Billing itself as “Arizona’s Longest Happy Hour,” the 12.5-hour happy hour at The Sign of the Whale in Tempe, Ariz., certainly pleases patrons — to the tune of huge sales for the bar, explains owner Bruce Sandground. “Our happy hour begins at 2 p.m. every single day and goes until we close at 2:30 a.m.,” he says. “This happy hour is invaluable to our bar sales. Absolutely.”
The bar specials for happy hour include the venue’s signature Whale Ale, made locally in Arizona, and three microbrews for $3.50. Sandground’s staff pours out an average of 50 - 80 happy hour draft beers per day in the bar’s signature fish-market-styled schooner glasses. The heavy glasses resist breakage, look beautiful on the bar top and come in 18-ounce sizes to keep guests happy.
With the happy hour, the bar has increased the quantity of beer sold, along with sales of the venue’s popular shrimp and wings. And while the lengthy happy hour draws in patrons, the brand’s signature logo attracts them even more. The original Sign of the Whale location in Washington, D.C., has been open for close to 30 years; the Tempe location debuted less than a year ago, but already patrons love the logo’s heritage.
“The whale weathervane on the corner of our bar is a small version of what would have been on the roof of the tavern to signify that the tavern would barter with a sailor from a foreign port. Back in the day, it was a true sign of hospitality,” Sandground explains.
The bar promotes its happy hour via online outlets like Facebook and Twitter, which has boosted its happy hour attendance. The bar has joined groups on Meetup.com as well, and since has become a place for groups to host parties.