Views from the Flagstaff House patio. Courtesy photo

Happy Hours With a View


If you like your happy hours served with a great view, here’s where you want to tip back a glass this summer in Boulder.

The Flagstaff House terrace view. Courtesy photo

Flagstaff House Restaurant, 1138 Flagstaff Road

The Flagstaff House’s highly anticipated, popular summer “happy hour” equivalent is called Tastes on the Terrace. All summer long, Memorial Day through Labor Day from 5-7 p.m. Sunday through Friday (so every night except Saturday), guests can enjoy bites and drinks from a special menu offered exclusively on the terrace patios. The specific offerings will change up, depending on what the chef creates and what’s in season, but it may include the likes of the new summer cocktail called Gem Worth Drinking. This aptly named drink is based around rhubarb, made with a rhubarb-infused gin, rhubarb simple syrup and lemon, topped off with Prosecco.

The Flagstaff House has been awarded many times over for its views, overlooking Boulder and beyond. The patios are tucked on the mountainside, below the main dining hall.

The Chautauqua Dining Hall below the Flatirons. Courtesy photo

Chautauqua Dining Hall, 900 Baseline Road

For the summer, the Chautauqua Dining Hall is running a special Beer Garden on the Patio series, featuring live music, its great views and (of course) beer. Hang out on the flagstone patio or the wraparound porch at the base of the Flatirons. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky winners of a silent movie ticket giveaway.

These beer gardens have run on select days this summer. Up next: July 25 and Aug. 15 from 3:30-6 p.m.

The Chautauqua Dining Hall not only has some of Boulder’s best views, but it’s a historic building and Boulder staple since 1898. The best way to enjoy the dining hall is after a hike along the nearby trails or before a show in the auditorium.

The dining hall is run by Three Leaf Concepts.

The Greenbriar Inn’s patio. Courtesy photo

Greenbriar Inn, 8735 N. Foothills Highway

You’ll have to venture just outside of city limits for this dining experience, but the sweeping mountain views and open space add to the ambiance. The Greenbriar is a stunning restaurant set inside a historic house, built at the base of the foothills and the canyon. Start your afternoon with a walk through the 20 acres, past multiple ponds, trees, gardens and flowers. You might even see some wildlife.

The Greenbriar Inn’s happy hour runs 5-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Drink specials include $2 off all wine by the glass, $1 off draft beers and $2 off all cocktails.

For context, the Greenbriar offers more than 900 types of wine (although, of course, not all are by the glass).

The Greenbriar’s cocktails are fun and elevated, like The Blushing Paloma: Peligroso Reposado Tequila, grapefruit juice, cranberry-cinnamon syrup and orange bitters. A new take on a celebratory champagne is the Champagne Cocktail, made with Michelle sparkling wine, Angostura bitters and a sugar cube.

Corrida even has great views inside. Courtesy photo

Corrida, 1023 Walnut St., Unit 400

Spanish-inspired Corrida calls its happy hour Hora de Salon, and it runs every day from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Corrida is only located on the top floor with direct views of the Flatirons and an oversized rooftop area that provides nearly 360-degree views above downtown Boulder. The outside is spacious — about 3,100 square feet. The rooftop can seat more than 40 people, although technically the legal capacity is up to 300 people.

Even if you don’t want to sit on the patio, the views inside are impressive, too. The interior is lined with oversized windows. Every table has a view.

Happy hour specials include various tapas from $4 to $20; $9 cocktails; $4 beer on tap; and $10 sherry flights.

The Rio Grande Restaurant in Boulder at its grand re-opening party. Courtesy photo

The Rio Grande Restaurant, 1101 Walnut St.

For a more casual happy hour with just as good of views, head to the Rio, a Boulder staple. This recently renovated restaurant also has revamped its rooftop, which means comfier seating for you to enjoy during happy hour weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.

The Rio is famous for its deceptively strong margaritas, which are priced less than $9 during hour; get $1 off Classic Rio margs, Big Tex and Ricky’s. Also find $3 draft beers and Tecate cans and $5 wines.

The food is on sale, too. Get street tacos for $4 or less; $2 queso deluxe; and a $4 dipping sampler or jalapeño caps.

At 1,200 square feet, the Rio’s rooftop patio is more of a sit-down-and-eat-at-a-table experience than a place to stand around and clink cocktails. In large part, that’s because the Rio can get so busy and there may not be room for lingering.
The rooftop is festive and upbeat; it can be loud. The renovations made adjustments (like removing a fountain) to increase capacity.

It can get pretty hot, too, so in the summertime, request a table with shade (not all of them have it).

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