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Jun 17, 2008 09:21 PM

DT Tampa/ Spain, Fly, Cafe Dufrain?


Browsing info on various boards and came up with these 3 as places try in downtown. A group is going for dinner and to see Eddie Izzard. So dinner first, then maybe drinks after.
Any other suggestions for good food or nay-say on above choices? Nationality not important for food choices just looking for quality food..
Any martini bar type suggestions? Thanks for any info.

Regards. Mike

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  1. try taps wine and beer merchants....just opened, great food...corner of ashley and polk..

    1. I suggest you get there early regardless of where you go. Last night, Tampa Theater was mobbed. Parking: Most meters are not enforced after 5 or 6, but be sure to read the information on the meter.

      The Fly is swankier, but you'll leave hungry- it might be the best choice for drinks afterwards. I don't know how late Spain is open, but it's a gorgeous location (and I"ll be there tonight for a meeting. ;) I don't mind the Thai Corner immediately next door to the Theater- the veggies are fresh. My only critique is that there's a slight musty odor which may be par for the course with old buildings and be sure to give them plenty of time- they were terribly slammed last night and it is a family operation.

      And there's no martini bar in our downtown. We offer The Hub. The college-hangout-style, cheap strong drinks, smokey and loud bar. I lament the state of our downtown in the evening: nowhere to park, few places to eat and most of the time you have to battle the bums (guess the pc term is homeless) to and from your car (put a couple of bum bucks in an easily accessible location if you care to)- perhaps it will improve soon.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rikkikm

        Thanks for the replies toocatt and rikkikm,

        Taps sounds great since several of us enjoy wine and beer. I will pass it to the group with Spain and Thai Corner.

        The GF and I were at the hospital all night when our friend decided to have her baby a few days early- so we may not make the dinner. Maybe Thai Corner if there is time for a small bite..

        Ah yes, The Hub...... Was there once ten yrs ago at 8am after a night shift. Exactly as you describe. Once was enough :-)

        Rikkikm, I'm sorry to hear the nightscene has not changed much from what I remember. Our 3 maybe 4 events in DT during the past 10 yrs have been directly to and from either TBPAC or Channelside for that reason.

        Will report on any dinner results. Thanks for the heads-up re traffic/parking.

        Regards, Mike

        1. re: LokiRN


          This may be too late, but if you are still looking for a downtown place not the Hub at which to have a drink, you may enjoy Jackson's on Harbour Island, if you can brave the crowd. It is Wednesday night, though, so it probably wouldn't be too bad. It's about the only place I can think of downtown that is pretty nice for a drink after dark.


          Jackson's Bistro-Bar-Sushi -Rocks
          601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602

          1. re: LokiRN

            BTW TAPS serves food late 1 am on weekends....

          1. re: UptownKevin

            Hello everyone,

            We went to Taps 7/18 at 11pm for a few appetizers and some beer, The menu was mostly appetizers , salads and some sandwiches . Downtown prices $10-13 for appetizers. The lump crab and avocado dip was excellent. The ahi fresh rolls w/ spicy chili(?) pineapple dipping sauce were very good but the rolls were cut poorly. Rather than cutting in half the rolls were cut on a sharp bias and tended to fall apart when picked up. These appetizers were more flavorful than those we tried at Twisted Bamboo Bistro in my opinon.

            Wines- approx 40 on tap with listed prices 15 to 320 per bottle. Available by the ounce or glass.. Ex '04 opus one $320 per bottle, 15/ oz, 75/glass. Did not try any wines this visit.

            Beer- approx 25 on tap at the time with 200(?) plus bottles available. I was unfamiliar with most of the breweries listed and the some of staff wasn't familiar enough with the various beers to to suggest one between A and B. But lots of beers to try.

            Would return for the quality of food and maybe try a few wines and some more beer.

            Regards, Mike

            1. re: LokiRN

              You can always hit Jackson's for a martini or two...

              1. re: RedBlur

                For a great Martini downtown, I usually go to Fly or Malios.
                For Eats before a show, its Thai Corner, SPAIN, Fly, Hattricks, Malio's, Cafe Dufrain or Jackson's.
                I dont see many homeless, i'm not sure where they congragate.

              2. re: LokiRN

                I went to Taps on Saturday, The service I received at the bar was great! My wife and I were very impressed with the bartenders knowledge of beers, recommendations and his passion for them as well. As we sat at the bar being entertained with jokes and great beer, we decided to try the food. The food was okay as we had the turkey and brie sandwich and the roast beef. The meal could have offered other choices of sides to accommodate them. But overall it was a very nice, clean and a great place to enjoy beers from all over the world. Dustin, we will be back and thank you for a great experience!!