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After a 9-to-5 packed with deadlines, phone calls and meetings, there is always the desperate need to unwind and leave the pressures of work behind. A hearty happy hour at a local bar proved to be the key to our stress-free evening filled with drinks, desserts and a combination of both.

My friend Nadia and I met up after we were punched out and off the clock. We headed to a martini bar in hopes of being able to let our hair down, physically and metaphorically. Blu Bar & Grille, formerly Blu Martini on Evans Street near Sheridan Drive in Williamsville, was the perfect post-work spot.

Walking in, we instantly felt a sense of tranquility provided by the neutral tones and cool blue décor. Scooping up seats at the classy winding bar, our eyes scanned the mouthwatering martini menu.

Having a sweet tooth, I chose the Cookies and Cream martini. This delectable dessert drink was made with Pinnacle Vanilla Vodka, Dark Chocolate Godiva Liqueur and cream. There was chocolate syrup on the inside of the blue martini glass and cookies crumbled around the rim. It was a heavenly martini and a splendid choice for dessert lovers.

Nadia chose an equally tasty martini, but with more of a fruity twist – Fly Me To The Moon martini made with Pinnacle 80 Vodka, Triple Sec, Watermelon Pucker, Sweet and Sour Mix and pineapple juice.

And what was even sweeter than our martinis? The prices. All day on Tuesdays, martinis are only $6, as opposed to the regular prices ranging from $8 to $10. Mixed drinks range from $4 to $6.

Blu carries a respectable selection of bottled beers ($4 to $6). Most are domestic, such as Blue, Blue Light, Bud and Bud Light, but they also have Corona and Redd’s Apple Ale. The draft beers (from $3.50 to $5) are plentiful at Blu, including Guinness, Southern IPA, Blue Moon, Sam Adams, Purple Haze and Magic Hat #9.

Wine ($6) includes merlot, cabernet, Pinot grigio and sweet Reislings.

Nadia and I sipped our martinis, gossiped and relaxed as cool tunes came through the jukebox and more patrons poured in from work; some younger, some older and some right in the middle.

Five high-definition TVs are positioned around the bar so while girls sip and chat, guys can catch the game.

There is also plenty of seating to accommodate almost any party size. The walls are lined with comfy booths and tables, and high-top tables are closer to the bar. Island seating in the middle of Blu is convenient for birthdays or special events.

A unique series of art, collectively called “The Dancing Olives,” adds to the amicable aura.

By day, Blu is ideal for an after-work get together, and by night, a fabulous location to party with friends under the stars on the patio or inside under the shimmering disco ball. Blu Bar & Grille

Where: 424 Evans St. (631-2190)

Hours: Opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Happy hour: 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Specials include $3 well drinks and domestic bottles, $6 martinis and $4 drafts.

Dress: Business chic or party appropriate.

Hungry? Choose from a wide variety of bar apps like wings and fingers, nachos, stuffed mushrooms and banana peppers, and many more ranging from $5.50- $14