As I recently reported when Red Robin decided to re-emphasize its bar menu, more and more casual chains are trying to capture or recapture a lucrative part of the industry.
The latest is P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. A chain that has always had a very good cocktail list and a respectable wine list, it now has expanded its happy hour special with new drink and food items.
The chain has offered a happy hour deal since June, but now is including more offerings as part of its “Triple Happiness” menu available from 3 to 6 p.m.
Drink specials range from $3 to $6 for beers, sakes and wines as well as signature cocktails, such as the new mandarin champagne cocktail and an Asian pear mojito (right).
• Tuna Tataki Crisp: Seared rare, sliced ahi tuna on a crisp wonton, topped with cucumber and scallions and a citrus-sesame soy sauce.
• Asian Street Tacos: Four varieties — beef, spicy shrimp, pork and mahi mahi, each topped with chopped vegetables and herbs in a flour tortilla.
• Shanghai Street Dumplings: Filled with chicken, ginger, green onions and soy. (Shown at left.)
In addition to Red Robin, the Applebee’s chain push of its bar sector has seen alcoholic beverage sales jump by 14%, and Ruby Tuesday has cited its revamped bar program, which includes $5 premium cocktails, as being a big assist in its financial turnaround push. And, in another take on the topic, I recently reported that the Cheesecake Factory has begun offering reduced calorie cocktails.
Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.