When Little Palace opened last year, it immediately became a Downtown lunch favorite, but I'd never really checked out its happy hour. Turns out that was a mistake.

When Little Palace opened last year, it immediately became a Downtown lunch favorite, but I'd never really checked out its happy hour. Turns out that was a mistake.

While the kitschy atmosphere - complete with vintage furniture and a Larry Bird bobblehead - and a cute and friendly bar staff would be enough to please anyone looking for a pleasant after-work spot, the drinks are the reason I wish I'd gotten hip to this happy hour sooner.

The booze:

Each month Little Palace rolls out a couple of specialty drinks that are modern twists on classic cocktails. For the next few weeks, the classic B-52 shooter is modified into a martini called the B-54 St. cocktail ($6).

The original B-52 is a layered shooter of Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream and Grand Marnier. The different densities create a multi-shaded shot that's as visually appealing as it is sweet.

Little Palace switches things up by adding whipped cream-flavored vodka and serving everything straight up in a martini glass. It maintains the visual style but offers something more substantial, with dark chocolate flavors and the Grand Marnier's orangey taste coming through.

There's a number of other specials to get excited about, too, mainly the half-off draft selection. Four of the eight taps change regularly, keeping things fresh.

Guinness, Tire Bite Golden Ale, Stella Artois, Troegs HopBack and an IPA from either Southern Tier or Founders are always available for less than $3. Other taps offer seasonal selections from craft brewers.

The food:

With a collection of expertly done bar food favorites, there's something for everyone.

You'll need a friend to help you finish the first-rate pizzas ($9-$12) and strombolis ($9-$10). Also highly recommended is an assortment of submarine sandwiches, like The Great Santini ($7.50) and Philly Cheesesteak ($6.50).

The one menu item you must try at least once is the Little Palace Gyro ($4), although I doubt you'll be able to have just one. The perfectly flavored lamb and house-made tzatziki are stuffed inside a delightful, warm pita. Pair it with some hand-cut fries ($2).