Black Bottle

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Hi everyone! The Happy Hour Seekers are back! Tonight we went to Black Bottle, a trendy 21+ gastropub located in Downtown Bellevue between NE 8th and NE 10th Street running parallel with Bellevue Way. 18175932_10213300031477146_1239444765_o

You might be asking yourself what in the world is a gastropub? Unlike an ordinary pub, a gastropub often serves higher quality food. At Black Bottle, they offer a variety of champagnes, wines, beers, and cocktails. There is also an array of food to choose from, 18195561_10213300030757128_1203381335_oranging from meats to seafood to veggies.

Black Bottle has a rustic, casual vibe. Small plates can easily be shared. Their small Happy Hour menu has a very reasonable average price of around $5 for food and drinks.

We really enjoyed Black Bottle’s interesting selection and great service! Be sure to check out our comments below to find out more!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on Black Bottle!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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I had no idea where to park so I parked behind a building in another store’s lot. The server said there is parking in the Avalon garage which they will validate for two hours.

Atmosphere

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Definitely had an adult, clubby feel featuring popular music and industrial look.

Food

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Not a huge happy hour choice. There were only a few items so I ended up ordering off of the main menu and it was very good.

Drinks

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Not a lot of happy hour choices, especially for wine, so I chose a martini which was discounted. It was super good and fairly large. I love how they served it!

Pricing

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They offered $5 happy hour items but too few of choices. I ordered off of the small plates menu. My martini was $7 which I thought was a good price.

Service

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Great! Service was outstanding!

Overall Experience

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Because I came here for happy hour, I have to give them a lower rating than I would if I were here for dinner. It’s probably not the best happy hour due to the limited menu, but the food, service, and atmosphere were all great! I will definitely come back just to try more of their menu.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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I have been here before so I knew to park in the garage although it’s not very clear from the outside.

Atmosphere

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The contemporary, open style is really fun. This is one of the few places where I enjoy sitting at the bar,.

Food

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Limited HH menu and only one gluten free item, bacon-wrapped jalapeños. They were so good–but not great right before bikini weather! I also had the beets gratin which were amazing but now I need to go on a water fast for the next several days!!!

Drinks

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Limited HH menu so I ended up getting a mezcal margarita. Not my favorite but I’m glad I tried it. 

Pricing

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Service

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Our server, Kinsey, was very attentive and patient with all of our quirky/needy questions!

Overall Experience

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I really like this place. Just not the best HH choices if you’re looking for menu variety.

A Night at Suite

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Hello, Happy Hour Seekers! It’s been awhile but we’re back and tonight we went out to Suite–a trendy restaurant located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Bellevue. It’s a sleek and hip lounge that becomes somewhat of a nightclub on the weekends.
img_1506Walking into Suite, we were wowed by the vibrant lighting and unique decor. Soft, neon lights created an intriguing, fun, and energetic atmosphere. There is even a small dance floor and Suite regularly showcases a variety of music and entertainment.

One of the most unique aspects of Suite is that every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., there are live performances by members of Seattle Aerial Arts. We don’t know of any other place in Bellevue where you can enjoy some food and drinks while also watching a fascinating acrobatic show!

Suite definitely offers great happy hours, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday through Friday and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The food was reasonably priced and really demonstrated the variety they have to offer!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on Suite!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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I parked in the garage under the Hyatt, took the elevator, and Suite was right there! Parking can be validated but there is also valet parking.

Atmosphere

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Beautiful, sexy, and modern. There were very pretty colors, patterns, and lighting!

Food

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I loved the selections! I had Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna for $7 and Rock Shrimp Tempura for $5. They had bruschetta, calamari, chipotle, tacos, and a wide variety of tasty choices.

Drinks

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I had a vodka martini for $6. The specialty cocktail selection was superb. Lots of choices!

Pricing

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I thought the pricing was very good. The price matched the portion size.

Service

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Service was slow to start but the waiters were polite. They were knowledgeable about the food but not so much about the happy hour red wines. They didn’t hesitate to split our bill for us which was nice! The service seemed appropriate given the atmosphere.

Overall Experience

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It’s unique to any other restaurant in Bellevue. It’s a great place for happy hour, work meetings, or to bring a date. There were good drinks and happy hour food items to choose from!

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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It’s by the Bellevue Collection so there’s tons of parking and tons of cars. I forgot to get my parking ticket validated but they were able to use my receipt so plus 1/2 martini glass for the parking 🙂
Atmosphere
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I think the decor is very attractive. Suite has an upbeat feel that makes you want to have fun. I love that they have a place where you can watch aerial performers in Bellevue–and it’s complimentary!

