Make us your home page

Bar review: 2 Palms Bar and Bistro in Clearwater

Bar manager Tracy Mcdonald serves
up cold libations at
2 Palms Bar & Bistro. 
Luis Santana/tbt*

Bar manager Tracy Mcdonald serves up cold libations at 2 Palms Bar & Bistro. Luis Santana/tbt*

I thought Clearwater's 2 Palms Bar & Bistro looked familiar when I drove by a few months ago, but the name didn't ring a bell, so I put it on my to-visit list. When I finally made it back last week, I realized why it looked so familiar: I've been there before.

It turns out that 2 Palms is the new version of Jack's Joint, a Gulf-to-Bay bar and grill that was known for hosting comedy shows on Saturdays. I visited a couple of years ago.

Wedged between two motel complexes lies 2 Palms' patio courtyard, framed by two palm trees (hence the name) and large birds of paradise. There's a thatched tiki umbrella that doubles as shelter for occasional live music. Of course, the weather is not especially tropical at the moment, so there are gas heaters positioned around the winding patio bar, keeping the bar area crowded and the rest of the patio conspicuously open.

With no open seats at the bar, I headed inside to check out the lounge. There's a second bar here, with a TV and a couple of pool tables. The interior is sunny and colorful, if a bit slipshod in the decoration department. A loose table behind the bar serves as a makeshift shelf for premium spirits, while a strangely placed high top separates the pool table area from a short row of booths along the side wall. It feels a little slapped together, but it's clean and functional, and the vibe is friendly.

Past the lounge is the restaurant-slash-club, where live music, karaoke and comedy shows are featured weekly. This is the real draw for 2 Palms. It's an entirely reasonable watering hole for area residents, but the shows — especially the comedy — make it desirable beyond the neighborhood. There aren't many places to catch live blues, standup and improv.

Drink-wise, there are a handful of good beers, including locals like Tampa Bay Brewing's Reef Donkey pale ale and 3 Daughters' Beach Blonde and Bimini Twist IPA. There's also a $3 beer special for kegs on their way out. When I visited, it was Shock Top's Twisted Pretzel Wheat.

2 Palms has a brief cocktail menu with standards such as a classic Margarita, a Jameson-and-ginger, and fruit-flavored vodkatinis, as well as some house creations like the Redneck Margarita (Jim Beam in place of tequila) and the 2 Palms Punch (a tropical punch mixing flavors of dragonfruit, berry, lemon, coconut, orange, and cranberry). The cocktails are simple but tasty, and the prices are reasonable, most $7-$8.

At its core, 2 Palms is a locals bar. Most of the patrons on non-show nights are regulars who live in the surrounding neighborhood, as well as vacationers from up North who spend part of the year in the nearby RV park. As such, the service is very warm, making regulars and visitors alike feel at home. Whatever 2 Palms lacks in fanciness it certainly makes up for in friendliness.

Two bars and a comedy-slash-karaoke-slash-live music club, serving a fair selection of beer, wine and liquor, as well as a full restaurant menu (including late-night options). It's pretty ambitious, sure. And although it's not the flashiest place in town, it does a very decent job in all of those categories, and that's not too shabby.

2 Palms Bar & Bistro

2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater;

(727) 400-6920


The vibe: A tropical-themed bar and restaurant that features live music and standup comedy

Food: Appetizers, soups, salads, and sides, $1.99 to $8.99; entrees, $6.99 to $13.99; dessert, $4.99.

Booze: Full bar. Beer, $3 to $5; wine, $5; liquor, $4 to $12. Happy hour is 2 to 7 p.m. daily, featuring $1 off all drinks.

Specialty: The cocktail list features a few house twists on standard cocktail fare, like the Redneck Margarita, which subs Jim Beam for tequila — just don't call it a Whiskey Sour. If you'd like the classic instead, 2 Palms makes one with Patron Silver, Grand Marnier and a salted rim. The 2 Palms Punch is another fun option, combining Bacardi Dragon Berry, Limón, and Coconut with OJ and cranberry juice.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.

Bar review: 2 Palms Bar and Bistro in Clearwater 02/17/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2016 1:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28


    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  3. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach



    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires


    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27


    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …