Sometimes you want to have drink in a civilized environment and talk to your bud without using a megaphone or text messaging. Cork is your happy place downtown for those times. For the price of a fast-food sandwich and soft drink, you can have an adult experience in Cork's warm, clean, softly-lit bar. The music is sophisticated with a great selection of over 700 jazzy, bluesy tunes personally selected by an obliging employee with a fine ear for relaxing and engaging music---a nice alternative to those places with a worn soundtrack of eight songs from the '80s. I'd rather have the smart and reasonably sassy bartender at Cork serve me with class and professionalism than get a sandwich from someone in a paper hat who has dubious hygiene and motivation. The selection of happy wine is limited to a single white and a single red. Happily the taste is not limited, and the wine is served in Riedel glasses. If you think Riedel plays shortstop for the Elks, please don't rush away from taco town or the all-you-can-eat buffet at the pancake and burger palace on the strip. It's always a bonus to get cloth napkins with $2 beer. Deschutes beer is featured but there are also bottles from Anchor Steam, Stella Artois, Pacifico, and others. Food choices are not the regular fries, pizza, and stale chips covered in congealed cheese-like byproduct scraped off the Jersey Turnpike near exit 22. The five regular small plates at Cork include seared scallop, ahi poke tostada, crab cake, well-balanced salad, and fried ravioli with homemade marinara sauce sound. Sometimes a special pasta dish is substituted for the ravioli. Excuse me while I dry the drool off my keyboard.
What: Cork Happy Hour
When: Tuesday through Saturday, 5:00-6:30 in the bar only
Where: 150 NW Oregon Avenue
Drink Specials: ALL beers are $2 and select wine for $5
Food Specials: Six regular small plates for $5 each
Why: Sometimes you want to play with the adults and have happy hour food and drink without getting hammered and passing out in your nachos.