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Originally published March 13, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Page modified March 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM

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Seattle Center, happy-hour mecca?

After a smashing debut, the happy hour at Seattle Center returns, even bigger.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Maybe you didn’t notice. But by last spring, the stellar Skillet diner was hawking its famous bacon-jam burger at Seattle Center. And MOD Pizza and the vegan bistro Plum had opened up a branch there, too.

Have you been? Because the dining option improved dramatically when Seattle Center reshuffled its food-court lineup last year.

And now for drinks.

Maybe you’ve been opting for the bars off Mercer Street, but it’s worth noting that recently Seattle Center got a dozen tenants to do a joint happy hour — $2 beers and $4 bites inside the Armory.

At the inaugural outing last month, organizers projected attendance at about 200, 300 tops. About 1,300 came. Ruh roh.

Every table was occupied within an hour, and an additional bartender was added to handle the line snaking across the main floor. But good times were had.

A DJ from KEXP was brought in. There were old-school video games (Space Invaders!) and board games. Giant-size jenga and Scrabble games were set up, and revelers splayed out on the floor like Romper Room.

Folks stuffed themselves with $4 falafels and meat pies, salmon sliders and mac and cheese.

The deal is offered the third Thursday of every month (beginning March 21).

Learning from the past, this time around, the staff is adding another 30 tables, and there will be five bars stationed around the main floor.

The details

Seattle Center at the Armory, 305 Harrison St., has about a dozen restaurants that offer happy-hour food and drink discounts every third Thursday of the month, from 5-8 p.m. Expect $2 beers, $2.50 wines, $4 well drinks and $7 cocktails. It’s a 21-and-over event, though families still have access to the food court along the perimeter. The main floor that is fenced off is 21 and over only (206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com/happyhour).

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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