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Downtown Tampa - Bachelor Party Recs

dweitz Jan 3, 2011 09:53 AM

Hi All,

I am going to Tampa for a bachelor party and helping to plan the restaurant for the night that we are doing a group dinner.

We are a group of 10 guys and are going to be staying downtown. We would like someplace where we can walk or take a cab.

I have looked into a few places, particularly Berns which has been suggested to me by a few people. Unfortunately, this is out of our price range.

We are looking to spend ~$75 pp all in including drinking (not heavily but probably 2 drinks each).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. l
    Little T. RE: dweitz Jan 3, 2011 01:26 PM

    Why limit yourself to the downtown area if you can take a cab a few more miles?

    Where else have you looked? What type of atmosphere are you going for? Type of food?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Little T.
      sunshine842 RE: Little T. Jan 4, 2011 09:43 AM

      how about any of a fairly long list of places in Ybor?


      1. re: sunshine842
        dweitz RE: sunshine842 Jan 4, 2011 11:39 AM

        I am not that familiar with Tampa and just know that we are staying downtown and will not have a car.

        Any place that is close enough to take a cab would be fine - good suggestion to not limit ourselves to downtown.

        I have seen suggestions for restaurants in some other threads on here, but wasn't sure about hotel proximity and how good they were for a bachelor party.

        As far as types of food we would do Steak, bbq, italian, mexican - pretty much anything that would fit the budget.

        For atmosphere, nothing too stuffy and no place where we would not fit in if we were a little loud (it is not a crazy group, but still 10 guys).

        Thanks in advance!

    2. y
      YosemiteSam RE: dweitz Jan 4, 2011 12:20 PM

      Bern's - Mons FTW

      /thread :)

      8 Replies
      1. re: YosemiteSam
        dweitz RE: YosemiteSam Jan 4, 2011 01:43 PM

        Bern's was the original plan, but people do not want to spend that much money and would rather go somewhere not as expensive and drink with dinner.

        Looking to spend ~75 all in


        1. re: dweitz
          YosemiteSam RE: dweitz Jan 4, 2011 02:01 PM

          I understand, but if you would allow me an aside:

          YOUR BUDDY IS GETTING MARRIED! Tell the group to put on their big girl panties and pony up for what is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime thing for the groom-to-be. Otherwise you might as well go to Hooters and kill two birds with one stone.

          Trying to be helpful though - IMO you need a steakhouse for a bachelor party, so how about Charley's?

          The other option is to go to Ybor and make it a night there - lots of OK dining there with a party scene to follow - Samarai Blue might fit your needs, but I'll let the Tampa experts weight in there.

          But again if you want to be a hero ; Bern's

          1. re: YosemiteSam
            nerditry RE: YosemiteSam Jan 4, 2011 04:06 PM

            I second Charley's. We went there for my friend's bachelor party and had a great time.

            1. re: nerditry
              redfish62 RE: nerditry Jan 5, 2011 06:53 AM

              I think Charley's is a good idea too, that's where I would want to go.

            2. re: YosemiteSam
              dweitz RE: YosemiteSam Jan 6, 2011 12:24 PM

              yea i understand and I am in the group that wants to spend the money and go to Berns. We are flying in from NYC for 3 nights hence the unwillingness to want to spend a ton one night. Appreciate the recs from everyone.

              1. re: dweitz
                sarge RE: dweitz Jan 6, 2011 12:44 PM

                One thing about Charley's is that you can get a hotel next door, so that eliminates transportation costs from your budget, at least for dinner. I can't be certain, but I expect you are looking to finish off your evening just up Dale Mabry, so that's pretty close by cab

                1. re: sarge
                  rhnault RE: sarge Jan 6, 2011 02:52 PM

                  DH and PH are right around the corner from Charleys too...

            3. re: dweitz
              Little T. RE: dweitz Jan 6, 2011 05:43 PM

              So, 40 bucks on a filet or delmonico @ berns and you have enough left for your 2 drinks and tip. Skip the desert room. Remember, all entrées are served w/ salad, soup, baked potato/onion rings and a veggie. No need for apps. They do have cheaper things on the menu as well: poultry, seafood, pork chop etc.

              This is a hard one . . . When is the deadline to decide?

          2. deet13 RE: dweitz Jan 4, 2011 03:42 PM

            You should check out the Tampa Marriott Waterside. From just down the road you can catch the trolley to Ybor City, if you want to do a bar crawl at night.