Food

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Very limited Gluten Free choices but they were able to make my shrimp tacos with corn–they were worth it! (Though three tacos was a bit too much for me!)

Drinks

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I had the Suite 75 which looked like a glass of champagne. It was made from gin, St. Germain, lemon, and champagne on the top. It’s my favorite cocktail!

Pricing

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They offer some of the most affordable HH pricing in downtown Bellevue!

Service

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It took us awhile for our server to greet us but she was very nice, knew the menu well, and offered some great suggestions.

Overall Experience

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The Suite is definitely going to become part of my regular HH rotation! I was surprised at how bright and beautiful the decor is, as I usually hit this place around 11 for dancing!

Experiencing El Gaucho

El Gaucho, an upscale restaurant in Downtown Bellevue, is known for their exquisite

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El Gaucho himself!

steaks and delectable seafood. El Gaucho is an elegant restaurant with attentive service and exceptional food, making it an all-around incredible dining experience. Sometimes happy hours only have limited selections that do not fully capture the true essence of a restaurant. However, in the case of El Gaucho, I’ll go as far as saying any expectations of what a true happy hour should be were exceeded!

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The Happy Hour Seekers and friends!

Upon first walking into El Gaucho, one might not expect the expansiveness and luxuriousness of this restaurant.   The bar is furnished with comfortable booths and chair seating. Although the lighting is dim, the restaurant is still bright due to the huge wall of windows.

If you’re looking to treat yourself, we strongly encourage checking out happy hours at El Gaucho for a luxurious dining experience!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on El Gaucho!

 

TERI’S THOUGHTS:

 Parking

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I parked in the garage next to the elevator that went straight up to the restaurant. They do validate your ticket. They also have valet parking.

Atmosphere

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Loved the big windows and luxurious atmosphere!

Food

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Great happy hour menu items that represented their entire dinner and lunch menu. It was nice to be able to taste what they are known for. Exquisite food and ingredients. I had the wicked shrimp which was spicy, flavorful, and filling. I also had the calamari which was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Drinks

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Nice wine selection and great happy hour drinks. Very good!

Pricing

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Prices range from just a few dollars to $22. A good majority of the items are under $10. This is what happy hour should be–very reasonable and comfortable pricing.

Service

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This was the most attentive service I’ve ever had at any restaurant. I was given water immediately, the service was personable and the waiter was outstanding, I was given a list of wine choices right away.

Overall Experience

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I think this has been my favorite happy hour so far, mainly due to the service and food quality!

 

CAMI’S CORNER:

Parking

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I have the worst luck finding parking here. I ended up paying $14.
Atmosphere
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A beautiful, charming restaurant with a gorgeous view of the courtyard from the bar. The crowd looked fun with lots of attractive men.

Food

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No gluten free designation on the menu, but our server knew the selections well. I had tenderloin diablo and mixed green salad. Both were amazing and it was more than enough food!

Drinks

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I love mojitos and they offered a vodka-based version that was so good and refreshing–I had to have two!

Pricing

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Not the most expensive Happy Hour in Bellevue. Worth the prices!

Service

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Our server was very attentive, knew the menu well, and was adorable.

Overall Experience

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Even though I couldn’t seem to find the parking, all of my friends could, so I won’t hold that against them. El Gaucho offers a great happy hour with a comfortable and unique setting. It’s my favorite so far! A great option if you want to treat yourself or take someone special to a Happy Hour they will remember!

Kicking off 2017 at John Howie Steak

 

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Hello Happy Hour enthusiasts, it’s been a while! We haven’t posted since, well, since last year but the Happy Hour Seekers are back and we thought the best way to kick off the new year was a happy hour at John Howie Steak.

John Howie Steak is known for their delicious steak (of course!) but we have also been hearing people bragging about their daily happy hours. So, we decided to check them out for ourselves. John Howie is located at the Bravern in Downtown Bellevue, next to all kinds of swanky stores like Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Salvador Ferragamo, and Neiman Marcus. John Howie is regarded as one of the premier and classiest restaurants in Bellevue.

Lucky for us, we had a pretty great time! We were a bit disappointed with some of the pricing and that John Howie didn’t clearly designate gluten free options on the menu. Maybe that’s something they could consider in the future. However, the atmosphere was sleek and inviting, our servers were friendly, and the food we ended up with had a good taste. Check out our ratings below. Also, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what places you think we should check out in 2017!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on John Howie Steak!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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Parking at the Bravern can be a challenge–and I’m not a fan! The garage is too confusing. They offer valet parking which is a great option.

Atmosphere

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There have comfortable chairs, TVs, and a nice sized bar. The lighting is great, nothing too fancy, just cozy.

Food

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They offered good choices that showcased the best of their meats, fish, and extras. I ordered off the bar menu instead of the happy hour menu. I had the Ahi Bowl which was excellent!

