5 Napkin Burger

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“I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul remembering my good friends.”
–Richard II, Act II, Scene 3

There is a time in every day when the work is done, and your soul enters a phase of calm and gentle bliss. It is a time when the heaviness of night has not yet begun to claw at your eyelids, and the full brutality of reality has been momentarily banished from your soul.

I speak, of course, of that most wondrous and perfect of times–the one national holiday important enough to be celebrated every day. It is the time we call “happy hour.”

Happy hour is not just a way for alcoholics to save money; it is a celebration of what we as a species hold most precious–happiness. I speak of the restorative happiness that comes from a craft beer after work, the redemptive happiness that cheap food provides to your starving soul, and the spiritual happiness of spending time with co-workers when the work is over–of realizing that these are human beings, just like you, notes in the same symphony of humanity.

There is a chain of restaurants throughout our city that have given great honor and dignity to this most sacred time. I speak, of course, of one of New York’s finest happy hours: happy hour at 5 Napkin Burger.

Imagine a place where, with two dollars in your pocket you can enjoy such gastronomical masterpieces as chuck sliders with caramelized onions and rosemary aioli, sushi hand rolls, or pork taquitos. Imagine dozens of beers from around the world, cold and fresh. Oh, to have had such wonders in the 16th century! I should never have written a word, so devotedly I would have given myself to the glorious art of eating and drinking! Woe is me, that this century is not mine, that hath such delicacies and delights!

Savor this fleeting, perfect time before you realize that the wife is waiting at home and you have to plan for tomorrow and you have to do the dishes and you have to go to sleep and you have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and you have to go to work. All that life is is waiting for these moments–these hours of happiness–when we can imagine what a perfect world would be like.

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Happy hour at 5 Napkin Burger is seven days per week. At some locations (such as Astoria’s) it is from 4 to 7pm, and again from 10pm to closing time.


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