The Place: The Avenue Grill, 630 East Seventeenth Avenue, 303-861-2820.
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.
The Deal: $5 martinis; $3-4 draft beers; $4-5 house wines; $3-6 appetizers
The Digs: Strolling into The Avenue Grill gives you a sense of nostalgia, like you've been there before and someone might know your name. It's clean, crisp and classic, yet entirely welcoming and unpretentious. The long bar area parallels a white linen dining room, and there;s always a buzz to the room. Liquor bottles fill ceiling-high wooden shelves and old friends and businessmen brush elbows with martini-sipping first dates.
Togarashi spiced calamari with siracha aioli, $4.
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The Verdict: If you're going to go to the Avenue Grill for happy hour, go for the drink specials and martinis that come with a shaker of booze to spare; go for the kick-ass bartenders that are always quick to make conversation; and go because it's a relaxing place to wind down where you won't feel out of place in your office clothes. But if you're going to The Avenue Grill for interesting happy hour eats, walk across the street instead and catch some grub at Stueben's or Olivea. The food isn't bad at the Avenue Grill, but it isn't remarkable either.
Overall Grade: B