Whether you’re in search of a place to listen to some great grooves or simply sample a knockout cocktail, Tampa Bay and St. Pete have the answer. Check out these hot spots that may be brand new to you, or might deserve a revisit if it’s been a while. Get out there and have fun!
- New Kid on the Block: Stillwaters Tavern
For having just opened this past May, Stillwaters has developed quite a reputation for itself, with praise from the Tampa Bay Times, SaintPetersBlog, Creative Loafing, Passport Planner Princess and I Love the Burg. In a rustic-looking setting with an emphasis on wood décor, the tavern offers a land and seafood menu that features only local and fresh produce. They have 20 beers on draft and an extensive wine and cocktail list to browse as well. This is a great place to bring the gang for a relaxed evening out, with plenty of options and a phenomenal view. Visit: Stillwaters Tavern, St. Pete
2. The Band Groupie: Skipper’s Smokehouse
This place has been a local treasure since 1980, easily missed as it hides away in its bungalow-like aesthetic, covered in vines and shadowed by trees—but that’s all part of its charm. Once you step inside you realize it is a lot bigger than it appears at first, with a concert courtyard locals like to call the “Skipperdome,” filled with worn wooden benches and a sprawling stage that hosts amazing performers. Settle in either indoors or out to enjoy performances by legends and soon-to-be legends in blues, reggae, Zydeco, rock, bluegrass, jazz and folk. While you’re at it, choose a brew from the extensive beer list and order a plate of the best wings in town—no joke. Visit: Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa
3. A Wild Night Out: Wet Willie’s
Wet Willie is no stranger to fun, with a name that equates to an upbeat, wild time in a unique atmosphere. The best thing about this place? A signature cocktail with a pretty self-explanatory label: the “Call a Cab.” This drink starts off as a Cosmopolitan and adds a little Grey Goose Le Citron vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and a splash of lime. After a hard week at work, it’ll get you out on the dance floor and take your ladies night to the next level. Visit: Wet Willie’s, Channelside Bay Plaza, Tampa
4. The Perfect Tan: Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
Frenchy’s has a few awesome locations, but the Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach is its largest venue, with a chill vibe and a varied Floribbean and seafood menu. They have two large bars (because they understand the urgency of a second round!) and also live music that sets the laid-back/on-the-beach tone.
Take in the gorgeous sunset view and toast to how lucky you are to live on the Gulf coast! Visit: Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, Clearwater Beach
5. The George Clooney: Fly Bar
This place is the very definition of “Sexy Sophistication,” with no frills, pale wood and metal, and a sprinkling of moody lighting. The bartenders are called “mixologists”—and after just one of their concoctions, you will understand why. Each drink is unique, with a different flavor designed to spark your taste buds. The real attention-stealer, however, is the rooftop view of historic downtown Tampa, twinkling in the night. Visit: Fly Bar, Downtown Tampa