The new happy hour

The new happy hour

After-dark sales a bright spot for chains as customers embrace late-night dining, drinking

For casual-dining restaurants, extending operations into the wee small hours of the morning is becoming as standard as a Frank Sinatra song.

A growing number of casual-dining concepts are staying open past the typical 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. close, often keeping the doors and kitchen open until midnight or even 2 a.m.

Many Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bars expanded their hours last year, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. has added late-night happy hours over the past

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