Gathering with coworkers for a drink before heading home after work has been a tradition for well over a century. Happy hour began as a way to attract the lucrative after-work crowd into area taverns, many of which were situated close to industrial districts to appeal to those just getting off work. These taverns were rustic affairs that served cold beer, shots of whiskey, and salty snacks designed to increase the thirst of their patrons.
Floors were often strewn with sawdust, and women weren't allowed in most of these establishments unless they were employees. That began to change when more and more women entered the workforce, and it is now against the law to deny someone entrance to a public establishment based on their sex.
The types of beverages served by taverns and bars has also changed dramatically over the years. Mixed drinks became extremely popular in the 50s, and happy hour San Diego became popular among those working in the business district as opposed to factory and industrial workers. Many bars and taverns changed to accommodate a more upscale clientele during that period of time, and drinks like the martini became extremely popular, particularly in urban environments. However, the classic working class tavern continued to thrive in industrial areas and still maintain a significant presence.
In many communities, popular happy hour meeting places are a hybrid of old-school taverns and the type of upscale bars that became popular in the 1950s. The thing that remains the same is that competition for business is still extremely stiff in the food and beverage industry, and the after-work happy hour crowd is still the most sought after customer demographic.
No matter where they choose to celebrate the end of their workday, today's happy hour crowd has a significantly wider selection of beverages than their counterparts of the past. Many establishments have expanded happy hour to include food as well as drinks. Happy hour isn't just for places that serve adult beverages anymore. Coffee and tea shops often have happy hours as well, and ice cream parlors have also adopted the trend.
The tradition of happy hour is now firmly entrenched in modern culture, and it provides an excellent way for workers from all different industries to bridge teh gap between their work day and their evening at home.