            Plus there are plenty of solid restaurants around the downtown area, which can be hit via cab from there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: deet13
              Little T. RE: deet13 Jan 6, 2011 06:11 PM

              Also, across the street is the Embassy suites - 513 S. Florida Avenue - NOT THE location on Westshore. IMO, it is a very nice hotel and a bit cheaper than the Marriott (I think). I guess the bonus is that they have free drinks every night in the lounge at the Embassy suites.

            2. m
              Miss E RE: dweitz Jan 5, 2011 05:57 AM

              Charley's is a longish cab ride from downtown, but the food is good, and they have a nice private room that doesn't feel stuffy--it's lined with wine storage cases, quite nice. Have you checked Malio's downtown? I don't imagine it's cheaper than Bern's, but if it is that w/b a fine choice. Timpano in Hyde Park Village is another idea. Ocean Prime and Capital Grille, at International Plaza, are good, too, and tend to be on the loud side anyway; yes, they're chains, but upscale ones and you won't be disappointed. They're a long cab ride from downtown, too--look into a limo, for 10 guys it may well turn out to be a better deal than cabs.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Miss E
                sunshine842 RE: Miss E Jan 5, 2011 06:08 AM

                shoot. I'm having a blonde moment, apparently. What's the place that's in the upper floor of the Spanish Club at the front corner of Centro Ybor? (Hoping it's still there)

                Not a steakhouse, but very good food (including manly-man steaks if you so desire) and pretty easy on the wallet, in a great supper-club type setup.

                There's the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, too -- not upscale, but very good food and great beer brewed on-premises.

                1. re: sunshine842
                  rhnault RE: sunshine842 Jan 5, 2011 08:50 AM

                  I think TBBC is a great choice for 10 guys who want to have fun, drink, and enjoy good food for 75 bucks a head.

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    Little T. RE: sunshine842 Jan 6, 2011 05:54 PM

                    Teatro? Big City Tavern? Both closed . .

                    1. re: Little T.
                      sunshine842 RE: Little T. Jan 7, 2011 12:52 AM

                      Big City Tavern...another one too good to be true, apparently.

                      Big City
                      4046 Wedgewood Ln, Lady Lake, FL 32162

                2. g
                  GatorDave RE: dweitz Jan 5, 2011 09:28 AM

                  You’re going to spend as much at Ocean Prime, Charley’s, etc. as you would at Bern’s. Jackson’s on Harbor Island has good food and a great view, but it gets pretty clubby on weekend evenings. There’s really nowhere good to eat at Channelside.

                  I would go to Hattrick’s on Franklin just south of Whiting for a pre-dinner drink. It’s a great sports bar with better scenery. Across the street from Hattrick’s is a trolley station—head to Ybor City after your drink (or two). There are a bunch of great places to eat in Ybor. Bernini (Italian), the Columbia (Spanish, and a local gem), Acropolis (Greek) come to mind. Have dinner there and hang out/people watch for a while. There are more bars than you can hit in a night in Ybor (definitely hit the James Joyce on 7th above the Green Iguana).

                  Either stay in Ybor until you are done or hop on the trolley and stop at Channelside on the way back into downtown. Stump’s and Howl at the Moon are fun.

                  You can do all of that for $75 per head and it will be a lot more fun that a dinner and done evening.

                  Ocean Prime
                  7339 W Sand Lake Rd # 400, Orlando, FL

                  107 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: GatorDave
                    sarge RE: GatorDave Jan 5, 2011 06:36 PM

                    Bernini is half price if you order before 7:00

                    1. re: GatorDave
                      Little T. RE: GatorDave Jan 7, 2011 05:25 PM

                      I really like the idea of staying at either Marriott waterside or the Embassy suites across the street and taking a trolley to Ybor for dinner and then drinks. Trolley stops running at 2:00 am so make your way to Channelside by then (or earlier). Finish the night at Stumps or Howl at the moon. The walk from Channelside to the hotel area isn't bad if it's late.

