Quittin' Time: Lee Harvey's
Where: Lee Harvey's, 1807 Gould St.
When: 3 p.m. to closing time Mondays and Tuesdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 1 p.m. to closing time Sundays
What: $2.50 domestic beers and well drinks, plus $1 tacos on Mondays and half-price burgers on Tuesdays.
Why (or why not): There's hardly a wrong time to go to Lee Harvey's. With cheap beers available all of the time, happy hour isn't that much happier than any other time you might stop by. In fact, if you don't happen to wander in until after happy hour ends (on one of the days when it actually does end) you can still get a beer for $2.50 if you're willing to settle for a can of Schlitz. High-rolling hipsters face a 50-cent markup if they go for the obligatory PBR, though it's still a bargain at $3 a can all day, every day. During regular hours, domestics are $3.50 apiece, while well drinks are $4 each.
To make the most of your happy hour experience, go on a Monday or Tuesday for food discounts.
Mondays offer fish and steak tacos until the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. On Tuesdays, you can get a burger and fries for half price -- just $4, though add-ons such as cheese and bacon are subject to the usual 75 cent and $1.50 charges, respectively. Substituting onion rings for fries adds a dollar to the tab -- well worth it, as they're just as good now as they were in 2007 when they earned a Best of Dallas award. The half-pound burgers, served with thick, crunchy slices of sweet pickles, are equally great.
Popular as the bar may be, it's spacious enough that you can always find a seat at one of the busted vinyl booths or outside at a patio table. Depending on whether a band is playing, a DJ is holding court or the jukebox is available, tunes are usually loud enough to drown out conversation inside, and just loud enough to provide welcome background outside. The outdoor firepits are a nice touch, especially during cooler weather, though they do mean that you'll smell like you just got back from a camping trip. Of course, in some circles, that smoky fragrance qualifies as cologne.
And while the dive atmosphere of neon Schlitz signs and scuffed pool tables is prefabricated, the building itself is old enough, the staff and clientele are friendly enough and the prices are cheap enough (especially during happy hour) that it qualifies as the real thing.