While we love the abundance of happy hours in Portland it is a reality we must face that a lot of people who work in Portland live outside of it, including us, and may not want to hang out in town after work. Citizens of Cumberland (and nearby South Windham, Falmouth, and Gray) rejoice! The Cumberland House of Pizza (CHOP) has a great happy hour where you live!
Cumberland House of Pizza may be your first thought in finding dinner, but now with the addition of a full bar in back, it should be among your first thoughts for a local happy hour as well. When you first walk in you might not think “this is a hopping happy hour spot” but take a right and continue on back and you’ll find a cozy dining area and a bar that has ample seating. Happy hour is from [insert hours 5-7. Specials include .50 cent wings, a beer special that we enjoyed too much to remember, and a featured cocktail for just $5. The draft list includes big name domestics as well as some of the larger local breweries like Shipyard.
We were a large group when we met up at CHOP and while we over took most of the space at the bar, the staff did an admirable job keeping up with us and the other patrons. Since the Cumberland House of Pizza also has some delicious food, we decided to sample the menu too. I highly recommend the greek salad. It’s a bowl piled high with crisp lettuce, olives, feta, onions, and the most tender, marinated chicken I’ve ever had on a salad. Dressing is served on the side so you can decide how much you want and it makes a great balance to that basket of onion rings, which are also delicious.
The Cumberland House of Pizza serves up a happy hour that is no frills, but passes on great savings so the next time you’re waiting for your pizza try a drink. Better still, eat in and enjoy the best of everything that CHOP has to offer.
Sometimes when winter just doesn’t seem to want to release its hold on the weather you need a refreshing margarita to help you remember that spring and summer will come. El Rayo’s Portland location is one of our favorite outdoor happy hour spots during the warmer months but with a small indoor area it can be difficult to meet friends in colder or inclement weather. Luckily El Rayo has a larger location on Route One in Scarborough that is just perfect to sip your drink out of the cold and dream of warm tropical breezes.
The happy hour specials are the same at both locations, Monday – Friday from 4-6pm you can order up $5 house margaritas and daiquiris, and $2 Mexican beers. Since we are fans of the Portland specials we knew that the margaritas would be top notch so we ordered some up. When they came we were in for a pleasant surprise, they now are served in pint sized glasses! Same great swordfish stirrers and flavor thankfully! Check out the pics below for comparison.
Our drinks also came with some free chips and salsa so you also get something to nibble on while you sip. We also decided to order up some queso with chorizo and ended up staying for dinner as well. The food was great and definitely needed before heading home after a couple of margaritas.
The interior of the Scarborough location is really nice. They have completely remodeled the interior and when you walk in you’d never know it used to be a convenience store and other retail outlet. The bar is warm wood and raised a bit above the main floor, separating it from the dining area but maintaining a bright, open atmosphere. The chairs in the bar area of padded and comfortable. They chose bright colors, keeping a continuity with the Portland location which both evoke warm climates without getting cartoony. In the summer they also have a patio area that we are excited to go back and check out as soon as the temps rise enough!
El Rayo Scarborough is definitely a stand-out on Route One and is a great spot to catch a delicious drink without having to venture in town. Give it a chance if you live or work nearby, it’s worth the visit. They also have daily specials Sunday – Wednesday if you can’t make their happy hours or need something more substantial to accompany your drinks.