As much as gays like their brunches, they are equally enthusiastic about 1. cocktails and 2. good deals. Which is why we are starting a new occasional feature, focusing on hot happy hours (including the trendy reverse happy hours) where you can get a bite and drinks deals as well as fellowship.

After all, “happy” is a synonym for “gay.”

In Uptown: The new restaurant Water Grill — a California concept that opened its first non-West Coast incarnation in Dallas earlier this year — specializes in high-end and interesting seafood. But if you’re on a budget, you can try out a sampler of its menu for $6–$10 a bite, from New England-style clam chowder to Atlantic cod fish tacos and some savory goat cheese and pear ravioli. In addition, all pints of beer are $5, select wines are $6–$8 and even the specialty craft cocktails run $8. Happy hour runs 3–6 p.m. weekdays.

In The Cedars: One residence of this funky neighborhood south of Downtown hasn’t had a happy hour in ages, which is why The Cedars Social’s latest incarnation is a welcome addition. The cheffy restaurant across from South Side on Lamar just began its happy hour concept, which offers well-priced apps like the famed meatballs ($4) and tender sirloin tacos ($5 for two), and six specialty drinks for six bucks each. Among the highlights: the rye-based Paper Plane (elegant but potent) and Monte Carlo (Don Draper-esque, pictured above with tacos). Drinks and food are available 4–7 p.m., as well in reverse happy hour fashion, from late-night (starting from 10 p.m.; later on weekends) until closing.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 7, 2017.