Place: Monty's Raw Bar and Grill
2550 S. Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove
Hours: Monday through Friday, 4-8 p.m.
Deals: Half off all cocktails and beer discounts. $3 Stone Crab claws and $2 for two shrimp, oysters or clams from raw bar.
Scene: You haven't lived through a real happy hour until you're caught in a deluge at Monty's in Coconut Grove and you're forced, along with hundreds of other happy hour-ers, to squeeze tightly under one of the dozen or so Tiki Huts they have. Luckily, the specials, including $3 Stone Crab claw specials and $1 per for shrimp, oysters and clams, make sharing close quarters easy.
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Monty's has been an happy hour mainstay in the Grove for decades. Its history is a little dirty - many a Cocaine Cowboy tied up their cigarette boat to Monty's in the 1980's and the original owner even did a stint in the slammer--but that just adds to its allure. These days it's mostly college kids that pack the place on Thursday and Fridays but with outdoor seating for close to 500 there's room for everybody. Live reggae calypso music is played during happy hour.
Conclusion: It's not often a happy hour can simultaneously provide an appropriate backdrop for hard-partying college kids, serious drink pounders and families. But Monty's does the trick. Part of it is due to nothing more as it stretches along a good bit of the bayside in the north Grove, but the friendly vibe and salt air seem to add to a venue that welcomes all for seafood and spirits.