The happy hour scene is a way of life in Fayetteville, Arkansas and the options for where to gather for everything from a simple ice-cold draught to gourmet-in-a-glass are many and varied. We can’t begin to name all of the fantastic independent places to try, but this list of a few crowd favorites spans every taste or mood—from casual to upscale. (Can you say time for an epic pub crawl??)
Big Box Karaoke
This local hotspot is not your wild Uncle Vern’s lounge karaoke—this is the full entertainment package deal for people who love to rally a group of two to 25 and go out for some fun. Offering reserved private suites for singers, Big Box Karaoke has a well-stocked bar and lounge with a nice selection of wine, sake, beer and cocktail options—whether you have any intention of singing or not. Look for drink specials Tuesday through Friday, and be sure to try some of the delicious options from the creative Asian-inspired food menu.
115 N Block Avenue
If an elegant, bustling bar with a bit of an urban vibe is your style, Bordinos has a happy hour sure to please you. Bordinos is well known for its fine dining menu and award-winning wine list, but when small plates and liquid refreshment are specifically what you’re seeking, don’t miss this Fayetteville institution. Happy hour specials are Monday through Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and include $5 red, white and sparkling wines as well as an enticing list of martinis and other classic cocktails.
310 W Dickson Street
Cork & Keg
Cozy corner pub is a great way to describe Cork & Keg, found at a superb location just steps off of Dickson Street and directly on the Frisco Trail section of the Razorback Greenway. Go to sample from the many wines, local beers or delicious craft cocktails and stay for the friendly atmosphere and occasional live music. In addition to a comfortable indoor space, the outdoor front patio is a perfect venue for people watching as patrons come and go from the Walton Arts Center and the beautiful new Theatre Squared venue.
509 W Spring Street
East Side Grill
With a very local neighborhood restaurant and bar feel, East Side Grill is host to a lively bar that is typically hopping every day of the week. The staff makes new guests feel right at home, just like they do the many regulars. Wednesdays are always Ladies Night, with good drink specials to accompany a tasty menu of appetizers and entrees for any size of appetite. On warm evenings, the ESG outdoor patio is great place to unwind.
1838 N Crossover Road
Considered by many to be a culinary jewel in a rather unexpected location near campus, Eclectic Kitchen also boasts a cozy bar area with local draft beer, a range of domestics and import brews, as well as a rotating wine list with options by the glass or bottle. Their bartenders are also quite skilled in the making of craft cocktails, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for on the menu, they’ve been known to concoct some pretty delicious creations to satisfy just about any palate.
1218 Garland Avenue
Fresco Restaurant + Cocktails
Fresco is found in a wonderful downtown location just a few steps from the historic Fayetteville Square, in a building with a lovely view toward campus and Old Main. Patrons can drop in for a drink at the bar and delicious Italian appetizers or be seated for a great meal from a list of classic, house-made selections.
112 W Center Street #100
There’s no other place in Fayetteville quite like Lambeth Lounge, where Southern hospitality meets laid-back sophistication. Find a spot on one of comfortable leather sofas or gaze through the plantation shutters onto the beautiful lawn leading up to iconic Old Main. Locals and hotel guests staying at the stately Inn at Carnall Hall love to unwind with a fine selection of scotch, excellent wine and signature cocktails. If your timing is lucky, you may catch live music from a rocking chair on the veranda.
465 N Arkansas Avenue
Nomads Southtown Kitchen + Bar
If something a little different is what you seek, you won’t be disappointed by this quirky-cool spot that resides in an old gas station in south Fayetteville. Nomads is all about doing fun things in unique ways, and if happy hour brings you there for artisanal cocktails or craft beer, please don’t take a pass on the food menu. Or—consider moving your traditional happy hour time up on the clock so you can take advantage of Northwest Arkansas’s biggest Mimosa Brunch, served four days a week. The staff claims to serve more than 20,000 flavors of mimosas annually, with ten versions on tap weekly…and we’re not willing to dispute something that sounds that awesome.
1431 S School Avenue
Project 7 Kitchen + Bar
Fresh to Fayetteville’s local dining and bar scene, Project 7 is a small spot with big ambiance in one of downtown Fayetteville’s oldest buildings. The open concept venue is welcoming, with seating at the bar or small tables. The bartenders know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to making exceptional cocktails, and they have great recommendations for what to pair with their very flavorful, creative dining menu. And get this—they offer $2 off all drinks during TWO separate happy hour specials each day, from 5 – 6 p.m. and again from 9 -10 p.m.
329 N West Avenue
Grabbing a spot on the outdoor patio at Theo’s is practically a local rite of passage each spring, and the location found just off Dickson stays busy until the fall chill sends patrons indoors to Theo’s beautiful bar or fine dining area. The cocktail menu is long and delicious, as is the list of fine spirits. We guarantee you’ll feel very rewarded if you happen to visit during happy hour, and you will want to try several of their discounted small plates to accompany your adult beverages.
318 Campbell Avenue
You’re not likely to just stumble across Vault even though it’s located downtown, but believe us when we say it’s well worth taking a closer look at the back entrance of the EJ Ball building basement and making a visit. Nestled neatly into a former bank vault, this small but mighty bar is modern in a refreshingly minimalist way. Bourbon collecting is Vault’s passion, but if cocktails are your preference, you will have an exceptionally memorable tasting experience that melds top-shelf spirits with unique ingredients and garnishes. Special prices can be found during traditional happy hours.
112 W Center Street, Suite B-001
Wood Stone Pizza + Bar
Whether you’ve landed yourself in Fayetteville’s uptown or downtown, you can easily find one of Wood Stone’s beautiful venues. If ever there’s a wait for their delicious gourmet pizza, the bar at either location will not disappoint. Consider a beer flight or one of their specialty or classic cocktails—and keep an eye out for what appears on the seasonal bar menu. Happy hour falls generously between 2 – 6 p.m. with discounted drafts, wine and classic mixed drinks.
Downtown – 557 S School Avenue
Uptown – 3619 N Mall Avenue