It has been quite some time since we had the chance to party in Tampa and St. Pete but we always have a blast when we do. They have one of the best club scenes for a place you don’t really expect it. We ventured to St. Pete for pride weekend this year and not only had some of the most amazing Thai-Mexican food (yes, we found out there is such a thing) just off the pride festival strip but got to see Deborah Cox perform live. We were worried at first that all of the flooding in Florida earlier that week may have dampened all of the fun but everyone still came out and it was sunny and hot when the weekend began.
St. Pete has the Flamingo which is sort of their version of the Parliament House of Orlando. Minus the energy and larger dance space. The Flamingo is thrown together more like you would find at more of a resort town where they focused more on the pool than on dancing or drag shows. The outside bars and pool area is where the action is and the Sunday gathering was quite popular.
Georges Alibi can be found in St. Pete and Ft. Lauderdale but the one here has so much more energy and an actual dance floor. It seemed more like a club especially after the pride parade where you could dance up on the stage. Alibi featured Ru Paul’s drag queen winner Sharon Needles as one of their guests during the big weekend. We recommend you check out Alibi if you want to dance while in the area and they also have food.
Tampa or as some call it Trampa has the gays all in one area called Ybor city. This is more of a historical Colombian district of Tampa which has lots of restaurants and clubs. The bathhouse is even located in this area just a few blocks down the street from a Hamburger Mary’s. You can pretty much do anything you want in this district once the sun goes down as long as you are not driving. There are cops everywhere.
Honeypot is most likely my favorite spot on the strip in Tampa but it’s only gay night is Friday night which they call Steam. You can go up to the balcony and people watch the Ybor strip and listen to the dj upstairs or go downstairs and enjoy the dancefloor with huge stage for performers. The DJ booth has its own floor almost and is unique. I could seriously party in this club every-night.
The other large dance club is G Bar which is big on Saturday nights. They have two rooms of different types of music side by side. In the left room you have hip hop and top 40 type music and in the right you have more of a circuit beat. We stayed in the circuit room most of the night. Kat Graham performed the night we were there and it was one of the best performances I have seen this year! G Bar also has gogo dancers on the bar inside the left room. We had really bad luck with bartenders in Tampa.
I am not sure why but it was one thing after another. I am pretty sure we were over-charged a few times and one bartender was mixing up credit card tabs. Maybe I am just lucky at getting MUCH Better bartenders. Other than that it was an entertaining city full of shows and lots of dancing.
Bradley’s is more of a drag queen lounge off of 7th street. We really enjoyed their lounge area and liquid next door was quite the wild place on Sunday nights. Their amateur drag show or contest was quite entertaining. We then strolled over to Rise at Tabu on Sundays and watched more drag and a jello wrestling contest off the rooftop. There was a gogo dancer on the ledge of the building. We were glad at that point they did not play the Madonna ‘Jump’ song well unless he was diving into the jello pool. I almost think that was lube and not jello.
If you happen to be in Tampa on a Thursday night we found the best places to be are the Social Club where they do hip hop, top 40, and drag shows. Bradley’s was also busy with female illusionists.
The bars in Tampa are highly smokey. If you have allergies to cigarettes you may reconsider going out in this town.