Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Where can hoop fans hang out?

If you're in town for the NCAA Tournament this weekend, you'll no doubt take advantage of Tampa Bay's museums, Cuban sandwiches and beach weather. But by the final buzzer, you may be jonesing for a piece of home — or something new. Here's where fans of the eight teams playing in Tampa this weekend can get their eat, drink and dance on.

— By Dalia Colón

Drake University

If you have a hankering for a hearty meal like the ones in Des Moines, then head to Stumps Supper Club, a kitschy nightspot in the Channelside entertainment district near the St. Pete Times Forum. Nosh on comfort foods like meatloaf and corn bread. Then dance off the calories to the live band. Stumps Supper Club, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, (813) 226-2261;

Western Kentucky University

It's time for folks from the Bluegrass State to go beyond bourbon. Try the Blue Martini Lounge, a chic bar at International Plaza, 15 minutes from downtown. Sample one of more than two-dozen martinis, starting with the drinks that have "blue" in the name. 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa, (813) 873.2583;

University of Connecticut

Check out Boston's, a New England-themed restaurant and sports bar with juicy specialty pizzas, burgers, wraps and — you guessed it — Boston cream pie. It's a 20-minute drive northwest of downtown. 9316 Anderson Road, Tampa, (813) 901-9590;

San Diego State University

We know how you Californians love your salads. Try Wright's Gourmet House, whose salads are popular among foodies and "real" folks alike. Pair your veggies with a roast pork Golden Gate sandwich. The cafe is 10 minutes from downtown. 1200 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, (813) 253-3838;

Vanderbilt University

For those of you who can't get enough of the Nashville sound, there's Dallas Bull, the area's biggest country bar, both in popularity and size — 34,000 square feet. It has seven bars, pool tables, a western wear store and a mechanical bull. A-listers like Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley have played the Bull. 3322 U.S. 301, Tampa, (813) 987-2855;

Siena College

Upstate New Yorkers, you can walk over to the Channelside entertainment complex for a late-night snack at New York Pizza Department. Besides thin-crust pies, the men in blue-themed eatery offers a convict calzone, Chelsea caesar salad and Penn Station cheese steak. 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, (813) 228-6973;

Clemson University

Yes, you can find fried catfish and sweet tea away from home. They're at the Good Luck Cafe, a soul food joint in historic Ybor City. Don't miss the fried chicken and waffles. To get there, catch the TECO street car outside the St. Pete Times Forum and get off at Ybor's Centennial Park Station. Fare is $2 each way; the trip takes only a few minutes. 1910 E 7th Ave., Ybor City, (813) 579-3790.

Villanova University

Tampadelphians meet up at Players Sports Bar to cheer on their Philly teams. Enjoy light grub, 10 TVs, a pool table, free parking and a family atmosphere. The bar is inside the DoubleTree hotel, 4500 W Cypress St., Tampa, (813) 879-4800;

2008 Men's NCAA Tournament

Catch round 1 Friday and round 2 on Sunday at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, (813) 301-6600. For ticket details, go to Here's the sked:

First session — 12:30 p.m.: Drake vs. Western Kentucky. 30 minutes following: UConn vs. San Diego.

Second session — 7:20 p.m.: Vanderbilt vs. Siena. 30 minutes following: Clemson vs. Villanova.

Where can hoop fans hang out? 03/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  2. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal


    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement will be another classic Vinny moment

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — He was the face of the franchise. He was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft by a franchise at the bottom. Art Williams, the nutty Tampa Bay Lightning owner at the time, proclaimed the 18-year-old from Ile Bizard, a Montreal borough, "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

    Vincent Lecavalier makes a break for the net while playing an exhibition game on Sunday (9/24/17) with the 2017 U.S. Women???‚??„?s National Team at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Lecavalier was the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2000???‚??€œ2001 season and between the 2008???‚??€œ2013 and spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before signing with the Philadelphia Flyers.