Coming off the peak of the semester, life has got everyone feeling a little craycray. Ok, maybe a lot craycray. But despite the meetings, group-projects, and tight budgets that burden our daily schedules, I bet you can incorporate a few extra hours of happiness into your week.

…Professionals do advocate stress-management as the key to success and recent studies show associations between alcohol consumption and long-lived wellness. [See evidence here and here]

No matter your style of #happy, Richmond has the venues and prices to cool your angst. Cheers to health and happiness.

1. Jack Brown’s

Craving quality beer and burgers? Jack Brown’s, a self-proclaimed “5-Star Dive,” is the place for you. Plus, no need to feel guilty for not being at the library because their business operations essentially supplement the college education (just go with me on this). The “100th Notch Club” encourages every customer to step outside their comfort zone by tasting, evaluating, and finishing 100 different beers #education.

Oh—and not to mention the new friendships you’ll form with other brew enthusiasts as you endeavor the vast experiences of beer education together #networking.

Once a member of the Notch Club, not only will you have achieved 100 glorious gold stars on your card, but you’ll get VIP Notch Club benefits: a personalized t-shirt, special Tuesday discounts, and brewery tour field trips #motivation.

Hit up their happy hour and start your journey into the world of better-than-keystone beer. Details: 4-7pm Monday-Friday: $2 domestic bottles and $1-off any of their frequently rotating drafts (craft beer, wine, ciders). PSA: Pumpkin spice cider is on tap for a limited time.

2. Heritage


You’ve been working hard and it’s time for a vacation. If classy cocktails are your preferred style, Heritage’s “Cocktail Passport” is your ticket for an educational trip.

Let one of the South’s best mixologists take you on a tour of artfully-crafted concoctions. Drinks are mixed with fresh ingredients like homemade tonics and infused bitters. Only the best for the best (that’s you).

Trip Details: A 25 cocktail journey for $145, or 35 cocktail journey for $225. The break down: less than $6.50 per drink — an impressively affordable trip considering the fancy-AF liquor palette and wisdom you will have acquired by the end of your voyage.

Even if you’re not the commitment type, you can still experience Heritage’s top-notch drink selection during their regular happy hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 5–7pm; $4 draft of the day, $5 wine of the day, and $6 specialty cocktail.

3. Tobacco Company


With a delicious menu and eccentric victorian interior, the Tobacco Company is a known RVA landmark (as illustrated here).

But don’t let its historical origin deceive you. With age comes wisdom—specifically when it comes to hosting a hella-fine happy hour. The main room offers 1/2 off martinis and discounted rail and beer Saturday-Friday from 3-7pm.

But the Club downstairs is where it’s at on the weekends. Bring your singles, ladies and gentlemen, because from 8-9pm, the Club pours $1 rails. [cheers] Half-off local drafts and bar appetizers Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-6:00 pm.

4. Postbellum

Come taste the #SRM rainbow! #Happyhour is from 3:30-6pm. #StandardReferenceMethod #beernerd #RVA #craftbeer #VACBM

A photo posted by Postbellum (@postbellumrva) on Aug 27, 2015 at 12:38pm PDT

Two words: Rooftop. Bar. Perfect for a little R&R after a rough day of classes. Escape the library for the fresh air and comforting atmosphere of Postbellum’s happy hour. Just like the twinkle lights that border the rooftop, you can get #lit and #elevated. Half-off local drafts and bar appetizers Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-6:00 pm.

5. Sticky Rice

happy hours

Photo by Courtney Campbell

Despite its name, Sticky Rice located in the Fan actually has a lot more to offer than sticky rice and sushi. This quirky Asian dive is a hidden gem for college students looking for a study break.

Daily happy hour runs 5-6 pm, featuring $1 PBR and ½ off appetizers and tater tots.

That’s right. If Napoleon Dynamite lived in Richmond, Sticky Rice would be his go-to hangout spot.

6. Sidewalk Cafe

happy hours

Photo by Courtney Campbell

A casual favorite among Richmond locals, Sidewalk Cafe feels like home. Sit at the bar and watch the game or take your mimosa pitcher to an outside table. A great place for people watching…as long as you’re okay with the fact that its a two-way street #shameless.

And, super flexible happy hours accommodate a busy college schedule: Monday-Friday 3-8 pm. Drinks range from $2.00-3.50 and appetizers are half-price.

7. Casa del Barco

Located right on the canal downtown, Casa del Barco has an extensive tequila menu of funky cocktails and margaritas. Casa’s lively, latino-inspired atmosphere is the perfect place to shimmy your stress away. Monday-Friday 3-7 pm; $3-$4.50 drafts, margaritas and cocktails, $3-off wine, ½ price select appetizers.  

8. Don’t Look Back

happy hours

Photo by Courtney Campbell

Actually though…drive full-speed-ahead to this Carytown spot immediately after class or for a late-night study break. The cozy, hipster environment is a perfect escape from the daily load. With built-to-order tacos, homemade margarita mix, and ridiculously reasonable prices until 2 am, your Don’t Look Back experience will leave you with #noragrets. Happy hour runs Monday-Friday, 4-7pm, with $1 off beer, $3 rails, $2 off wine, $4 margaritas; 2 for $5 tacos Monday-Thursday, 2-5pm. 

9. 3 Monkeys Bar and Grill


A great place to just “hang around” with the pals, 3 Monkeys has happy hour every. day. of. the. week.

So really, you don’t have an excuse to not check it out.

Bonus: Each of their fun cocktails comes with a little plastic monkey. More monkeys = more happiness.

Daily Happy Hour 4-8pm; $3 beer and wine, $4 specialty cocktails.

10. Ipanema

Arguably one of the best outdoor patios in the Fan. Ipanema is known for its all-vegetarian menu, but when it comes to hosting hours of pure #happiness, it has no restrictions.

What could be a better way to de-stress than sipping $2 moscato in the relaxing ambiance of VCU hipster vibes?

The deets: 5-7 pm Monday-Thursday, Sunday: 2$ wine (and $2 drafts on Monday).

11. Water Coastal Kitchen

happy hours

Photo by Courtney Campbell

For all you seafood lovers out there: 4-6 pm Monday through Friday, this modern Carytown favorite features half-off raw bar and select drinks. At $5 for a 1/2 lb crab legs, and $2.50 mixed drinks, Water Coastal Kitchen happy hour is like a chest of buried treasure–except we’ve already done the digging for you.

Not to mention there are weekly dinner specials starting at 5 pm: Pick the type of meat that suits your price point, and enjoyyyy.

Monday: Grilled night (any grilled seafood or meat of your choice with a fresh side).

Tuesday: Lobster night. Enough said.

Wednesday: 3 course meal of your choice, for $22. Winning.

With each of these venues within 15 minutes of U of R, there is no excuse for a mid-semester meltdown. Just when you feel like you’re about to hit your breaking point, grab a buddy and get your library-squashed ass to one of these venues for a little R&R. Catharsis always has a great effect on overall mental wellness, and it can even enhance your academic performance [silent victory cheer].

Grandpa alway says, “take care of yourself”…So take that as your cue to get up, go out, and treat yourself to a few hourly sessions of therapy.