The Rack boasts impressive lunch, dinner, sushi, and cocktail menus at both the Hyde Park and Brandon eateries. House favorites include the Bomber ($12.95–$14.95), a specialty sushi roll of cooked and uncooked delights (snow crab, avocado, and asparagus topped with salmon, tuna, and eel sauce) served with tempura chips. Or blast through hunger with the Volcano roll’s cucumber, crab, cream cheese, avocado, eel sauce, and spicy mayo ($12.95–$13.95). Fusion appetizers, salads, sandwiches, single rolls, and chef special entrees round out The Rack's eclectic menus into a rolling billiard ball made of sticky rice.
Generation gaps call an evening-long truce to absorb the electric harmonies and magnetic energy of legendary rock bands Def Leppard and Heart. Def Leppard began its ascent to British hard-rock royalty in the late 1970s, solidifying its reign with the 1987 hit album Hysteria and its iconic anthems "Love Bites" and "Armageddon It." Its latest tour stokes nostalgia and then pours sugar on it, with library classics giving way to singles such as "Undefeated" from the forthcoming Mirrorball live album. Heart frontwomen Ann and Nancy Wilson add to the aural carnival with sisterly harmonics and guitar-wrangling routines developed over more than 30 years onstage. Revelry-inducing '70s hits "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You," along with soul-clutching '80s power ballads "Alone" and "What About Love," embody the decades whence they came while continuing to forcefully knock the socks and toenail polish off rapt concertgoers. Seating is in sections 12–16 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where there's smoke, there's a fiery Groupon. Fill your lungs with one night of unlimited fruity deliciousness at the plush and swanky Meridian Hookah Lounge (a $12 value). Meridian is an intimate and relaxing lounge that's open until 3 a.m. and has live music several nights a week.
Exposed brick walls, hanging chandeliers, and black-and-white curlicue wall art create an intimate atmosphere at The Ybor City Wine Bar, where staff members pop the stoppers off more than 120 wines and 50 types of craft beers and ciders from around the globe. In addition to pairing their libations with artisan cheese, small plates, and desserts, they host weekly educational wine tastings and private events, from bridal showers to fundraisers.
For nearly 50 years, the Improv chain has incubated standup talent—notable alumni such as Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, and Robin Williams all conquered their stage fright there before their big breaks. The Tampa location carries on the Improv’s tradition of catching rising stars before they turn into supernovas spewing dangerous molten punch lines with a calendar of up-and-comers and nationally touring talent.
Tampa Pub Crawl falls under the umbrella of Orlando Pub Crawl, a socially oriented outfit started by Cameron Parker in 2005 to organize the bar-going experience into a convivial group event. Tampa and Orlando Pub Crawl organize trips for up to 1,000 revelers at a time and style their events after themes and occasions including the Kentucky Derby, '80s Nights, and Cinco de Mayo. Partiers hop from bar to bar, enjoying complimentary drinks, admission, and other specials as they mingle and socialize amid festivities, games, and libations. The pub-crawl team can also tailor a private crawl for groups of 100 or more, allowing companies, organizations, and poker-playing dogs to journey to bars in organized packs.
The Bricks serves up a menu of unconventional comfort cuisine in a laid-back, edgy setting. Taste-bud-teasing starters such as the kinky tuna, a wasabi pea and pistachio crusted ahi, seared rare and topped with lemongrass cream ($12), segue finely into main courses such as the bird and pig sandwich, which nestles its tastily terraformed layers of roasted chicken, bacon, brie, crispy apples, and agave nectar between Hawaiian sweet bread ($8). Alternately, the amsterdam clothes a naked baguette with a delicious ensemble of crunchy organic peanut butter and melted, smoked gouda ($5). Feel free to customize your own crusts by mixing and matching breads, spreads, and toppings at the peanut butter bar ($3–$4.50).