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favorite local hangout bars in Downtown St. Pete

Arts & Entertainment

By Taylor Janhonen

Most money saving college students are forevermore on the alert for happy hour when going out. And where better to go out and grab a marked down alcohol beverage than SPC student’s favorite local hangout bars in Downtown St. Pete?

St. Pete is a college town with well over 50 colleges and is full of bars that serve low cost happy hour specials, even with all the historic monuments the city holds. When the lights of downtown St. Petersburg begin to faint on the Gulf waters, the city’s nightlife comes alive. There is a collection of bars downtown and countless drink specials in progress every single day aimed to the student population. Thanks to the large scholar community, the local bars throw together cocktail specials for those much-needed study breaks.

Most college students are broke. School prepares for the “real world”, and to carry on without money is almost a life test in itself as an undergrad. The fact that many students are broke makes them scavengers in their own way and jump at any opportunity to get cheap stuff. So naturally, the typical college kid who eats ramen noodles, wipe their mouths with hoarded napkins from Chipotle, and breaks the law with stolen downloaded textbooks and music from online, is on the hunt for the best happy hour specials.

Downtown is animated with all different types of bars rain or shine. From clubs, lounges, Irish Pubs, indoors, open aired, Country, Jazz, to sports bars, downtown has them all. The jazz on Central Avenue is legendary. Jazz clubs such as Ruby’s Elixir is a favorable music venue that boasts some of the best jazz in Florida, and the classical tunes and festive noise is loud enough to hear blocks away. If you enjoy  play while engaged in happy hour, downtown offers life-size games like connect four, jenga, and cornhole. Establishments such as World of Beer, Yard of Ale, and 3 Daughters Brewing are ideal places inside or out to show off some recreation skills. Have a desire to feel a little risky? The One Night Stand‘s establishment has a mechanical bull. Yes, a mechanical bull! If you’re not up for the challenge, you can line dance the night away or relax and play some pool while tuned in to county and top 50 hits. Almost all the bars downtown have big screen TVs, and the sports bars have plenty of them. Bars like Mike’s Tap and Tavern has visibly large TVs that can be seen no matter which empty stool you may find.

“I enjoy happy hour because I’m able to afford to drink away the thought of how my professors are secretly plotting to ruin my future by giving us false hope on how their class is going to be fun and easy,” says Trevor Angell, 24, of SPC’s Downtown Campus.

“Happy Hour is when the specials are good and you’re most likely to run into friends because you’re all there for the same reason,” says Tori Solitaire, 23, of Gibbs Campus.

Pelican Pub is popular for its reasonable happy hour deals. Pelican Pub owner Jeff Knight says he “loves the upside of happy hour because more students show up because of the inexpensive drinks.” Being a poor college student at last has its perks because bars love to make money and aim thirst quencher specials at students.

The point of happy hour is obvious. It attracts the budget minded who are not out of the woods and need to save money. Connecting with others while drinking affordable cocktails eases stress while taking it easy on a typical money saving day.

Header photo by Margaret Bourne (flickr creative commons license)


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