The History of Happy Hour


The History of Happy Hour

Every day, millions of people all across America get off work and head straight home. But of course, on their way home, they stop for one of the great American traditions: happy hour. Happy hour, the tradition of having food and drink specials for a reduced price during the slower, early evening weekday hours, is something almost all restaurants and bars observe and something that patrons love to take advantage of. But where, exactly, did this tradition come from? Who started happy hour, and how’d it get to be an international tradition?

The Origins of the Term Happy Hour

To trace the first usage of the term “happy hour,” we have to go all the way back to the American Navy in the 1920s. In the period following World War I, sailors were allowed a “Happy Hour”: a period of time for fun activities to break the monotony of day-to-day life on the ship. Generally, these activities included things like wrestling, boxing, and other sports-related activities. Alcohol was notably absent from the earliest happy hours.

Happy Hour During Prohibition

If you’re wondering why, there was good reason: this was during America’s great experiment in Prohibition. Starting in 1920, America prohibited the manufacture, transport, and sale of libations, so sailors looking for fun had to use sober means. On land, though, the letter of the law was observed less stringently – and this gave birth to the next phase of “happy hours.”

During Prohibition, Americans would gather in secret speakeasies to indulge in some now-illicit substances before dinner. The naval slang crossed onto the mainland, and in many circles, these informal, illegal gatherings became known as “happy hours.” Since then, the term has only grown in popularity and usage, and it was in the 70s and 80s that restaurants and bars began formalizing the tradition and instituting regular, formalized happy hours with set times and discounted specials.

Our Happy Hour!

At Ferraro’s, we respect tradition – especially this one. Our happy hour, or Ora Sociale as we like to call it, is one of the best in Las Vegas! Available from 4pm – 7pm every day, you’ll find a delicious sampling of Italian-themed small plates, discounted dinner specials available with the purchase of a drink, and of course, a glorious assortment of discounted wine and drink specials. Happy hour at Ferraro’s is the perfect way to experience the classic flavors of Italy and kick your night in Vegas off the right way – without breaking the bank.

Contact Your Las Vegas Wine Bar

If you’d like to find out what all the happy hour fuss is about, we would love to show you. We’re proud to serve delicious, authentic Italian food made from the freshest old-world ingredients, and we’re always thrilled to serve new customers. Feel free to call us at 702.364.5300 with any questions or make your reservation online at our Las Vegas Italian restaurant. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we hope to see you at a happy hour soon so you can taste all that this delicious tradition has to offer!

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