San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Coco Capsule

Boom boxes mounted on the backs of trucks, billboards scattered throughout town and along the ridge road to Playa Panamá and bulletin boards, especially at Luperón are the ways Playas del Coco residents most often get news of what’s happening around the community. This is changing somewhat with the advent of and this column, but often one still can’t beat the traditional methods.

One such tradition is happy hours. Whereas in North America and much of the industrialized world, happy hours provide a time to unwind, here they are often just a beginning, a place and time to learn about upcoming events and friends’ comings and goings. One of the oldest happy hours in town is perhaps the most informal. A Coco institution, Pato Loco has been a regional gathering spot for years. Located between Plaza Colonial and San Carlos, this second generation of Mary’s welcomes guests, friends and newcomers who rarely stay newcomers. The restaurant’s casual atmosphere provides the backdrop for sharing on Mondays and Fridays, starting at about 4:30 p.m. The focus is conversation, the ambience basic, and the information shared priceless. Pato Loco is also a great place to start your day with a homey breakfast.

In sharp contrast are the newly initiated happy hours at Pacífico Beach Club. Now managed by long-term resident Kelsey Hill, the club has formalized happy hours with two-for-one drinks Thursday to Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Guests can watch the sunset in elegant, air-conditioned comfort with a view unequaled along the Coco strand. Kelsey is also making a lot of other changes at the club, including live bands on Saturdays and a series of special events to take up the slack of our lazy Sundays. Starting with a soon-to-be-announced brunch menu, she envisions using the outside grills for special meals, adding to the revised daily lunch menu. Located at the far end of the Mapache road, the club is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

–Kent Carthey

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