Howl at the Tampa nightlife

College Bars

The Greenery Pub
13740 N. 42nd Street
(813) 977-5992

Located just blocks from the USF campus, The Greenery has become a favorite of the local college scene, partially because of the cheap domestic drafts and imported bottled beer. The pub boasts a traditional bar menu including burgers and Buffalo wings. The Greenery is always packed with college co-eds and is the perfect place to meet other USF students, listen to some jukebox favorites and escape the stresses of daily college life.

O’Brien’s Irish Pub
11744 N. Dale Mabry Hwy
(813) 961-4092

A twist on the traditional Irish pub with its tiki bar and Florida feel, O’Brien’s is the perfect place to down some Guinness and meet new people. Tucked away in the corner of a shopping plaza, O’Brien’s has been a staple with the young Tampa late-night crowd for years. Drinks are reasonably priced and O’Brien’s offers a wide selection of beer and liquors, often featuring live music in a comfortable atmosphere.

New World Brewery
1313 E. 8th Avenue
(813) 248-4969

The small hangout is located just off the crowded streets of 7th Avenue in historic Ybor City. New World Brewery is a quaint pub and pleasant escape for those not into the chaotic club scene. The bar has an impressive huge assortment of draft and bottled beers, ranging from domestics to rare imports. The prices are surprisingly low on some of the better imports, and the outdoor patio makes New World a cozy place to hang for the picky beer snob.

Special Occasion Bars

Blue Martini
2223 N. West Shore Blvd
(813) 873-2583

The dim, swanky atmosphere of Blue Martini attracts professional young to middle-aged Tampa patrons on a regular basis. The bar features some of the most appealing and original martinis around, and they are priced accordingly. At around $11 for a Cosmo, Blue Martini is not an everyday kickback bar. However, it is perfect for birthdays and celebrations or just a night of a little something different.

Hyde Park Café
1806 W. Platt Street
(813) 254-2233

A mix of club and bar and a cleaner alternative to the Ybor club scene, Hyde Park Café routinely draws the pretty people of Tampa. An open-air bar is located essentially between two clubs. The outdoor area is illuminated by torches and is more relaxed than the techno-driven clubs. A dress code is enforced by the none-too-nice bouncers, and maintains the upscale feel of the establishment. Hype Park Café is a good place to splurge and show off your designer duds.

Whiskey Park Soho
720 S. Howard Avenue
(813) 259-9669

The South Tampa version of a pool hall and sports lounge with a dimly lit atmosphere and hot singles scene. The cozy venue features several pool tables, a central bar and more gourmet eats than the typical bar fare. The swinging songs of the DJ, and the young professionals who come to see and be seen enhance the already-sexy vibes of the alternative to the sports pub.


The Castle
2004 N. 16th Street
(813) 247-7547

Away from the main Ybor drag in a dark corner rests Tampa’s home of gothic, New Wave and fetish nights. The two-story venue features a downstairs bar with additional bars and a large dance floor upstairs. A lightshow and projection screen illuminates the large dance floor. The unique dark décor is one of a kind in the Tampa area, and draws many college students who like their club with less booty and more grit.

1609 E. 7th Avenue
(813) 248-2331

The huge club encompasses a good portion of the 7th Avenue strip in Ybor city. Amphitheater boasts a large rotating dance floor as well as an additional level to appease the partygoers. A stage at the front of the venue has random entertainment including dancers and fire-blowers. The Oxygen Bar offers an escape from the typical smoke-filled haze, and an outdoor second-floor balcony overlooks the strip.

Banana Joe’s
615 Channelside Drive
(813) 228-7300

Banana Joe’s is a relaxed party club located in the Channelside entertainment district near downtown Tampa. The club and adjoining bar/restaurant, Margarita Mamas, are tropical ly themed and infused with island vibe. The club has a large dance floor area, multiple level bars and a VIP area. The venue has a reasonable cover charge and is a pleasant alternative to the Ybor scene. The music is a mix of contemporary pop and hip-hop and serves a wide variety of patrons.

Outside the Box

Usually upscale and bowling do not belong in the same sentence. However, one of the newest additions to Channelside is an upscale bowling venue called Splitsville. The entertainment complex features bowling, pool tables and nine plasma television screens. Food is also a feature at Splitsville. Gourmet pizzas, freshly rolled sushi and mango quesadillas are some of the fancy fare offered. The sleek retro-chic design allows people to party and play in complete comfort.

1600 E. 8th Avenue
(813) 241-9675

Back in the heart of historic Ybor city lies a Steven Spielberg-designed maximum-entertainment center boasting more video games and skill tests than the average enthusiast can handle. The huge arcade has two full-service bars and an adjoining restaurant. The facility has racing games, traditional video games, prize games and virtual reality experiences. Passes are available for multiple-hour play. GameWorks is certainly not just a center for kids’ play.

Improv Comedy Center
1600 E. 8th Avenue
(813) 864-4000

The traditional comedy club, featuring touring comedy acts, is located in the middle of Centro Ybor. Big-name comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Jim Bruer and Dave Attell regularly visit the club. All seating is first-come, first-serve, and the club offers a decent food and drink menu. Libations definitely encourage the rolling laughs and the occasional heckler.

Contact Lori Bartlett