3 Forty Grill
340 Sinatra Dr.
This new hotspot, which opened in November, is celebrating its first summer season in Hoboken. Located right along the waterfront, 3 Forty Grill offers outdoor café seating for up to 60 people. You'll rarely have to wait more than 20 minutes for a prime outdoor spot. And the city views aren't bad from the bar inside. The 3 Forty Grill offers happy hour specials Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. And on Wednesdays they have half-price martinis from 4 p.m. to close. Among their most popular drinks are the apple and watermelon martinis.
56-58 14th St.
City Bistro's rooftop is packed just about every night in the summer - especially Wednesdays through Saturdays. But there's never a wait to get up top during happy hour. City Bistro offers half-price drinks during happy hour, Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Every Tuesday is ladies' night with half-price drinks all night. With its location just a block from the Hudson, City Bistro's rooftop offers an unimpeded view of the Manhattan skyline. There's a bar on the roof, but they serve drinks in plastic cups. If you must have your martini in a glass, you can grab one at the bar downstairs and bring it up.
96 River St.
Gerrino's Italian restaurant has been around for a generation, but its sleek Skybar Lounge is new on the scene. Their rooftop bar offers a sliver of a view of Manhattan and Pier A Park. Skybar is jumping every Wednesday, which is gay night - a great party that's now drawing a straight crowd as well. Revelers dance in the second-floor lounge, and the DJ music is also piped up to the rooftop. Skybar offers happy hour specials Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Their Halle Berry martini and Chicktini (a secret house recipe) are popular. Every Thursday is ladies night, with half-price drinks all night.
99 Pavonia Ave.
This sushi spot offers a full-service bar that draws Newport-area financial types to its happy hour, daily from 5 to 7 p.m. Although there's no view from the bar itself, you can see all of lower Manhattan from the tables by the picture windows. And you can get a table even if you're just having drinks or dessert. Mojitos are selling well this summer, and Komegashi also offers Asian-inspired cocktails, such as martinis made with sake or lychee. Or try the typhoon - a potent blend of 13 kinds of liquor and two fruit juices. The typhoons are so strong that there's a limit of two per customer.
76 Audrey Zapp Dr.
Located in Liberty State Park, this dramatic venue is surrounded on three sides by water. The views are great from the distinctive seven-sided bar and from the outdoor terrace. In fact, Liberty House calls it a "view with a room." You can't get much closer to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island without getting on a boat. Liberty House offers live entertainment on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays starting at 7 p.m. They also have free validated parking. What more could you ask for?
11 Marin Blvd.
Going to the Sandbar is a lot like going to a bar on the shore - only it's right here on the Hudson. They recently trucked in 50 palm trees from Florida, so now you can enjoy an ice-cold Corona with lime under the palms. They also truck in a lot of sand - basically they've built a beach that overlooks Manhattan. The Sandbar offers happy hour daily from 4 to 7 p.m. There's no cover at happy hour, but later in the evening, cover varies from $5 to $15, depending on the night. Call for more info.
2 Exchange Place
This striking, upscale lounge is inside the Hyatt Regency Jersey City. Take a seat at the bar and enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. There's also outdoor terrace seating - where, on Thursdays this summer, singer Deena Miller will be performing with pianist Rob Pollack (who has also appeared at Manhattan's Le Cirque 2000 and at the Boathouse in Central Park). Miller and Pollack, who play a mix of jazz, Motown, and pop classics, also perform inside the lounge on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Vu celebrates happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with all bottled and draft beers priced at $3 (including Stella, Bass, and Guinness) and house wines for $4.
7800 B River Rd.
This sophisticated space has an indoor bar backed with picture windows, so you can enjoy a view of the glittering skyline right from your barstool. Frank's also has an outdoor terrace complete with a bar of its own. Guests are welcome to enjoy a seat at one of the outdoor tables even if they're only coming in for drinks. Frank's offers a menu of about a dozen specialty frozen drinks - and that's in addition to of all the standards, such as margaritas and piña coladas. Their martini list is just as long. And by the way, one of our senators, Frank Lautenberg, is a co-owner.
Another upscale spot, Arthur's Landing, is located near the ferry terminal at Port Imperial. Arthur's offers seating on its outdoor veranda - grab a table with a great view of Manhattan. Happy hour takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with $5 cosmopolitans, domestic draft beer for $3, and imports for $4. There's even a special bar menu, though you can also enjoy the view if you're just stopping by for drinks.
1501 Harbor Blvd.
Situated on the tip of a pier that juts out into the Hudson, the Chart House offers panoramic views of the river and the city. The restaurant's focal point is its indoor, circular bar, which is elevated for prime sight lines. The Chart House also has a spacious outdoor terrace with cocktail tables, and an outdoor bar is coming soon. This Lincoln Harbor nightspot serves what it calls "Cadillac" (i.e., high-end) margaritas, in addition to a long list of martinis.