                    2. askdrtodd RE: dweitz Jan 6, 2011 09:34 AM

                      This is easy. Change your hotel reservations, skip downtown (no nightlife), skip Ybor (it's just... dirty), and stay somewhere in/near South Tampa. Go to Bern's, sit at the bar, have a couple beers or glasses of wine and a small steak or their steak sammich (or the amazing burger!), bill will be about $60/each. Then right up Howard (walking distance, albeit not a short walk) are about a dozen bars in all price ranges and genres.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: askdrtodd
                        sarge RE: askdrtodd Jan 6, 2011 12:21 PM

                        The only problem with that is I don't know of any hotel near Bern's. Downtown is not really very far at all. Maybe $2.00 difference for the cab ride from the hotels on Cypress or off Dale Mabry

                        1. re: askdrtodd
                          Miss E RE: askdrtodd Jan 6, 2011 02:42 PM

                          The Westin Harbour Island is a hair closer to Bern's than anything downtown, and it has the advantage of being just a stumble--ahem, just steps-- from Jackson's :-)

                          1. re: Miss E
                            askdrtodd RE: Miss E Jan 7, 2011 04:39 AM

                            True. There is a Best Western and the Tahitian Inn on South Dale Mabry, both are about a mile from Berns, from the bars in SoHo, and from the other place they're probably going, and both are probably under 100/night. Downtown is pretty dead, and ybor sucks. Some would/will argue with me, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Someone talked me into going to Ybor for a bachelor party about 5 or 6 months ago, and I protested at first, then kept my mouth shut. We stayed at the Embassy Suites downtown (not a bad joint, but overpriced) and went to Ybor. I don't think anyone had a memorable time.

                            Tahitian Inn Cafe
                            601 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609

                            1. re: askdrtodd
                              Little T. RE: askdrtodd Jan 7, 2011 05:11 PM

                              Embassy Suites across from Marriott waterside or on westshore? The one by the water is pretty nice and, like I mentioned above, they have free drinks every night.

                              1. re: Little T.
                                askdrtodd RE: Little T. Jan 8, 2011 05:38 AM

                                Yeah I do remember that we partook of said free drinks. ended up being a bad idea, they only do it from 5-7 I believe? so we bachelor'd down a substantial amount of cheap booze, really paid for it in the morning.

                                1. re: askdrtodd
                                  benkodi RE: askdrtodd Jan 11, 2011 01:31 PM

                                  I live in South Tampa and have hosted/been a part of numerous bach parties. Stay downtown, Marriot Waterside or Westin Harbour Island (cabbing to Bern's or SoHo is less than $10). Make early dinner reservations at Bern's (no chance you'll get a spot in the bar for 4, let alone 10), you can get out of there for sub $75 no problem. If Bern's is definitely not an option, make a reservation at 717 South in their private room. There is no res fee and it has above average food. From there, you are within walking distance to all of the bars you could want: MacDinton's, Cheap, Dubliner, World of Beer, Yard of Ale, Drynk, The Rack etc....then head to Mons. Cab home from there for another $10. Stay out of Ybor, as others mentioned, it's a dump. You can even have a nightcap at Jackson's, which is located right next to the Westin.


                                  405 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

                          2. re: askdrtodd
                            andy huse RE: askdrtodd Jan 11, 2011 01:51 PM

                            don't be so snobby, Todd. we're talking about a bachelor party, not the christening of a child! Soho makes my skin crawl.

                            1. re: andy huse
                              Clarendon RE: andy huse Jan 11, 2011 04:07 PM

                              Amen to that, Andy! As the expert on all things Tampa, I'd like to know if you think Fly Bar is an option. Dead Downtown or not, the food is great and, in good weather at least, the deck is heaven. I totally love that place.

                              1. re: Clarendon
                                andy huse RE: Clarendon Jan 12, 2011 08:45 AM

                                FLY is great--- cocktails are awesome. But if Bern's will break the bank, a few small plates and cocktails would wash those guys out at $12 a plate and a glass. $50 sneaks up on you fast that way. FLY may be the best single destination i've heard. I'm determined to get drunk there when i come into some money.

                                1. re: andy huse
                                  rhnault RE: andy huse Jan 12, 2011 01:21 PM

                                  well we posted some witty remarks to you earlier and Chow pulled them for some reason. I continued teasing Todd. Todd teased himself, and I talked about places I hung out in Soho back in the day. I guess that was improper...

                                  1. re: rhnault
                                    sunshine842 RE: rhnault Jan 12, 2011 01:26 PM

                                    There was a discussion going on, under the ribbing, about the personality of a couple of different areas...pretty relevant to the conversation, by the way.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      rhnault RE: sunshine842 Jan 12, 2011 01:31 PM

                                      I thought so lol
                                      It was good natured ribbing too. We all know eachother IRL

                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                        askdrtodd RE: sunshine842 Jan 13, 2011 11:21 AM

                                        I agree, Andy had some good points. I know he was just breaking my balls, he's a good dude, if you guys don't break my balls then who will? I need you all to keep me in check!! :)

                                      2. re: rhnault
                                        CFishman RE: rhnault Jan 13, 2011 12:54 PM

                                        I really don't understand Chow's policies. Someone called me "fishbreath" on another thread and said I like Twinkies. I asked them to remove it twice and they didn't. It wasn't my honor that I was concerned about but the temptation of flaming the dude. Todd, if it makes you feel better, I hate Ybor and Soho.

