Hours and Details: Daily 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.-10 p.m.. 2 for 1 on any drink priced at $6 or less, daily drink specials.
Venue: Stepping off Franklin Avenue into Blue Nile Restaurant and Lounge is to enter a land of non-Midwestern pleasures. The smell of Ethiopian food cooking--simultaneously spicy, savory, and sweet--exotic music playing, the lights dim with a blue glow, the lounge full of overstuffed couches and chairs. Now this is a way to end the day, start the evening, or stop by after dinner. The atmosphere is downright sexy.
Verdict: Blue Nile's happy hour discounts are generous, with 2-for-1s on all drinks regularly priced at $6 or under, and a super craft-beer selection that includes Bell's, Surly, and Rush River. Since the late happy hour starts at 8 p.m., you're also able to spend a happy evening here--a nice bonus. With a mystic atmosphere, plus great drink specials and hours, this happy hour gets the Hot Dish thumbs up.