“Budgeting a Blackout”
After my first semester at Rollins, I was overwhelmed by how many amazing, yet crazy expensive restaurants were around, wondering how I was going to try them all before I graduated. Unlike many schools, the Rollins scene tends to rely on many restaurants and bars in the area to pregame… we are not UCF, it’s never as easy as choosing between Knight’s Library or Pub. Without such luxuries as a ratchet college bar with daily dollar drink specials, it can be difficult to navigate the Winter Park going out scene without completely wiping your bank clean if you don’t have a good guide. Here are some of my favorite happy hours in the area to start off another great semester… how many can you hit before sylly week is over?
Happy hour at Fidds: Every weekday from 4:00-7:00p.m. Happy hour deals include $5 Guinness pints; all other pints are $4. Cheap bottles of beer ranging from $2.50-3.00. House wines for $3 and Wells for $3.50, as well as the Fidd’s favorite: carbombs for $5.
Everyday is Happy Hour at BULLA! Everyday from 5:00-7:00, Bulla has half-price wines, beer, and liquor. Bulla is the perfect place to get a mule or some sangria de cerveza to pair with some delicious tapas.
Bosphorus! If you’ve never been, I definitely recommend Bosphorus on Park Ave. A cross between Mediterranean and Greek, this Turkish cuisine is amazing for food and drinks. During their daily happy hour from 4:00-7:00, all wine, beer, and cocktails are 50% off. The blueberry mojito and the peach Bellini are incredible and pair nicely with the lavas bread and some hummus.
Blu on the Avenue: Happy Hour and Late Night. In addition to their happy hour that runs Monday through Friday, 4:00-7:00 and Saturday through Sunday from 11:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Blu also offers their late-night happy hour. Every day from 11:00 p.m. to close Blu offers $4 beers and well cocktails and $5 wines and sangrias with a small selection of happy hour food such as conch fritters and fried goat cheese for $6.
Did someone say Margarita Monday? To spice up your Monday, two of the most popular restaurants in the Park Ave area are Cocina 214 and Pepe’s Cantina. Both have excellent Spanish food and amazing drink deals. Cocina, whose happy hour runs daily from 4:30-6:30, has some of their most popular drinks for only $5… that’s two diablos for the price of one. A perfect way to get a nice buzz going for a night out or to enjoy during a nice dinner. Cocina also has some appetizers as part of their happy hour so you can munch on some avocado bites ($6) or a trio of guac, salso, and queso ($5) after a few tequila shots. For Marg Monday, Cocina also does a free Margarita with the purchase of an entrée, but only if you are a part of their rewards program (which you’re going to want to sign up for anyways, upon signing up each person receives a free 1000 points which can be redeemed for $10 off, or can be saved for other various offers).
Pepe’s Cantina is another great place to go as it’s happy hour can not be missed. Running daily from 11:30-7:00, Pepe’s happy hour is one of the best in Winter Park. This happy hour features free queso and salsa for every table and $4 house margaritas or sangria. During Marg Monday, $4 margaritas also continues past happy hour in case you just needed one more marg to get you in the sweet spot.
Taco/Tequila/Tecate Tuesday. Having specials every night of the week, Pepe’s Cantina is one of the hottest spots in Winter Park. With the 2 for $5 taco, tequila, or tecate special, Pepe’s is the perfect place to pre for Tequila Tuesday elsewhere. Stop by Pepe’s, get free queso and salsa, some $4 margs, few tequila shots, and a couple tacos, and you’re ready for the night!
WINE DOWN! While there are several different places for a Wine Down Wednesday, my personal favorite is easily Wine Room. Every Wednesday night, ladies are able to double their money on their Wine Room card (Must put at least $20 for them to double, but then you get $40 worth of wine!!). For those of you who haven’t made it there yet, all the wine is dispensed through machines using the Wine Room card as payment. Separated in categories, this is a great place to sample wine to figure out your wine preferences. The best part? The cards are reusable and the value never expires. So, stop by Wine Room one Wednesday to fill up your card and you’ll be able to use it all week.
If you’re trying to escape the Rollins Bubble, a great Wine Down happens every Wednesday at M-Lounge’s rooftop bar. Aside from the amazing atmosphere, M Lounge also has a wide selection of drinks, allowing people to vary their wine down with bottomless house wine and bubbles as well as Aperol Spritzes for only $15 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Garp&Fuss is a unique, family-owned restaurant with a close-knit vibe. Their happy hour runs from 4:00-7:00 every day, but the specials vary from day to day and can be seen from the chalkboard by the bar. In addition, every Wednesday, they do half price bottles of wine, making it the perfect place to get a light dinner, maybe even a charcuterie board, and try out a new kind of wine.
THURSDAY & BEYOND
Finally, the weekend is here. Every Tuesday-Thursday, Porch has half-priced drinks from 10:00p.m. to close. While Tuesdays at Porch are typically dead, last semester started the rise of Porch Wednesdays in addition to Thursdays… I guess half-priced drinks can make you go to the same bar with the same people to do the same things and still have a good enough time to make you want to do it again the next day.
While this is still a small list that does not begin to cover all the happy hours in the area, this is a guide to some of my favorite spots to drink without breaking the bank.