Happy Hour is for the Girls: Five Booze-Free Alternatives For After-Hours Networking

By Joey Krzeminski and Elyse Wild

Meetings and happy hour go together, like, well, gin and tonic. Networking over after-hours cocktails and appetizers is ingrained in our work culture and for good reason: Studies show that stepping out of the office to bond with colleagues increases your chances of success within your organization and industry. While West Michigan is brimming with marvelous restaurants, bars and breweries ready to embrace the post-work crowds, we are shedding light on five creative spins on the traditional happy hour (sans booze) for you to add to your weekly calendar.

“Studies show that stepping out of the office to bond with colleagues increases your chances of success within your organization and industry.”

Pottery Lane

401 Hall St SW #128b,

potterylanegr.com

Pottery Lane offers the ultimate unwind through the soothing sensory experience of working with clay. Walk-in Create Time is 9-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10-8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For $20, you receive 2 lbs. of clay and access to all tools. No registration is required, but if you want to make this artistic space your go-to, you can purchase a Happy Hour Punch Card, which costs $165 and is good for 11 walk-in visits.

Maru Sushi

927 Cherry St SE

marusushi.com

Hold your next afternoon meeting while indulging in the delicious delights of this award-winning sushi restaurant. From 2:30-5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday all signature, vegetarian and simple rolls are 25 percent off, with deals on shareable plates.

Eastern Floral

multiple-locations

easternfloral.com

Brighten your office (or someone else’s) with a bountiful bouquet of blooms from Eastern Floral,

at half off, no less! All fresh cut stems are 50 percent off from 2 p.m. to close on Friday and Saturday.
Go with a group of colleagues to purchase flowers
for your respective workplaces. A well spent happy hour, indeed!

Lex Facial Bar

8 Logan St SW, #155

lexfacialbar.com

Happy hour spa treatment? Yes, please! Lex Facial Bar offers happy hour pricing Wednesday through Friday (3-7 p.m. Wednesday and 3-6 p.m. Friday) on express facials, spray tans, brow wax and brow tint. For those of legal age who still want to partake, complimentary refreshments are available. These specials are available by appointment only, so be sure to book your appointment ahead of time by calling 616-591-8197 or by visiting the Lex Facial Bar & Spa Facebook page.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

101 Monroe Center St NW

artmuseumgr.org

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is the ideal location to get some post-work inspiration. Thanks to Meijer, the GRAM offers free admission to the general public from 10-5 p.m. on Tuesdays from 5-9 p.m. on Thursdays. Enjoy the stunningly curated permanent collection, the print room and reference library and the current rotating exhibits, and the upcoming ArtPrize exhibitions from Sept. 12-Oct. 14.

When she is not editing for WLM, Elyse enjoys traveling to far off lands, enjoying live music, and practicing kung fu. She is also the owner of Your Story, a personal biography writing service for senior citizens.

 Joey Krzeminski is a film student at Lesley University in Boston . When she’s not working on set, she writes scripts and novels. She aspires to be published and  write films for the big screen.

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