Ybor City is the most diverse and eccentric area in Tampa and can make a great place for students to socialize off campus. The best thing about Ybor nightlife is that there is a scene for everyone.
Though some may have mixed feelings about the small strip of nighttime excitement, familiarity with the right places can lead to a great experience.
The James Joyce Irish Pub
The James Joyce Irish Pub can challenge any qualms about Ybor nightlife. The atmosphere is warm and cozy with bookshelves, a fireplace and the most comfortable bar seating in all of Ybor. With 50 craft beers on tap, the bar is sure to have something to fit everyone’s taste. The kitchen is also open late seven days a week. On Fridays and Saturdays, one can enjoy live music and free entry. This bar is the perfect spot for good conversation with a group of friends.
Dog’s Bollocks British Pub
Sports fans will find comfort at the Dog’s Bollocks British Pub, by far the best place in Ybor to catch a local or European sports game. At times, the energetic and passionate fans are likely to be more entertaining than the games. If patrons are looking to do more than watch television, the bar also offers different bar games, including beer pong and foosball. With a perfect location on the corner of 7th Avenue and 17th Avenue, this bar is hard to miss. While there, trying a $4 fireball shot is a must for those of legal drinking age.
The Honey Pot
As part of the “GaYbor” district, the Honey Pot has a lot to offer the local gay scene, as it hosts a gay night on Fridays and lesbian night on Saturdays. Anyone 18 or older is welcome. On both nights, the Honey Pot hosts drag shows, which are sure to captivate all in attendance — gay, straight and everyone in between. The drinks may not be the most budget-friendly, but they are always strong. With two full bars, service is usually quick. Depending on the night, there are male and female go-go dancers following the drag show. Saturdays have the best music, so get ready to dance, and the best time to go is usually after midnight.
Ybor is such a diverse place, it would be wrong to leave The Castle off the best list. The Castle lives by the motto, “Everyone is welcome, nothing is taboo.” The two-story building is large with a strong gothic feel. Go there with an open mind, as there will likely be vampires, barely clothed men and even your favorite superhero. It has an eclectic mix of drinks to match the people. Cover and themes vary by night. On Thursdays, those 21 and up can order $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) tall boys, and Fridays at midnight there are free shots for “Midnight Mass.”
Czar Vodka Bar and Nightclub
Many people go to Ybor solely for Czar. The club is always packed with people and booming with loud music. Czar’s crowd is filled with college students, hipsters and anyone looking to party. The building is rich in history and has beautiful architecture and tiling. The club spans more than 14,000 square feet and has three rooms and four full bars. One of the three rooms is the Cyberian Vodka Bar, where patrons can order from more than 194 choices of vodka. The specials always change, but following “CZAR NATION” on Instagram and Facebook will lead to clues on how to get in with certain drink specials or free cover. The line is sometimes long, so be prepared to wait.
The Worst of Ybor Nightlife
Though many view a visit to Prana as a USF freshman tradition, Prana should be avoided at all costs. The club is always packed and clubgoers are often stepped on or pushed,
leaving personal space to be highly desired. The drinks tend to be expensive and weak.
Coyote Ugly Saloon
Fans of the movie may find Coyote Ugly appealing, but with the bar decorated in bras and an all-female bartending staff periodically dancing on the bar, it tends to attract an older biker crowd on most nights. Though the music’s range tends to vary, the bar often sticks to country music, and in the midst of Ybor’s typical party atmosphere, the bar mostly appears to be out of place.