Drinks

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There was a nice choice of drinks. I had a delicious vodka martini. However, I did not see a lot of wine options on the happy hour menu–though there were plenty to choose from on the regular bar menu.

Pricing

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Pricing was reasonable for the quality and food choices. The average price was between $8 and $16.

Service

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Attentive, personable, and respectful. We had a server who was able to answer all of our questions. Very nice.

Overall Experience

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I would definitely go back. My favorite part was the comfortable seating. I had a nice experience overall!

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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Parking on a Sunday was a breeze!
Atmosphere
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It was very cozy! They had a small bar and a nice layout.

Food

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The menu has no designated gluten free options. I really wanted the steak bites but they weren’t gluten free. I had the spicy habanero butter shrimp which was very good. The deviled eggs were okay but a little bland for my taste and didn’t pair well with the shrimp.

Drinks

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I had the spicy basil lemon drop which I really enjoyed!

Pricing

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I have not dined here for Happy Hour in a few years but the prices have increased dramatically!

Service

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Our waiter was very nice but didn’t seem well-versed with people like me who have food allergies. I realize it’s hard to keep up with everyone’s different allergies/preferences. I just wish John Howie had better prepared their staff or designated gluten free options.

Overall Experience

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I used to rave about John Howie’s Happy Hour. However, this time, I spent over $60 with the tip and didn’t have the food experience I was hoping for. Probably an off night. I would try again sometime with different expectations.

Seastar

Owned by chef John Howie, Seastar is one of Bellevue’s most luxurious and much loved restaurants. Held in high esteem for their variety of steaks, seafood, pastas and more, Seastar is a great stop for happy hour seekers who love delicious seafood and a high-end atmosphere.

One of the reasons why we enjoy Seastar is that they are very involved with charitable organizations, working closely with communities to improve the lives of others. Seastar gets involved with many different organizations, offering donations and free thanksgiving dinners to those in need. Besides, Seastar philanthropy, they have a great happy hour menu every Monday through Friday filled with delicious menu selections.

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Happy Hour Seekers Cami and Teri!

Although the food leans on the more expensive side, the HH menu offers a good selection of food and drinks for more reasonable prices. Although the food servings are small, they are both filling and delicious. The food is fresh and cooked to perfection.

Tonight, we visited Seastar the night before Christmas Eve to celebrate the holidays. We were pleased to see that the bar was decorated with some likes to make the atmosphere a bit more festive. Our server was nice and attentive throughout most of our meal, though there was a bit of a wait for the bill.

Overall, we enjoyed the atmosphere and the service and will definitely be returning to Seastar sometime!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on Seastar!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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Fairly easy garage parking that can be validated. Valet parking is $7. The stalls in the garage are designed for compact cars.

Atmosphere

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Upscale, comfortable, and elegant. I loved the candle holders, which appeared to be a Glassbaby.

Food

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Great selection and representation of the menu items. Outstanding quality!

Drinks

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Delicious and good choices.

Pricing

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Great happy hour prices on food and drinks!

Service

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Attentive waitress when we first got there. She easily let us split our bill and our waters were filled frequently. Service got a little slower towards the end when it was time for the check.

Overall Experience

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One of the best happy hours I’ve been to.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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There is a parking garage off of 108. Seastar validates up to 3 hours and you can take an elevator up to the restaurant.
Atmosphere
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Very beautiful. The artwork is creative and it was very festive for the holiday weekend. A good amount of seating which was spaced out well.

Food

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The food was tasty and you can share with your friends. There are gluten free items but I actually got really sick after so maybe some cross contamination happened. Bring your GF enzymes if you are sensitive!

Drinks

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There was a small selection of beer, wine, and well drinks and martinis. If you purchase heir specialty cocktail, a dollar goes to Food Life Line and Kick Hunger Challenge which is cool.

Pricing

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Very moderate and typical for Bellevue. I ordered a martini, deviled eggs, and an Arnold Palmer (my go-to so I don’t order a 2nd cocktail!) and my bill was $21.

Service

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It’s a great place but because I did get sick, I can’t give it a 5.

Overall Experience

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99 Park

Conveniently located on a corner lot, across the street from the downtown Bellevue park, 99 Park is a new, exciting, and innovative addition to the restaurant scene,  It offers a cozy, yet fashionable, dining experience. We chose 99 Park for happy hour because of their location as well as the local, seasonal and innovative menu items.  Besides, the food looked great!

99 Park offers happy hour every Tuesday through Saturday,  4 to 6 p.m., and Sunday/Monday, 4 p.m. to close, served in the bar. We 15622044_197572137371020_3291703023766202387_nwere apprehensive about coming here at first because the prices are a bit on the expensive side and they don’t have a designated Happy Hour menu.

