The Place: The Coral Room, 3489 West 32nd Avenue, 303-433-2535.
The Hours: Nightly from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
The Deals: Draft beers are $3; Svedka cocktails are $4; Svedka martinis and all glasses of wine are $6; all appetizers are buy one, get one free.
The Digs: Though many of the restaurants and bars along this well-known strip of Highland eateries have morphed and/or relocated during uncertain times, the Coral Room has remained steadfast in its ability to do the job and do it well. A modern dining room backs up to an attractive bar spanning the width of the restaurant, and while you don't get much more than a parking lot view when the patio's busy, the plush benches are entirely too comfortable and the people-watching (especially during the weekend brunch hours) keeps us entertained.
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The Verdict: The mark of a good happy hour is a spot that combines great food, numerous drink specials, fantastic service and a cheap bottom line. The Coral Room easily meets all of those expectations, while still maintaining a neighborhood bar atmosphere. The wine list is approachable and complements the new-Asian inspired menu, which left our bellies happy and satisfied. The steamed black mussels with roasted tomatoes and grilled toast are a delicious preparation of a classic dish, and we could have easily downed ten bowls of chef Jeremy Wilson's butternut squash and coconut soup tastefully finished with agave nectar and shaved almonds. The Thai calamari and melted burrata dishes didn't disappoint either. Our server was efficient and quick-witted, and our glasses were never empty.
Overall Grade: A