                                        1. re: CFishman
                                          rhnault RE: CFishman Jan 13, 2011 03:15 PM

                                          well C , they knew those things were true ;-)
                                          no way they could pull that post!

                                          1. re: rhnault
                                            CFishman RE: rhnault Jan 13, 2011 03:26 PM

                                            The fishbreath is pretty accurate as I spend most of my day in ketosis so that I can pig out at night. Twinkies though? Alright, I'll admit to that too.

                                      3. re: andy huse
                                        floridaeater RE: andy huse Jan 12, 2011 08:00 PM

                                        Go to Fly on a Tuesday night. All of the specialty cocktails are offered for $5.00. First time there this Tuesday and we had a grand time!

                                        1. re: floridaeater
                                          andy huse RE: floridaeater Jan 13, 2011 01:11 PM

                                          Great to know. Toozday at FLY it is!

                                          I do think Ybor is unfairly maligned. It was so promising 20-25 years ago. Then came bar chains, Centro, baby thugs and high rent...

                                          1. re: andy huse
                                            sunshine842 RE: andy huse Jan 13, 2011 09:54 PM

                                            It was so much fun 20 years ago...we were dating when there was nothing more than the Irish Pub, the Blues Ship and the Silver Ring cafe. Frankie's Patio really got things rolling, because the food and drink was good, and the bands were usually very good. God, I'm old.

                                2. t
                                  TravelerBDA RE: dweitz Sep 26, 2013 08:20 AM

                                  Hey Everyone!

                                  Well its my time for me to get married and I was looking at Tampa/Clearwater Beach for my bachelor party. About 10 guys ages 30-40. I know Yebor is getting a bit rough and trashy but I was thinking about going right before Gaparilla in Jan 2014 on the 24th stay downtown (Iwe are all out of towners) I've stayed at the Hyatt downtown and the Westin on harbour island maybe this time recommendation on the hotel. That night would be great to have a nice dinner somewhere to start of the Bachelor trip and then too a nice retreat for drinks and fun as we are a bit older now so a bit more classy. Saturday will be gasparilla all day and recommendations for where to go at night? Sunday/monday maybe head off to Clearwater beach recommendations on where to eat and stay. Majority of us are foodies and love to eat and have a great time.

                                  Thanks very much too all!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: TravelerBDA
                                    rhnault RE: TravelerBDA Sep 26, 2013 12:08 PM

                                    Ybor is fine- not sure who you have been talking to

                                    1. re: rhnault
                                      TravelerBDA RE: rhnault Sep 26, 2013 12:38 PM

                                      Ok where would you recommend to eat and drink and esp after drinking all evening after being out on the town?

                                      1. re: TravelerBDA
                                        rhnault RE: TravelerBDA Sep 26, 2013 01:01 PM

                                        Taco Bus is open 24 hours so it's very popular after a night of drinking. As far as bars in Ybor I like the Bad Monkey,The Dirty Shame, and for beer New World Brewery. NWB also has decent pizza. New York New York on 7th Ave has excellent NY style pizza. The Bricks has good beer, cocktails, and food. If you want to start with a higher end dinner maybe go to Boca or Pane Rustica. Datz is also really good for a group of guys. These 3 restaurants are more towards Hyde Park/S. Tampa.

                                        1. re: rhnault
                                          TravelerBDA RE: rhnault Sep 26, 2013 01:20 PM

                                          Yes ive been to taco bus and its on my list for sure! This sounds good and I do appricate this. Ive also heard for lunch wagons/food trucks in Tampa. Is there a listing or an app for this that you or someone is aware off?

                                          1. re: TravelerBDA
                                            rhnault RE: TravelerBDA Sep 27, 2013 05:23 AM

                                            I'm not really sure. There is a local blogger who posts a lot about the Food Trucks and was an organizer of the giant food truck fest a couple of weeks back. http://www.carloseats.com/

                                            1. re: rhnault
                                              TravelerBDA RE: rhnault Sep 27, 2013 08:07 AM

                                              Again, thanks a mil for your input.

                                              1. re: TravelerBDA
                                                rhnault RE: TravelerBDA Sep 27, 2013 08:47 AM

                                                You're very welcome. LMK if you need any specific info

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