Make us your home page
Instagram

10 great sports bars in Tampa Bay for watching the College Football Playoff Championship (or any game)

Hattrick's is housed in a historic brick building in downtown Tampa and is across the street from a trolley stop. [Times files]

Hattrick's is housed in a historic brick building in downtown Tampa and is across the street from a trolley stop. [Times files]

You don't have a ticket to the College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium? No problem. You can still scream your head off with like-minded fans at Tampa Bay's many sports bars. Here are our 10 favorites, but if you are still looking for a good sports bar, check out our list of more than 80 in our database at tbtim.es/18u5

Hattrick's, 107 S. Franklin St., Tampa: The last five years have seen a lot of new bar options added to downtown Tampa, but Hattrick's, housed in three-story brick building built in 1907, remains the go-to spot for sports (especially the Tampa Bay Lightning, which play down the street) and comfort food (especially the Cuban sandwich and shake and bake wings). It's such a cool looking sports bar that they shot a Bud Light commercial there.

Prime Time, 14404 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa: Prime Time has a neighborhood vibe with wood-panel walls, wood floors and wood booths featuring individual speakers that let you choose which TV you listen to. They serve large, tasty burgers and a solid selection of craft beers on draft and in bottles.

Walter's Press Box, 222 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa: There's nothing fancy about the four-decades-old Press Box, but this just-divey-enough spot that never seems to change has everything you need, from wood-grain paneling on the walls to coin-operated pool tables and $2.25 pints of domestic draft beer, to a dark place to hide from the Florida sun. Their crispy buffalo wings are some of the best in town.

Duffy's opened its first Tampa location in 2016.

Duffy's, 1580 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa: The Florida-based chain opened its first Tampa location earlier this year and quickly became a local favorite with its 80 large televisions, a fairly diverse menu (pasta, big salads, seafood) and decent selection of craft beer and specialty cocktails in a bright, cleanly decorated environment.

Ducky's, 1719 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa: This bar and restaurant co-owned by Tampa Bay Rays player Evan Longoria is a bit more of an upscale option and offers duckpin bowling lanes as additional entertainment in case some of the people in your party aren't all that concerned with watching the game, but a whole lot of high-definition TVs if they are.

Gator's Cafe & Saloon, 12754 Kingfish Drive, Treasure Island: If you are watching a game in Florida you should have a waterfront view. As the name implies, this is a place where Tim Tebow would feel right at home. A sprawling bar overlooking John's Pass, it offers dockside dining, dozens of TVs and live music every night.

The first Hooters restaurant opened at this Clearwater location in 1983.

The Original Hooters, 2800 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater: Take a pilgrimage to the holy site of the chain of wing restaurants that started right here in this Clearwater location. It's still a great place to sit back and catch the game while the scantily dressed serve hot wings. This original location was extensively renovated in early 2012, so it now has an indoor/outdoor bar, 35 flat panel HD TVs and a Hooters "MuSEEum" chronicling the company's milestones in photos and memorabilia.

Peabody's, 15333 Amberly Drive, Tampa: This giant University of South Florida hangout is half pool hall, half sports bar, with lots of full-size billiards tables and pub grub.

Glory Days: This sports bar chain has five locations in Tampa Bay including the recently remodeled spot at 9900 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. It's loaded with TVs and each table has a speaker that allows you to select sound from any on the wall to hear just that sound. Great idea. Find a location at glorydaysgrill.com/view-all-locations.

Ferg's is a giant sports bar near Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg: Situated just a deep fly ball from Tropicana Field, this converted gas station pulls sports fans in for its burgers, wraps and wings served amid a fanatic's paradise of memorabilia. It's grown with the Rays to become a sprawling, multi-story bar with seating inside and out and TVs galore for game watching.

Brick House Tavern & Tap, 1102 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa: Another chain, but this one makes for comfy game watching on seating that's more like a couch than a bar stool. There are also regular tables and booths as well, and a nice outside patio with fire pits.

Times staff writers Christopher Spata and Sharon Kennedy Wynne contributed to this report.

10 great sports bars in Tampa Bay for watching the College Football Playoff Championship (or any game) 01/04/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 12:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24

    Events

    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.