April 28–There’s no such thing as a free lunch but there is a 50-cent martini. At least for the next 10 days.
Until May 8, you can score a martini for two thin quarters at a famous hotel that normally charges $18 for the drink E.B. White called “the elixir of quietude.”

Even Julia Robert’s Vivian, the down-on-her-luck prostitute in “Pretty Woman,” could afford the late-night special that’s being offered for the next 10 nights at the Beverly Wilshire. That is if she gets there 19 minutes and 61 seconds after the clock strikes midnight when Blvd bartenders mix up the 50 cent martinis to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Four Seasons, the upscale hoteliers that now own the Beverly Wilshire. With its towering ceilings, chi-chi outdoor patio and eight-foot illuminated onyx bar, the Blvd began featuring the 50-cent bargain on March 21, 2011.

It’s definitely a deal that puts Wal-Mart to shame. Not that the two brands are usually uttered in the same sentence. This is a hotel that caters exclusively to the well-heeled. I’ve heard steaks at Wolfgang Puck’s Cut, designed by Richard Meier, the acclaimed architect of L.A.’s Getty Center, goes for $20 an ounce. And its Penthouse suite starts at $25,000. Sure, it’s the biggest suite in Hollywood and, yes, the rate includes a Porsche, but that’s still far from a blue light special.

So congratulations Beverly Wilshire! Here’s to your 50th anniversary and to your 50 cent martinis!