Where do Tampa Bay's bar owners drink in their downtime?

The manager of Streetcar Charlie’s is a fan of The Hub, above, in downtown Tampa.

Luis Santana/tbt*

The manager of Streetcar Charlie’s is a fan of The Hub, above, in downtown Tampa.

Tbt*'s annual Ultimate Bar Guide is in the books (check out our 100 favorite bars at bars.tampabay.com). But we're not the only ones around here who drink. We asked local bar owners and managers, "What's your favorite bar besides your own?" Here's what some of them had to say. — Dalia Colon dcolon@tampabay.com

"Hattrick's downtown. That's where we go. It's a handy place to go and grab a beer after a round of golf or after work. The staff are very friendly. The food's good. Happy hour's good. There's always a good time there. ... Hattricks is definitely a winner." — Barry O'Connor, owner, MacDinton's Irish Pub and Restaurant

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"It would probably be the Oldsmar Tap House, because other than us, it's got the best beer in the Bay area. We like the selection, of course. They definitely are supporters of our brewery, which of course helps. But otherwise, the owner, Tony (Falso), is a good buddy of ours. It's constantly searching for rare and obscure beers that aren't available at every even beer bar in the area. He does just a step above any other beer bar or any other place that we've seen in the Tampa Bay area. For us being discerning beer snobs, that's something that's really important to us: to find these different, rare, obscure styles of beer, and beer from places that's just out of the ordinary." — Travis Kruger, general manager, Dunedin Brewery

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"In Pinellas, it would be the Chic-a-Boom Room. ... Dunedin's a really funky, cool little town that I love, and the Chick-a-boom Room is owned by some really cool people. It's right next to Kelly's, so either Kelly's or the Chic-a-Boom Room. Either one; same owners. The have great Ron Bauer chardonnay, which I really love. They have a great selection of wines and martinis and beer. ... In Tampa, probably the New World Brewery. I guess it's a little bit like what we do here. They just have a great selection of beers, and the staff and the owner's really cool. They have great music there like we do here. So I kind of gravitate toward places that have really cool music and music that I enjoy. As a matter of fact, I used to book a lot of the stuff at Chic-a-Boom Room and Kelly's." — Tom White, owner, Skipper's Smokehouse

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"I like Bellini's. It's beautiful, I like how it's decorated, I like the style, I like that it's not crazy-crowded, and you can get a good drink there. The ambiance is modern and sophisticated. And the outside with the fountain and the white furniture reminds me of my home back in Miami." — Lucy Watkins, co-owner, Push Ultra Lounge

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"Fuma (Bella) over in Ybor City. It's a real small place. Charlie runs it. They always take care of me over there. Charlie takes care of everybody. I've known the guy for a long time. ... I really don't get to go out much anymore. I'm either working or don't want to go out. I can't think of any other bar. If I ever go out, that's where I go to. If you have 12 people in there, it's full. It doesn't hold a whole lot of people, so you've got to get in and out real quick. They make good drinks. They take care of you." — Ferrell "Scooter" Melton, owner, The Hub

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"Probably The Hub, just because I like the downtown area. The diversity is pretty good there, so I enjoy it. Everything is always on point. All the bartenders are great, and you don't have to ask them for a drink because they already know what you want." — Eric Leibman, manager, Streetcar Charlie's

Where do Tampa Bay's bar owners drink in their downtime? 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 5:30am]

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