Its a fact: downtown Hartford is not known for being a popular Scenic destination. We don't call it the douchestrict for nothing.
However, we have and will face difficult parking and the risk of encountering "bro" culture for a good cause. Our interests in film festivals, queer events, late night falafel, sexy bands and wacky parades have gotten us out there. The area also offers a variety of happy hours that range from tolerable to awesome.
One of my favorite happy hours is at Koji on Asylum Street. Koji fancies itself as a "Yakitori and Sake bar" that serves grilled veggies and meats on a stick for a dollar or two apiece, with a spicy orange mystery sauce (delicious), and carries an impressively large variety of top-shelf sake. I don't know anything about that expensive sake, but feel free to buy us a round if you see us!
Happy hour goes from 4-7, so you don't even need to rush out of work to take advantage of the half price appetizers and $5 saketinis. There is usually one flatscreen tv playing some sort of kitschy Japanese monster film, and one playing 80s music videos. On a few, smaller screens, there are photo slideshows of what appears to be a drunk Saturday night crowd, with an air of downtown douchiness. We will pass on that scene.
On Sundays, Koji hosts an "Alternative Night", which is like, some kind of weird code name for Gay Night. You can expect a Dj, sexy dancing, drink specials, and gaeity- you know, the usual. Dave the handsome bartender also clued us in to a girls night and gay karaoke being added to the mix, along with a Fag Hag Ball- fun!
Their postponed-due-to-snow-Christmas party (or XXXMas Party, as they call it) may be worth checking out this Sunday, especially for those of us don't have to work on Monday. There is no cover, but dropping $20 will get you open bar from 9-11. So, depending on how fast you can drink sake bombs and scorpion bowls, it may just work out.
Koji Alternative Night has a facebook page here.