The downtown Duck and Decanter location will no longer be closing its doors at 4 p.m. but instead will be welcoming customers into a new happy hour hotspot.
After being open for almost four decades, the deli and gift shop altered their business hours and started a new “After” Nooner menu in the business district of Phoenix.
The name “After” Nooner came as a play on the original title of the Nooner Menu, which is available during the normal lunchtime hours.
“My grandpa thought of the name nooner,” said Pierce Mettler, the night manager. “A nooner I think is kind of an old school term when you, on your lunch break, go hook up with another employee.”
The new happy hour is Monday-Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Mettler said most happy hours downtown end at 6 p.m., and they are trying to be “the only and best option open at that time downtown.”
“We’ve been seriously talking about expanding into happy hour for five or six months now,” he said. “It’s one of those ‘if you build it, they will come’ sort of things. I really wanted to run with it.”
The restaurant near Washington Street and Central Avenue has been family owned and operated since 1972 and today roughly half of their family members are running their three locations.
Duck and Decanter currently displays local artists’ photographs and are looking to expand into live bands on Fridays or open mic nights. They hope to eventually incorporate live music into the happy hour.
“Generally speaking, we want to appeal to everybody, but would love to have more of the younger demographic,” Mettler said. “We definitely want to pull toward more students from ASU and U of A.”
Many of the local bands and artists are close friends of co-workers, or have been seen in social areas overtime by employees. The photographs displayed inside are rotated out every three months, which they plan to start integrating into First Fridays, said Mettler.
Duck and Decanter, after having a presence in Phoenix for many years, does have its regular customers.
“Our regulars are people we know,” said Mettler. “We know their name and order. It’s comfortable.”
Although they have many regulars, the employees have also recently started to see new faces and Mettler hopes it continues to increase with the newly established happy hour.
“I think it would be great to get more students down here,” said Shirley Spencer, a longtime employee in the downtown area who is now retired. “It seems that it could be very fun for young kids that have to be downtown.”
For the past seven years, Duck and Decanter has played a large role in Local First, a nonprofit organization that supports local businesses.
“We always strive to reach out to the local market economy first, rather than having to outsource,” said Mettler, noting their honey from Tucson and Arizona-made espresso and draft beers.
He explained that much of their recent additions such as delivery and happy hour are very much based on customer’s comments.
“If someone is in town from a different city and they walk in, they want an Arizona draft beer,” said Mettler. “They want something they’ve never tried before.”
Steve Hudson, 25, of Tempe, said his occasional work-related downtown visits tend to include lunch stops and that he likes to see “new local places taking off rather than large chains moving in.”
“I always looks forward to seeing where new restaurants take off,” said Hudson.
When advertising their gourmet coffee, deli sandwiches, draft beer, and new happy hour, Duck and Decanter prefers their customers to become fans by word of mouth and know of their quality service.
“It’s incredible for me,” said Mettler. “It’s almost surreal at first to have been down here in this space after 4 o’clock for once, pouring draft beers with candles on the tables and hearing live jazz music in the background.”
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