Happy hours are intended to draw in customers and offer menu items at discounted prices.  The menu at 99 Park limits you to the small plates, which range in price from $13 to $16, which is a bit pricey compared to other places.

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 10.20.35 AM.pngEven though it was on the expensive side, we ended up having a wonderful time at 99 Park. Their speciality cocktail menu is fun and offers a lot to choose from, with an average price from $12 to $22.  There was also a variety of NW wines and beers.

99 Park is trendy with a rustic sort of feel. It is really a one-of-a-kind spot in downtown Bellevue. Unfortunately, when we got our bill, the 25% happy hour discount was not included. Even though we ordered during happy hour time (between 4 and 6 p.m.), we left after it had ended (around 7 p.m.). Therefore, we were not given the discount. We are not sure if this was an oversight or a general rule.

All things considered, 99 Park was better than expected. Our food was great, the atmosphere was lovely, and the servers were very helpful and friendly!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on 99 Park!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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Street parking and some designated spots. I was lucky to get a spot right out front.

Atmosphere

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Pretty. Love the shiplap siding. Cozy. I love the old fashion light fixtures.

Food

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I ordered the beets–superb! So fresh. They reminded me of my grandma’s farm.

Drinks

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Fun, exciting cocktails. Good wine and beer choices.

Pricing

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Too expensive for happy hour, and they forgot to include happy hour prices on the bill.

Service

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Very good service. The waiters knew their menu and were able to describe the food  in great detail.

Overall Experience

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I thought I would need an interpreter for some of the HH menu items! However, I absolutely loved it here! Because of the pricing, I would recommend reserving this place for a special occasion.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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The park being under construction doesn’t leave a lot of parking options.
Atmosphere
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I really like the atmosphere. Elegant and contemporary with a comfortable feel.

Food

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The food was very good and creative. There were a lot of gluten free options–always a plus in my book!

Drinks

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Old classics made to perfection. I chose a Bitter Wife and French 75–loved both!

Pricing

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A bit higher and no specific Happy Hour menu. The do offer 25% on small plates as well as on the cocktail and wine menu.

Service

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We had two waiters that paid the most attention to us and were quite charming. The other servers checked on us and cleared our plates.

Overall Experience

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I would have given 99 Park a much higher rating, however, we were not given the happy hour pricing we had anticipated. I would go here to enjoy time with friends but would not recommend for happy hour.

We went to Earls!

What started out as a family-owned burger and beer restaurant has now grown over the years into a large chain of restaurants located across the United States and Canada. Today, Earls offers a diverse menu filled with fresh and innovative food options, often using local

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Happy Hour Seeker Cami!

food. Happy Hours are held daily in the lounge and on the patio—a definite plus for Happy Hour enthusiasts like us.

Earls in Bellevue is in a prime location, right across from the mall in downtown Bellevue.

It is within walking distance from several parking garages (Bellevue Square, the Westin, and Lincoln Square). Earls is super accessible and easy to spot from the street.

When we walked into Earls, we were met with a warm, inviting, and beautifully decorated atmosphere. This is definitely the sort of place that attracts young professionals in the area.

We had a great evening overall. Although the menu selection was somewhat limited, the foods and drinks tasted great. Plus, our servers were very friendly and attentive. We can’t wait to return to Earls!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on Earls!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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Easy if you are a local. There is free parking at Bell Square or validated parking in nearby garages.

Atmosphere

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Love, love love!

Food

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Awesome. There wasn’t a big selection but the Ahi poke I ordered was so good. I also ordered a side of beets and carrots that were super yummy!

Drinks

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Limited but thankfully good choices.

Pricing

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You might have to venture a little bit off of the HH menu because it’s  a bit limited.

Service

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Outstanding. It seems all of the staff helps out. We had several servers in addition to our main girl and they were all great!

Overall Experience

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I love it here and will be sure to come back! It was super relaxing, the service was relaxed and everyone who waited on us were patient and genuinely helpful.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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There are a few parking garages but you will have to walk no matter what.
Atmosphere
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The bar was super cute. It seemed like there were 4 different, distinct rooms to dine in.

Food

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Food was good but extremely limited on the HH menu. They do offer gluten free garlic French fries (crazy fattening but at least they are gluten free!).

Drinks

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Drinks are good but once again, very limited for HH. I ordered a gin and tonic which came with a special little bottle of tonic. Very nice presentation.

Pricing

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Pretty average for Bellevue.

Service

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Very attentive. All of the staff delivers food and checks in on you!!

Overall Experience

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It would have been a 5 if the menu was larger–but overall we had a great time!