Make us your home page

Jack's Joint is a bargain, and that's no joke

From outside on Gulf to Bay Boulevard, Jack’s Joint is easy to miss. But don’t miss the affordable weekend comedy shows.

Luis Santana/tbt*

From outside on Gulf to Bay Boulevard, Jack’s Joint is easy to miss. But don’t miss the affordable weekend comedy shows.

I've always been a huge comedy fan, so I have no good explanation for why I never make it out to comedy shows. I still have an unredeemed voucher from two years ago for free tickets at the Improv.

The shows can get expensive, though: tickets, drink minimums, cocktails with double-digit pricing — there are a lot of ways to spend a lot of money at these things, and the tab at the end of the night can keep them limited to special occasions.

Then I heard about Jack's Joint, a Clearwater dive bar that happened to host a stand-up comedy night on Saturdays. That sounded pretty affordable, and also a great opportunity to try out something new. I spend plenty of time checking out Irish pubs, swanky cocktail joints, wine bars, taprooms and breweries, so a night at a comedy show seemed like a perfect change of pace.

Jack's Joint is a small, strange-looking building sandwiched between a Days Inn and the Clearwater Inn, which gives it the appearance of being some sort of hotel add-on rather than a business of its own. The main entrance is on the side of the building, while a small outdoor tiki bar and patio is located on the front, street-facing side.

It certainly looked pretty divey from the outside, an observation that was consistent with the interior. To the left of the entrance is a fairly minimal bar lounge, followed by a somewhat cluttered pool room, which is where you'll find free pool every Sunday. There's stool seating along the bar and a few small tables adjacent to it, but other than that, it's your standard, bare-bones watering hole, complete with a friendly bartender who was happy to explain the specials and selection.

To the right is a larger dining/show room, which is where much of the action at Jack's Joint goes down. Live music, open mic nights, and karaoke take place on the stage here, as well as, of course, stand-up comedy nights, hosted by Coconuts Comedy Club.

A very nice lady took our $10-per-person cover and let us know that we could seat ourselves, but all of the open tables had little "reserved" signs on them and no one came around to show us where to sit. Our server eventually came by and told us that we could take one of the "reserved" seats. A little disorganized, but at least friendly and helpful.

The show itself was pretty funny. My personal favorite, I'm surprised to say, was a ventriloquist act — Peter Hefty and Justin (no affiliation). The headliner, Chris Gorges, had no trouble racking up the laughs either, with a lady in the front row actually falling completely out of her seat at one point. I figure I got a good $10 worth of laughs during the show, easy.

You'll notice that Jack's Joint has a Bar & Grill in the name, and the kitchen indeed seems to be one of the strong points here. The food I had was very good (sundried tomato and spinach flatbread, minus the cheese), and I counted few scraps on the finished plates of other diners, which is probably a good sign. Best of all, food is served until 1 a.m., so if you hang out after the show, or even just come on a regular night and get a case of the midnight munchies, Jack's Joint has you covered.

Overall, Jack's Joint struck me as a bit rough around the edges but ultimately a good value. It's a friendly, low-key place with affordable drinks and very reasonable entertainment. On non-show nights you could probably get in and out with nothing but a $20 bill, but even for shows you can't get into too much trouble. For under $30 per person, my girlfriend and I had a light dinner, a couple rounds of drinks and a comedy show featuring four very entertaining performers. In my book, that's a bargain.


Jack's Joint Bar and Grill

2950 Gulf to Bay Blvd., ­Clearwater; (727) 400-6920, ­

The vibe: A highway bar and grill known for its stand-up comedy shows, karaoke, and live music.

Food: Appetizers, sides, soups, and salads, $3.99-$10.99; entrées, $7.99-$13.99.

Booze: Beer, $2.50-$4; wine, $4-$5; liquor, $4-$8. Happy hour is 2 to 6 p.m. daily, featuring 2-for-1 drafts.

Specialty: The bar is modestly stocked, but the prices are good, with most drinks falling into the $5 range, and even top-shelf premium spirits topping out at $8. Unless you have something specific in mind, ask if there's a daily special going, such as the $10 beer bucket special that runs on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday. Cocktails are a good bet, as that's where the most variety in the drink selection lies, although a glass of wine might be in order if you've come for a dinner and show.

Hours: Open noon to 3 a.m. daily.

Jack's Joint is a bargain, and that's no joke 11/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:58am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 …

  5. A forgotten ballad from The Princess Bride? Inconceivable!


    As we wrap up May Movie Month on Lost and Found, we seek the perfect ride-off-in-the-sunset movie song.  For those who love storybook endings, perhaps your favorite '80s movie is The Princess Bride. Would you like to see the video for that perfect ending of a Storybook Love? As you wish.