Take your happy hour outside at Battle Creek’s Social District

You’ve been cooped up all winter — now is the time to enjoy being outdoors again.

Take advantage of Battle Creek’s new social district to take your happy hour into the sunshine. It works like this: Go to one of the following venues, order a drink in a to-go cup with the State Street Commons logo and take it outside. The district is marked by signs throughout downtown. 

Sit by the river. Wander around Michigan Avenue. Get an Instagram pic in front of a mural. Find a bench under a tree. Hang out in the fresh air while waiting for a restaurant table to open.

Your choices for libations include the following:

Café Rica

These baristas bring the same attention to detail they have for their lattes to a cocktail. Try a classic, such as the old fashioned, or jazz it up with coffee and tea. They also have an eclectic wine selection and a stout inspired by Mexican hot chocolate and Dutch chocolate coffee.

Cricket Club

If you don’t need to look at a menu because you know exactly what kind of cocktail you want, then challenge the bartenders at Cricket Club. Besides mixology, the bar also has a wide selection of draft beer. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Griffin Pub and Grill

An Irish-inspired pub is a no-brainer if you love Guinness, but Griffin has a versatile bar. Check out the draft specials. The mules are especially popular. They have 12 varieties, including the dragon mule and the mango mule.

Handmap Brewing

At Handmap, you know exactly where your beer comes from — take a look through the window into the brewery. The Rye of Sunshine IPA is a good place to start, or get a taste of Battle Creek with the cereal-infused Two Can.

Kitchen Proper

This upscale restaurant made its name with truly genuine, locally sourced food. Their wine dinners can be sellouts. But did you know they also have a rocking cocktail list? They’re the kind of drinks that you’ll want to sip and savor in the evening. Maybe at one of downtown Battle Creek’s outdoor summer concerts.


Everyone on this list serves good food. But if you’re going to pick up a drink from Rafaynee, then you have to check out the menu. This Southern cuisine has soul. A po boy goes great with beer, or pair a wine with peach cobbler.