the Park is an urban bistro/café with atmosphere. The tasty martinis are made with decent vodkas, including Grey Goose and Cîroc, and given a blessedly lighter pour than the four-shot bucket o' booze we've been served at some watering holes. The food is elegant and, thanks to half-price appetizer specials during happy hour, very affordable. (Think $3.50 for artichoke dip or bruschetta.) While the interior is sophisticated and chic, Jimmy's true gem is its patio. Across the street from Concordia Park, the lush green view will force you to slow down and take a moment to breathe deeply — not just chug your drink as you rush off to the next place. (KK)


John P. Fields
26 North Central Avenue, Clayton; 314-862-1886 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Weekdays 4 to 7 p.m.; $2 Anheuser-Busch bottles

With a miniature Stanley Cup behind the bar and Canadian treat poutine on the menu, John P. Fields has a hockey theme going on — but it seems to attract more of a young-professional crowd, filling up with Clayton's weekday warriors instead of the expected hockey goons. (Just don't get in their way when the Blues are on TV!) Deliciousness wafts from the kitchen, and the food lives up to the olfactory expectations. Really, it's a shame that food isn't included on the happy-hour specials, but buying their eats at regular price won't break you. (KK)


Miso
16 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton; 314-863-7888 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Weekdays 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.; $3.50 Stolichnaya cocktails, house wine and Sapporo, $2 Bud and Bud Light, discounted sushi

When fried brown bar food just won't do, there's nothing like the slink and swagger of a sushi happy hour. And it can be had at Clayton's Miso for surprisingly little cash. From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., classic rolls, including California and vegetable rolls, drop to $5, while hand rolls are just $4. Under the leadership of sushi chef extraordinaire Eliott Harris, the reimagined menu has never been stronger at this see-and-be-seen hot spot. Selected appetizers (including the yummy crab Rangoon) are on special, with "Dragon" wings for just 75 cents each. Toss back a half-dozen with a $2 Bud, and you'll be experiencing a blue-collar steal in white-collar Clayton — who knew? (KM)


Morton's the Steakhouse
7822 Bonhomme Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-4008 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Sunday through Friday, 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close; $5 beer, $6 glasses of wine, $7 martinis, special pricing on "Bar Bites" menu

The bar at Morton's the Steakhouse is the perfect place to visit if you've had a terrible week. Of course, you can hang out there if you're in a good mood, too, but only the truly work-weary will appreciate the swanky digs, the super-comfortable seating, the friendly, knowledgeable bartenders and the affordable food and drink prices. For instance: "Iceberg Wedge Bites," topped with so much blue-cheesy goodness and crispy bacon, go for five bucks, and when you pair them with four petite filet mignon sandwiches ($6 at happy hour), you've got one heck of a dinner (and some leftovers) to cushion the $7 martinis you're bound to enjoy. Here's a note to make that bad day even better: If you decide to warm your seat beyond the early happy hours at Morton's, the discounts begin again at 9 p.m. (AS)


Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar
222 South Bemiston Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-5757 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Weekdays 4:30 to 6 p.m., with a late-night happy hour from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday and 9:30 to 11 p.m. Friday; $4.95 select small plates, $2.95 beers, $4.95 select cocktails and glasses of wine

Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar is on the edge of the beaten path in downtown Clayton, which suits it just fine. While it's not exactly the polar opposite of other restaurants in the surrounding area, Remy's differs from many of its neighbors by imparting a real...personality. The mood music creates a relaxed vibe, and you'll quickly feel like you're hanging out with a childhood friend, even if you're after-working it alone. The staffers help make this friendliness come to life, recommending this drink over that one and checking to see what you're reading. The falafel, one of several Mediterranean small plates specially priced at the bar during happy hour, comes with cucumber, tomato, hummus, feta and harissa for the dipping — a great deal at $4.95. A Pimm's Cup (made here with Sprite) tastes appropriate year-round, and a pomegranate martini will warm you up when the cold wind blows — lucky for you, both are happy-hour options! (AS)


Roxane
12 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton; 314-721-7700 or click here for more info and a map

Happy Hour: Weekdays 3 to 6 p.m. for food and 3 to 7 p.m. for drinks; half-price appetizers, $2 domestic beers, $3 imports and microbrews, $3.50 well drinks, $5 Guinness pints and glasses of house wine

For people who work in Clayton, Roxane may feel like an extension of the office, what with attorneys, gossiping coworkers and other just-escaped-the-from-the-cube-farm professionals making up the happy-hour clientele. After all, sometimes you have to begin unwinding at the first place you see when you leave work, no matter if your cubicle mate's doing the same at the very next table. But outsiders to the scene, especially those happy-houring alone, will find Roxane fascinating, interesting and, most important, affordable. Order up the seasonal Schlafly brew ($3) and something to munch on (say, queso blanco with chips, which sells for $3.50 during happy hour, or the $5 crab cakes) and let your eavesdropping entertain you. But shhhh — you didn't hear that from us! And note: Though parking in Clayton can be a challenge because of all of the valet stands, there's a public lot situated across the street. (AS)

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