The ML Happy Hour Guide to Imbibing the Spirit of the Holidays

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so it seems only natural to have a happy hour column on the site. Every Friday afternoon our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

Well it’s happened again. It’s getting cold outside, the sent of pine is in the air, and the streets of Midtown are getting thick with tourists. The holiday season is upon us once again and I’m willing to embrace it in all its jolly ol’ St. Nick tinsel town glory! That’s right, Mamacita is dreaming of a white Russian Christmas. So bring on that holiday cheer and make it a double. Of course, this is thirsty work and you may need some help. The following are some spirited festivities that will keep you red nosed and jolly!

I tend to steer away from the typical ‘by the numbers’ bars in preference for divier destinations, but being the broke boozer that I am I won’t turn my nose up at a good deal. The following threesome starting up our list are all holding similar events and all have ML’s favorite word in them: FREE!

Turtle Bay

  • Turtle Bay is holding their December Birthday Bash. If you were born in December, you can drink free on Thursday, December 15th from 9-12am. Plus all your guests get 1/2 price drinks. You must RSVP at
  • December 23rd is the Turtle’s Ugly Sweater Jam. It’s the one day of the year your fugly reindeer sweater will get you free drinks. Anyone wearing an ugly Christmas sweater can participate in the free open bar form 8-9pm and 1/2 price drinks from 9-11pm.

Mc Fadden’s

  • This Saturday Mc Fadden’s has hosts their own Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Come dressed in the ugliest Christmas sweater you have. Cash prize given to the ugliest. It all kicks off at 9pm.
  • Saturday, December 17th, Mc Fadden’s will also light the birthday cake for all December babies. Birthday host drinks for free and friends get 1/2 price drinks. Book your party in advanced and get a complimentary bottle of champagne.

Irish Exit

  • Haters can engage once again on Friday the 16th when Irish Exit holds their Ugly Sweater Soiree. Wear it proud people! Cash prize for ugliest sweater and free drinks for wearing one. Plus free Christmas cookies and spiked eggnogg for all.
  • There is nothing that fills ML will peace, love and goodwill towards our fellow man as a free buffet! Irish Exit is providing a free Chinese buffet on Xmas Eve with a $25 open bar from 7-10pm.  RSVP here.

Below are additional bars to ease you into that silent night:

Blue Ruin

  • There is no better way to imbibe the holiday spirit then at a local dive. On Friday December 16th Blue Ruins holds its 3rd Annual Christmas Party. Expect drink specials, rowdy liquored-up locals and merry mischief. The festivities kick off at noon, and won’t stop until closing.

Rudy’s Bar

  • Rudy’s is accepting gifts for the Toys for Tots foundation. So come on by, grab a Rudy’s blonde ale and donate a toy for a child in need. You’ll get a free hot dog in return.

Pony Bar

  • You don’t need the holidays as an excuse to drink. Pony Bar celebrates year round with some of the countries best breweries. This Tuesday Victory Brewing Co. will be at the Pony for their 3rd annual Victory tap takeover. Starting at 6pm enjoy 20 drafts and 2 casks ales.
  • On December 22nd Green Flash Brewery, from sunny San Diego, will be featured. Brewmaster Chuck Silva will be on hand to “talk surf, sand and west coast style beer” starting at 6pm.
    So ditch the work party and quaff a craft beer instead.

Croton Reservoir Tavern

  • Croton Holiday Party is this Saturday. DLJ will spin the best of the 80′s, 90s, etc. Specials include $3 beer and $5 well drinks til 11pm. Free shots and candy canes to first 100 people. $10 advance tix available here.

Carriage House

  • Carriage house celebrates their 20th Anniversary on December 12th – 17th. There will be special events all week and Live music with Krash & DJ Joe Cash. Drink specials, promotions, and giveaways will run all week long. It’s time to raise a pint to this classic NY pub, happy anniversary!

20 Bars of Christmakkah Bar Crawl

  • If you like a change of scenery with each pint then don’t miss the Christmakkah Crawl this Saturday. Map your crawl route and get all your friends a wassailing with you. Registration starts at noon at McFadden’s Saloon (800 2nd Ave) and the Crawl goes on from 12-9pm. Participating pubs include McFadden’s Saloon, Tammany Hall Tavern, Sutton Place, Opal, Turtle Bay, Traffic Bar & Lounge, Murphy’s Pub, The Irish Exit, Cornerstone Tavern, Blarney Stone Bar, O’Casey’s, Public House, Calico Jack’s Cantina and many more. Online specials for advance tickets are available. For more info click here.


  • Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and nonsensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason. The start point will be announced this evening and though it will most likely not occur within the Midtown Lunch boundaries, a jamboree of multitudes of inebriated Santas mobbing the streets is certainly something ML can get behind! Follow them on

Have a holiday party or special we missed? Add them in the comments!

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