By Wade Kinley
Strolls along the Fraser River, a burgeoning arts and culture scene and new craft breweries popping up all the time, there’s plenty of reasons to hop the SkyTrain on the Evergreen Line and head out to Coquitlam. You can also add a great selection of happy hours to that list; here we present four of the happiest hours in Coquitlam.
You can get an early start at the John B, a popular Coquitlam watering hole since 1978. Happy hour here starts at 2 pm and runs until 6 every day (not only that, you can enjoy similar deals on their Night Owl Menu that starts at 10 pm, Sunday to Wednesday). Premium highballs are only $3.50 while a “true sleeve” of draft beer is $4. House wine is $5.50, or get yourself a signature JB Root Beer for $4.75. You’ll need a thirst quencher or two for their “Appy Hour” menu that kicks it up with spicy perogies ($7) and wontons in a Szechuan peppercorn sauce ($8.50). Don’t feel like sharing? While that may be considered rather un-Canadian, John B’s personal poutine is all-Canuck in rich gravy and snappy cheese curds, all yours for $6.
Old Vegas style and charm awaits at the Wild Fig in Coquitlam. BCAA Chef of the Year, Boban Kovechevich has created his elevated version of happy hour snacks, available from 3:30 to 5:30 pm daily. They have spicy Buffalo wings, of course, ($6) and their “fire-dusted” calamari is cooled by a 5-spice yogurt dip ($7). Alberta AAA beef bites are a delicate balance of sweet and spicy with hints of ginger and garlic ($6). Tuck in to the high-backed plush booths with a glass of Stanley Park Noble Pilsner ($5) or an Okanagan Vineyards white or red ($4) while you relax to the sound of the ivories tinkling from the piano bar.
As one of the most successful chains to emerge out of BC in the last twenty years, Cactus Club Café takes its approach to modern Canadian cuisine very seriously. So, no surprise that it’s a very serious happy hour they put up Monday to Saturday from 3 to 6 pm and 9 pm to close. The menu runs the gamut from $4 snacks like truffle fries and sea-salted edamame to bearing the distinction of the only happy hour in Coquitlam that could satisfy actual dinner plans: for $20, choose from a prawn spaghettini with herby roasted tomatoes or the blackened Creole chicken. Pair either with wine or beer ($4 – $9), but save room to relive that tropical vacation with a toasted coconut piña colada ($6) or margarita with blackberries and jalapeños ($8.50).
This one’s for the wingnuts! As may be quite obvious by now, Wings specializes in nearly everyone’s favourite happy hour snack, serving up fresh, local chicken wings tossed in one of 27 uniquely crafted flavours inspired by global hotspots. Think spicy-sweet Chilean chili, Calgary outback BBQ or the tangy New York dill pickle flavour. At happy hour, Monday to Friday, 3 to 6 pm and 10 pm to close, pair any flavour with a side of fries for $7. Your vegetarian friends need not be left out with their “Cauli’ Wingerz n’ Fries”, also $7. But there’s more to Wings than wings. Garlic cheese bread is kicked up with bacon ($5) and street tacos with spicy chicken or crispy fish are $4 each. Wash it all down with a full 18oz beer ($5) or house wine ($4.50 – $6.75). Depending on how spicy you go on the menu, a Wings frozen bellini ($5.50) might be in order.