Liviní it up

Top 10 bars within 20 miles of campus

1. Tampa Bay Brewing Company: This quiet Ybor City bar offers one thing that others lack: a wide range of homemade brews. Patrons are offered a choice of several beers created right here in Tampa. But beware, you will reach your limit much faster. Some of their concoctions are so potent, they have more than twice the alcohol content of the average domestic beer.
Tampa Bay Brewing Company also has a tasty selection of foods and a light atmosphere perfect for hanging out with friends and chatting. Overall, for a relaxing evening and drinks you wonít find anywhere else, this is the place.

2. Four Green Fields: What could be better than being handed a pint of Guinness at an authentic Irish pub? At Four Green Fields, little, if anything, is better. With Irish bartenders and live music, this small pub is always packed. Located on Platt near the St. Petersburg Times building, it is easy to miss this small haven from the Ybor strip. However, what it lacks in profiling, it makes up for with its usual friendly buzz and Irish hospitality. If youíre looking for something a little off the beaten path where live Irish music is still appreciated in an atmosphere where drinking songs and camaraderie reign, Four Green Fields is the place to hang your hat for the night.

3. Bar Tampa: This bar/club sits tucked away just off of Yborís main strip. It offers a simple yet effective mix of a bar and a dance floor. Strong DJ work provides a mix of most kinds of music, giving something for everyone. Unlike other bars, where people are thrown out for wild antics, Bar Tampa encourages people to dance on the bars and enjoy the party. If youíre looking for a quiet bar for talking and relaxing, this is not the place. But if youíre looking for a raucous good time, this is the place.

4. The Greenery: Local bar and self proclaimed home of the Bulls football games, the Greenery offers a restaurant – type setting and is walking distance from several apartment complexes. The mix of pool tables, dart boards and a juke box means customers can never expect a dull moment. The food is not too shabby either. The Greenery has hand tossed pizza and little appetizers to keep you satisfied while watching the game. Overall, The Greenery, open since 1977, has all the school spirit it needs to keep USF students coming back to celebrate.

5. Tampa Ale House: Situated on Dale Mabry, this bar/restaurant offers a place to watch your favorite sports game, play a game of pool or just sit and socialize. The atmosphere is relaxing and the service is pleasant. The hamburgers and wings are especially tasty. The bar patrons do not interfere with the relaxed environment. If you are looking for a place without crazy sports fanatics or rowdy drunks but just a place to kick back for a while, head for the Tampa Ale House.

6. Howl at the Moon: Not only awesome for its infamous ìbucketî drinks, but the entertainment is better than just about anywhere else. Dueling pianists play requests, invite patrons up on stage and are joined by a band at least once every hour. Itís a great place to ìrock outî on a Friday night, and even if you donít like to drink, go just to watch the regulars. They can get a little crazy.

7. Bobalouieís: This is one of those bars that offers a little bit of everything. Karaoke nights are always fun, and a big-screen TV makes for a good time watching the game. The real difference between this bar and other sports/karaoke places is the food. Bobalouieís offers an excellent selection for your enjoyment.

8. Green Iguana: This bar/club boasts excellent drink specials, a killer sound system and two rooms each with its own distinct vibe. If youíre into dancing, then try the back room, which has plenty of floor space to shake your booty on and several pool tables if bar games are your thing. If neither one of those sounds appealing, you can always kick back with a drink and listen to live music featured in the main room.

9. Skids: A traditional pool hall, Skids offers several tables and a separated bar area. For those wanting to kick back at the bar, televisions show all of the nightís sporting events. The food is acceptable, and the service is friendly. Itís the perfect place to play pool and enjoy a relaxing time with friends.

10. Beer Bellyís: If you are more social when you drink alcohol, then at this bar you might find yourself singing on stage. This karaoke bar, located off Busch Boulevard, features a large screen monitor and a massive song selection. And after your performance you can play a game of pool or darts.

Top 10 things to keep in mind when going out to drink

1. Eat before you go: Drinking on an empty stomach will not only get you drunk much faster, but will leave you feeling sick the next day. Make sure you take time to have dinner before you go out.

2. Follow the rhyme: ìBeer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, youíre in the clear.îÖ Think the rhyme doesnít apply to you? Think again. You never what to throw up in a public place. Sticking to one type of drink is best, but if you want to switch, follow the rules.

3. Watch your drinks: Especially for women, making sure no one else touches your beverage of choice is very important. Donít let it leave your hand and donít let anyone you donít know buy you a drink.

4. Donít be afraid to call: Itís much better to get home safely and swallow your pride than to go at it alone. Call someone to pick you up, have a designated driver or call a cab. Donít feel bad for calling up a friend ñ you surely will have to return the favor one day.

5. Bring appropriate I.D.: There is nothing worse than getting to a bar and finding out you left your I.D. at home except, of course, getting thrown out for a fake I.D. while your friends are still having a good time. Keep identification on you at all times.

6. Be with friends: Drinking alone is never good in a public place. When going out make sure to have a group of friends to watch out for you and keep you safe when traveling home. Stumbling alone down the street can get you arrested for public intoxication. Having friends to watch out for you if you had too much is always a good idea.

7. No mixing: Never mix medications with alcohol. In addition to a night you wonít remember, such a combination can do permanent damage.

8. Know your limits: Alcohol poisoning can kill you, and itís not safe to be ìfall downî drunk in a public place. Know when it is time to stop and refuse that last round.

9. Know the area: Make sure you know where you are going and how to get there and back. In case of emergencies, it is good to know the place and what to expect. If you think it is in the wrong part of town, turn down the offer and go somewhere you know. Itís safer that way.

10. Be hydrated: Beer will naturally dry you out. Donít drink it to quench a thirst, and be sure to drink plenty of water before you go out and the next morning.

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