Sep 23

Please Seat Us in the Happy Hour Section

About a month ago a friend and I went to Chevy’s after work. If you don’t have a Chevy’s by you, it’s a chain Mexican restaurant that I have an extreme fondness for. The first Chevy’s I ever ate at was in Warwick, RI when I was in college. When Chevy’s and I “met” it was a like a match made in heaven. I loved their cheap Mexican food and delicious frozen margaritas and Chevy’s loved my American Express.

I brought so many of my college friends to Chevy’s I should have been on the payroll as a brand rep or spokesperson. Passed your final exams? We’re going to Chevy’s. Got into grad school? We’re going to Chevy’s! Birthday party? We’re going to Chevy’s and you’re wearing the sombrero and doing a birthday shot! OK…you get the idea.


Sadly many of the Chevy’s in the Northeast closed shortly after I finished college. So when I got to NYC and discovered that there was a Chevy’s I was beside myself with excitement. I was so pleased I almost squealed (seriously! and I’m not a “squealer”). Now that my love and I have been reunited, I like to convince my friends and colleagues to go to Chevy’s for happy hour. Unfortunately the menu items aren’t inexpensive like they are in the suburbs (it’s Times Sqare folks! There’s a reason those advertisements always say-valid at all locations except Times Square and Hawaii), but the drinks are! So my frugal comrades and I happily split an overpriced appetizer and indulge in a frosty beverage.

The last time a friend and I went we were seated upstairs. Thankfully as we were seated I had the foresight to ask our waiter about the happy hour specials. He let us know that the happy hour specials were only valid downstairs. Without thought, I kindly asked him if it would be OK for us to go back downstairs. I apologized and told he we hadn’t been told that the specials weren’t valid upstairs. He said it was no problem and we happily made our way back downstairs.


Not a Chevy’s Margarita, but it looks pretty, no?

As we did so, I looked around at all the “suckers” who’d been seated upstairs. I wonder if they’d been told that they were drinking full price margaritas? Maybe they don’t mind, or maybe once they sat down they didn’t want to bother to go downstairs, or maybe they were embarrassed to ask for the special. But, I’ll tell you who wasn’t embarrassed to move, this girl! I don’t “need” margaritas, but if I’m going to indulge in one every so often, I’d rather pay $5 than $10. If that makes me “cheap”, or “weird”, I’m totally fine with that.

Would you have moved to the bar or stayed and paid full price? Where’s your favorite hour hour establishment?

**This is not a sponsored post. But if Chevy’s did happen to read this post and wanted to offer me some free guacamole, I’d be totally stoked!**

Ps. If you have a Chevy’s nearby you’ll want to sign up for the compadres club. On your birthday you get a coupon (it’s e-mailed) for a free dinner. You also get e-mails with coupons and specials.

Images: Newsbie Pix, Cillian Storm


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  1. Michelle

    I love Chevy’s also! All of my friends go there whenever something fun happens in our lives also :)

    I don’t get why Chevy’s does that. We have also asked to move after we found out that the Happy Hour special don’t apply even if you are one table away.

    1. KK

      Chevy’s lovers unite ;-)! I never knew you had to be downstairs to get the deals (weird because at the Times Square restaurant the downstairs isn’t all the bar area, there are regular tables too)

  2. eemusings

    I’ve never heard of such a policy! Thought HH should always apply no matter where you sit.

    1. KK

      You’d think so, it’s not like I care where I sit, so I just assume sit downstairs and get the deals.

  3. Mrs PoP @Planting Our Pennies

    It depends a lot whether I would move or not. I typically don’t drink alcohol, so happy hour is pretty meaningless for me. I’d only move if friends were – but even then I don’t think we’d be willing to move to a loud bar where we couldn’t hear each other to save a couple dollars.

    1. KK

      Agreed. If downstairs was loud I wouldn’t want to sit there either. Fortunately the downstairs tables are no different than the upstairs tables (and the ones we sat at weren’t even in the bar area).

  4. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

    I didn’t know that Happy Hour specials only applied at the bar…that’s not fair. I’ve been to the Chevv’s in Time Square a few times…but I went with my wife who doesn’t really drink so I don’t think I had any either. We’d definitely move to get a better deal…that’s for sale.

    1. KK

      They apparently are good anywhere downstairs (even if you’re not at the bar). I didn’t know until just recently. I guess it wouldn’t matter if you weren’t drinking, but if you wanted to drink, stay downstairs :-)

  5. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    Not crazy or weird at all. I always sit at the bar if that’s where happy hour is being offered and I’ll gladly move if I’m in the wrong place. Ps. Check out the east village for happy hour. Soooo many amazing deals and much cuter than Times Square.

    1. KK

      When I was at my old job we went out in the village after work a fair bit (and I agree far nicer and smaller and quieter than TS). My current job is in Times Square so we end up in Chevy’s now and again because nobody wants to take the train elsewhere.

  6. Debt and the Girl

    I have heard that place is good. I wish there was one nearby. I love Mexican food!

    1. KK

      I’m pretty much obsessed with Mexican food. I swear I must have some Mexican lineage that I don’t know about.

  7. Micro

    I decided to give a search to see if there was one where I live. I found one but it is sadly 40+ minutes away. As much as I love mexican food and trying out new restaurants. I’ll have to stick to Moe’s, Uncle Julio’s, and On the Border.

