Sunday, May 20, 2018
Features and More

Iggy's: A craft-beer respite from Seventh Avenue

Ybor is a party town, as evidenced by the crowds of clubgoers and late-night revelers stumbling up and down Seventh Avenue every Friday and Saturday night. If you're out for a wild night, it should be pretty high on your destination list. But if you need to come up for air at some point during the night, you'll want to know a few low-key Ybor spots to kick back in.

It's true — there are a few relatively chill late-night refuges scattered across Ybor, including some mere steps off the main drag. One of them is hardly a secret, namely because it's located within one of the busiest hotspots on the strip.

The Green Iguana crowd gets pretty thick on busy nights, especially on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On those nights, guests can expect karaoke, live music, DJs and a ton of foot traffic coming in and out of the Seventh Avenue entrance. The place can fill up quickly, but there's no need to leave if you need a break from the crowd — just head upstairs to Iggy's Craft Beer Lounge, the Green Iguana's new upstairs hideaway.

Iggy's is a tiny balcony lounge at the top of a narrow flight of stairs, completely inconspicuous but for a sign announcing craft beers on draft. It's sponsored by Tampa's Pepin Distributing's "Brews With Attitudes" program, and anyone familiar with Pepin's craft-beer roster won't be surprised by the choices on the eight rotating taps — Capital Brewery Hop Cream Ale, Southern Tier 2xIPA, Pensacola Bay Lighthouse Porter, and locally brewed Florida Avenue Blueberry Ale were among the familiar faces on draft when I visited.

With a menu of eight different beers on draft and another half-dozen in bottled in the cooler, Iggy's may seem a bit minimalist, and it is — that's one of its strengths. Iggy's is a modest, low-key lounge where beer lovers can enjoy a pint away from the downstairs crowd, whether they sidle up to the tiny bar, sit at one of the few adjacent tables or kick back on the large, sectional sofa that occupies the area on the other side of the staircase entrance, overlooking the Green Iguana stage area.

Putting your feet up while sipping a quality brew in the loft of a busy bar and live music venue has the feel of a VIP lounge, which is not surprising considering the Iggy's space used to be the Green Iguana's VIP place. It's easy to stretch out upstairs while the crowd packs downstairs; the only danger is that other people will realize it's up there.

The beer list is concise rather than limited, featuring an impressive range of styles for such a small selection. Belgian-style golden ale, stout, maibock, IPA, hefeweizen, porter and hard cider are all there — add a few lager styles and you've got a pretty well-rounded menu. I understand that a new cooler is being installed upstairs, so it's only a matter of time before that happens.

If you're not a beer person but still want to escape to a quieter spot, know that Iggy's also keeps a small bottle selection. And the full Green Iguana wine and cocktail list is available downstairs — just be careful on the stairs after having a few.

It's not big, and it doesn't look like much, but Iggy's is a welcome break from the busier nights on the Ybor strip. To anyone whose secret hideout I spoiled, I apologize, but rest assured word would have gotten out eventually. After all, it's only a flight of stairs away.

[email protected]

Comments
Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra wraps up its final masterworks concert of the season with a masterfully complex Johannes Brahms piano concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s warmly accessible Symphony No. 6, commonly known as the "Pastoral."Friday’s sold-o...
Published: 05/19/18
Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

A Sarasota seafood fixture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.Walt’s Fish Market, Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 4144 S Tamiami Trail, will host a party at noon on Sunday complete with a mechanical shark, live music, live auctions, silent auctions, an al...
Published: 05/18/18
Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down aisle at royal wedding

Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down aisle at royal wedding

WINDSOR, England — Prince Charles will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at the royal wedding — stepping in after the father of the bride fell ill just days before the ceremony. Kensington Palace said Friday that Markle’s future father-in-law, the he...
Published: 05/18/18
Unique bond helps carry Robinson, Alonso girls to state flag football titles

Unique bond helps carry Robinson, Alonso girls to state flag football titles

Editor’s note: Robinson High junior Macy McClintock, a member of the school’s championship flag football program, shares her thoughts about the Knights’ third consecutive state title and the bond it shares with Alonso High, which won its first state ...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Oldsmar ice cream shop opens right in time for summer

Oldsmar ice cream shop opens right in time for summer

Ice Cream Theory, a new ice cream shop in Oldsmar, offers cool and tasty treats to help beat the summer heat."We wanted it to be fun," said co-owner Jessica Weintraub. "We wanted it to be a place for kids to just hang out and enjoy some ice cream."Hu...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Terra Gaucha opens on Dale Mabry

Terra Gaucha opens on Dale Mabry

A new Brazilian style steakhouse is now open in South Tampa and upholds the traditional Southern Brazilian barbecue "churrascaria" dining experience- Gauchos (Southern Brazilian cowboys) roasting large pieces of skewered meats over an open flame.Terr...
Published: 05/17/18
McDonald’s giving away free food to military members today

McDonald’s giving away free food to military members today

TAMPA— All current and former military service members in central Florida can stop by their local McDonald’s and grab a free burger today.In celebration of Military Appreciation Month, McDonald’s is giving away a "Taste of Thanks." All veterans and c...
Published: 05/17/18
Meghan Markle says father won’t attend royal wedding due to health

Meghan Markle says father won’t attend royal wedding due to health

WINDSOR, England — Meghan Markle announced Thursday her father will not be at her marriage to Prince Harry due to health problems. "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," she said in a statement released by Kensington Palace. "I have al...
Published: 05/17/18
Philadelphia’s American Revolution Museum winning battle for tourists

Philadelphia’s American Revolution Museum winning battle for tourists

Associated PressPHILADELPHIA The Museum of the American Revolution is a year old and officials say it has landed a decisive victory in capturing tourists’ attention in a city with lots of revolutionary competition. In honor of its first birthday Apri...
Published: 05/17/18
Tired of the Smithsonian? These small, quirky D.C. museums are worth a visit

Tired of the Smithsonian? These small, quirky D.C. museums are worth a visit

WASHINGTONWashington is known for its museums. But venture beyond the Mall, which is home to four of the 20 most-visited museums in the world, and you’ll find plenty of smaller, quirkier institutions. Want to learn about great inventions, the history...
Published: 05/17/18