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Insomniacs: A homelike bar worth staying up for

There will be no desire to take a nap at Insomniacs Bar and Lounge.

Luis Santana/tbt*

There will be no desire to take a nap at Insomniacs Bar and Lounge.

Remember in high school, when you had the cool friend who had a drum set in his parents' garage and you would go over there after school to listen to punk records and make horrible noise on the drums and generally get the sense that you were young and rebellious and clever? Or maybe you were invited to a house party a few years later, and someone had a mini-bar set up in their den, and you couldn't believe how brilliant the idea was?

That's what I was reminded of when I arrived at Insomniacs Bar and Lounge in New Port Richey. I had set a goal to explore Pasco County a bit more, and Insomniacs seemed like an interesting place to check out.

Insomniacs has a bit of a garage-slash-living room feel to it, with couches and coffee tables making up the bulk of seating inside. Pool tables, a beer pong table, and yes, even a drum set, complete the scene.

Insomniacs Bar and Lounge originally was an all-night coffee shop. Staying open until sunrise, it was a place where people could stop in after the bars closed and drink coffee and tea while most people were sound asleep — hence the name. Now Insomniacs is primarily a bar, serving more beer and wine than coffee, and it's open only until 2 a.m., as the law dictates. Of course, coffee is still on the menu: $2 a cup, or $5 for all you can drink.

The bar serves beer and wine only, the latter category including sake and several liquor-flavored beverages that are meant to stand in for the real thing. I've had a few of these, more for personal amusement than anything else, and I will say that it's not impossible to make a pleasant cocktail with them. Insomniacs has a few creative options to choose from, should you go that route. Beer-wise, the usual domestics are on draft, and pints are cheap. There are a few more options in bottles, but the selection is certainly not overwhelming.

Insomniacs occasionally hosts concerts for local bands, as well as open-mic nights. As I sat on the couch and sipped my beer, the jukebox was suddenly muted and a Rush song came on over the PA by the drum set. A young man positioned himself at the drums and proceeded to play along with Neil Peart at full volume. No one flinched or seemed at all surprised.

This is where Insomniacs excels — the casual atmosphere and anything-goes attitude gives the impression that you're at someone's house rather than at a bar. So, have a seat, snack on some popcorn, order a drink and make yourself at home.


Insomniacs Bar and Lounge

4319 U.S. 19 N, New Port Richey; (727) 326-7847

The vibe: About as informal as it gets — Insomniacs feels like a bar set up in a friend's den or game room.

Booze: Beer and wine. Beer is $2-$4 and wine is generally $3-$7, including mixed drinks.

Specialty: Cold drafts are cheap and plentiful, and there are several decent bottles in the cooler. The bar makes several specialty cocktails, such as the colorfully named Green Voodoo and Purple Haze, that are made with wine-based imitation liquors. I let the bartender make the call and enjoyed a rum and Sprite with a splash of sweet and sour mix. The Tequila Sunrise is also a great choice.

Hours: Hours are flexible, but the bar is open daily, usually 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Insomniacs: A homelike bar worth staying up for 01/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 1:37pm]
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