    1. KK

      How sad. Maybe someday when you’re in that town you’ll be able to visit. I’ve never been to Uncle Julio’s but have been to on the border and moe’s and I enjoy both.

  8. anna

    I am ALL about happy hour specials (or any kind of specials) – $2-5 drinks are the best! I don’t think we have Chevy’s here anymore, but I haven’t met a margarita I didn’t like!

    1. KK

      When I was in college a few bars had dollar draft specials and $.10 wings. I didn’t drink beer at the time, but I did make good use of the wing specials.

  9. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    I would’ve totally asked to go back downstairs – no way I’m wasting our hard-earned cash for a few feet of space and some saved face. Happy hour? Let’s see- probably the last time I’ve been to a happy hour was 1999, before our oldest was born.. :-) Seriously, though, Applebees around here and a few others have great half-price specials, and on the rare occasions that we go out, it’s either lunch or happy hour. Saves tons of cash!

    1. KK

      I haven’t been to an Applebees in a long time. Bf and I recently went to a chilis when we were on vacation. We did a deal where you get 2 meals and an appetizer for $20. I was really shocked by how much food we got (easily 2 meals each) and how tasty it was. We got the meal to go so neither of us got drinks.

  10. Budget and the Beach

    I’ve never been to one. I don’t think they have then here to my knowledge. I would have gone for the 1/2 priced margaritas too. There is a place hear called Sharkeez (it could be a chain-at least it is in socal) and they have great happy hour specials on baja fish tacos. I don’t go there often, but it’s where I would choose to go.

    1. KK

      Never been to Sharkeez, bf loves fish tacos, so he’d be heaven.

  11. Matt Becker

    No Chevy’s up here as far as I know. But hey, it’s your money and your time out. You might as well get what you came for.

    1. KK

      I’m all about saving, so if I can save a little by doing something as silly as sitting in a different place I totally will.

  12. Kim@Eyesonthedollar

    I would totally go down a few steps for half price. Not that I make it to many happy hours, but I can live vicariously through my blogger friends.

    1. KK

      I’ll have a margarita for you Kim! :-) But only when I’m sitting in the right area.

  13. E.M.

    You sound like how my mom is with Arby’s! There aren’t many around here, and where my parents moved, there’s plenty within short driving distance. She was ecstatic when she found out. I would have moved just like you did – that sounds like such a silly rule! You really have to be careful these days otherwise you risk paying more apparently. Not surprised it happened in the city!

    1. KK

      When I still ate red meat I loved Arbys. I still love their curly friends with horsey sauce.

  14. DC @ Young Adult Money

    You seriously should get paid by Chevy’s haha. At one of my favorite restaurants/happy hour spots they only have happy hour in the regular restaurant and not the rooftop. People in Minnesota are so desperate to be outside in the Summer that many will pay a premium to be outside.

    1. KK

      Right? Wouldn’t I be the perfect spokesperson? I’m originally from Maine, so I hear you on getting out during the summers. In Maine you basically only get 3 months of warm weather a year.

  15. Holly@ClubThrifty

    I would definitely move to get half price drinks. That makes a big difference if you drink a few!

    1. KK

      So true! My waistline doesn’t like when I have more than one, but at least it doesn’t hurt my wallet 😉

  16. jefferson @SeeDebtRUn

    I think that is a bit silly, personally.. Happy hours should be designed to get people into the restaurant.. By enacting a policy like that, they certainly don’t encourage folks to come back!

    1. KK

      You’d think that they’d be happy just to have the business, but I guess in a busy place like Times Square they aren’t really hurting for business and can afford to make foolish rules.

  17. Money Beagle

    I sort of remember Chevy’s as I used to think, being from the Detroit area, that it had something to do with Chevrloet. But it didn’t as I found out. Since then, I think they’ve exited the Michigan market as I haven’t thought about them in years.

    That policy kind of sucks, though. I think Happy Hour should be valid through the entire establishment. I know it’s within their right to offer otherwise, but I still don’t like it :)

    1. KK

      If I was from Detroit I would totally think the same thing. For years I thought the Christmas Tree shop sold only Christmas decor 😉 I’m not sure why they would make the pricing scheme different upstairs, (I could sort of understand if downstairs was loud and you could only sit at the bar-then people might want to pay more to sit at a table) but since the tables are the same upstairs and down, it made no sense to me.

  18. Karen

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong or weird with wanting to pay less! It’s called being smart with your money. I definitely would have moved if it meant paying less for the margarita.

    1. KK

      Right on Karen! If wanting to save makes me a weirdo, I’m fine with being a weirdo.

  19. Financial Debauchery

    I have never heard of Chevy’s, but it sounds great! Is it weird that I judge all Mexican restaurants by how good the chips before the meal are?

    Nice score getting half priced drinks! I’d totally sit downstairs.

    1. KK

      I don’t think it makes you weird, maybe just makes you a chip connoisseur? 😉 I’m a big fan of free chips and salsa. When I was in college we ordered the chili’s bottomless chips and salsa and stuffed ourselves then took our meals home. It was a cost saving, but relatively unhealthy money saving measure.

  20. Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa

    I’ve ran into the different drink price policy based upon where you are seated… it is nuts in my mind! I once tried to argue it, but had no success. You will now find me in the cheap seats 😉

    1. KK

      Me too Michael! Doesn’t make any sense to me, but I”ll happily sit in the bar for 1/2 price.

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