With budget cuts and tuition hikes burning holes in college students’ wallets comparable to those in the ozone layer, Martinis Above Fourth blends entertainment and affordable happy hour specials that are sure to raise spirits in every sense of the word.
Located in the heart of Hillcrest, MA4 creates a modern lounge atmosphere sure to impress a first date. After a short elevator ride to the second-floor restaurant and bar overlooking 4th Avenue, patrons are greeted by the aesthetically pleasing space. MA4 has been in operation for 8 years. However, a new management group took control last October and renovated the space, giving it a fresh look and feel. MA4 features a double-sided bar with indoor and patio seating options. The patio side of the bar offers an open space to mingle as 4th Avenue serves as a picturesque backdrop. Inside, leather booth seating and cocktail tables fill out the space, adding to the upscale feel.
Happy hour at MA4 runs from 4 p.m. to close on Mondays, 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Pandora takes care of music during happy hour with playlists patrons can’t help but sing along with. MA4’s happy hour drink specials add liquid encouragement for untrained singing voices with options including $1 “mini-tinis,” shot-glass samples of signature martinis, $2 Coronas, $3 draft beer or well cocktails, $4 choice wine and $5 choice martinis. While all MA4’s happy hour martinis pack a strong punch, its most popular selection is the pearl necklace. While the pearl necklace isn’t featured on the happy hour menu, it’s worth the $12 asking price. This much-desired concoction consists of pearl pomegranate vodka, white cranberry juice, a splash of lime and a half-sugared brim. Its dangerous smoothness masks a generous amount of vodka with a fruity taste. Half-price appetizers are also available during happy hour with popular selections such as quesadillas and crab cakes for $5 and $6, respectively.
For those who hang around after happy hour comes to an end, MA4 features live performers every Wednesday through Saturday night. These piano-bar style performances cover classic and contemporary hits with a portion set aside for audience requests as well.
Restaurant manager Ian Johnson believes MA4’s entertainment creates a unique experience for patrons.
“We have a party atmosphere but with a feel of sophistication at the same time,” Johnson said. “I think we can give a more attentive and fun atmosphere compared to other bars in Hillcrest.”
MA4’s servers and bartenders are friendly and provide fast service when fully staffed. The bar typically draws a 25-and-older crowd, so it’s best to go with a group of friends to get the most out of the experience. Off-street parking can be difficult to navigate during rush hour. However, garage and lot parking are available nearby. MA4 is definitely worth the drive for those looking to enjoy quality food and drink options at an affordable price.