This cool blue room, originally a jazz bar with upscale pretensions, beckons with promises of good beer and free pool, especially on warm days when you haven’t yet had dinner. And why not? The succulent ahi carpaccio ($5 at happy hour, $10 otherwise) is one of the best happy-hour bargains we’ve seen yet, especially when accompanied by a sweet, chilly Blue Monk Rita (tequila, lime, blue Curaçao, $4.50-$7). Games lurk in the basement, but the more sociable of us prefer the sidewalk tables for eyeing hipsters across the street at Aalto Lounge.
What to drink: The Iced Monk: Frangelico, Bailey’s and coffee topped with whipped cream, $7.
Happy hour: $4.50 house cocktails, $2.50 well drinks, $1 off call drinks, $3 domestic drafts, $4.50 house wine, $5 small plates 5-7 pm daily upstairs, 5-8 pm downstairs.
Entertainment: Pool, darts, live music, DJs, open-mic poetry on Wednesdays.