It may be "five o'clock somewhere," but that doesn't mean that it is happy hour everywhere.

The concept of "happy hour," a period after typical work hours when discounts are offered to bar and restaurant patrons, is a bit of an American institution. You had a hard day of work and you now deserve a cold one and a plate of nachos.

The reality is, some states won't allow their local bars and restaurants to have happy hour promotions.

How Did Happy Hour Start?

The origin story of happy hours can be traced back as far as the late 1800s. Business Insider says the term "Happy Hour Club" was adopted for a social club that was around at that time.

The concept would turn into "happy hour" thanks to the Navy. Business Insider found the crew of the U.S.S. Arkansas started having their own "Happy Hours" in 1913 that would include "entertainment, boxing and wrestling matches, music, dancing and movies."

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The happy hours were later scrapped when the Secretary of the U.S. Navy prohibited the use of alcohol on ships.

The concept, however, started popping up at bars around the country.

Bar during happy hour
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States Where Happy Hour Is Illegal

Not every state was onboard with adopting the Navy's happy hour tradition. In fact, there are still states to this day where having a reduced price on drinks for happy hour is outlawed.

But that has been changing in recent years. In 2015, Illinois started allowing happy hour drink specials for the first time. Liquor license holders can reduce drink prices for up to four hours on any one day, but no more than 15 total hours in a week.

Indiana was the most recent state to allow happy hours, reversing a ban that had been in place since 1985. The change went into effect on July 1.

That leaves seven states, according to USA Today, that still don't allow happy hour discounts for drinks after work:

  • Alaska
  • Massachusetts
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont

Guess that just means residents of those states will need their own bar at home where they can have happy hour. Maybe even enjoy some movies and wrestling like they once did in the Navy.

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