Ode: The Whole Happy Hour Menu at Jax Fish House
Let’s be honest. You go for the two-buck-a-shucks and order a couple dozen to start. Sure, they may not have been curated and served with love and deep knowledge by Ben @oysterwulff Wolven. And, yeah, you don’t always know if you’re going to get tiny, gooey gems of pure ocean or giant, briny boogers, or — ideally — a batch of subtle, saline-kissed delights.
But none of that matters, because you’re knocking back half-shells in a gregarious locale — maybe sprinkled with their house mignonette or dunked daintily in horseradish and cocktail sauce.
And you’re sipping at a six-dollar earl grey whiskey cocktail or tap negroni with your best pal and it’s sunny outside and not even 4:30 in the afternoon on a Monday and you’re already feeling that happy hour glow.
You’ve also somehow managed to put away a full pound of peel-and-eats dipped in a very kick-ass mustard sauce, your fingers pruny and covered in Old Bay… along with a bowl o’ mussels, to which the server kindly added a couple extra slices of crusty grilled bread to dip into the warm garlic and chardonnay goodness they’re (no longer) swimming in… and… fuck… you didn’t need those perfectly corny hushpuppies slathered in sweet, buttery dipping sauce, but also you kind of did, and your server managed to slip in the order — along with two more cocktails — just before the POS switched over.
When you stumble out of the place sometime after five, LoDo is aglow with evening sunlight. The sidewalks are slowly filling with the few remaining office drones working downtown, condo dwellers walking their Bernese Mountain dogs and Doodles with arch literary names, and maybe Coors Field families if the Rox are in town. Everybody seems pretty pleased with themselves and the world around them (except immediately following the occasional too-close buzz-by of a Lime bro or two wobbly drunk girls sharing a scooter).
You spent way more money at a discounted happy hour than you went in expecting to, but your belly is full and warm and your lightly befuddled brain has a hazy happiness that helps the week ahead suddenly feel manageable and worth the effort.
“Damn you, Jax,” you think to yourself with love in your heart. “You get me every time.”
You breathe in the evening air before giving your bud a bear hug and toddling on your way, a stupid grin on your face.