Inside The Outpost, patrons find a constantly rotating selection of 40 craft beers. A dressed-down menu features burgers, wings, and sandwiches such as the BeerLT, a BLT served on beer-battered sourdough. The walls are decked with 100-year-old wood as well as 15 flat-screen TVs, which let guests keep tabs on the moral decay of 21st-century mass communication.
At Mangroves, ordering a drink is almost as much of an experience as sipping it—guests ask for wine and cocktails at a handcrafted 60-foot, stained-glass bar. Its eye-catching design fits right into the chic downstairs lounge, dotted with VIP tables where guests revel in bottle service. Upstairs, meanwhile, another full bar awaits visitors, fueling jive sessions on the spacious dance floor. DJs spin there four days a week, playing sets far preferable to the sound of guests blowing over empty champagne flutes.
Late-night partiers can snack on casual bites such as chicken tenders or mac ‘n’ cheese after 10 p.m., but the eatery’s dinner menu reflects the same refinement as the stained-glass bar. Pomegranate-glazed salmon and black Angus filets in blue-cheese sauce delight palates, along with simpler burgers and salads.
In 1985, Jim Mellody had a simple dream: to create a neighborhood pub where friends, family, and nice-looking strangers could enjoy good food and sports. So, with his wife, Jeanette, he opened the first of the now-famous Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, filling the first Brandon, Florida, location with sports memorabilia and TVs. The menu—which has grown over the years as the franchise has birthed more than 200 outposts—celebrates American pub classics with an Irish twist, including an Irish blessing on every menu. The expansive menu can quell any number of cravings, with hearty dishes such as award-winning jumbo wings hand tossed in 16 signature sauces and pretzel roll Angus sliders with thick-cut bacon, all served with homestyle shakes or domestic drafts.
For more than 50 years, family-owned Pin Chasers alleys have been adding perks to the bowling basics. Leagues for all skill levels, six-week lesson plans, and the immersive light shows of late-night Cyber bowling entertain families with the fundamentals. It's when the scoring systems—equipped with touchscreen consoles and customizable backgrounds—boot up or the automatic bumpers raise between turns that players might first take notice of their high-tech surroundings. As for service, the inviting staff hand out complimentary bowling shoes and socks, and will assist guests in picking out the right type of ball rather than noisily sandblasting one down to size when it doesn’t fit. The full-service cafes also manage to defy expectations by serving breakfast fare around the clock.
Friendly employees and full bars span each of Pin Chasers' three locations, but other amenities differ. Visitors can aim cues at Veterans' four billiards tables, stretch their thumbs at East Pasco's arcade, or try to count all of Midtown's 50 lanes without first extracting their fingers from their bowling balls.
At Ocean Blue's Sushi Bar, sushi chefs assiduously assemble 50 raw and cooked maki options. Though focused on crafting seafood-filled rolls like the salmon skin—a medley of tempura salmon skin, chive, and cucumber with spicy aioli—chefs accommodate different tastes and dietary restrictions, too. For meat lovers there's the steak-and-cheese maki, which features a blend of teriyaki steak, cream cheese, and fried onions, while vegans can enjoy the aptly named vegan roll, a crunchy medley of asparagus and cucumber with creamy avocado.
Ocean Blue's menu also encompasses other Japanese favorites, from teriyaki scallops to pork dumplings paired with ginger shoyu sauce. Around 10 p.m., the fine dining atmosphere gives way to a club-like vibe, where the eclectic festivities last nightly until at least 2 a.m. Often presided over by live DJs, the bar's special events include Latin nights and 90s-themed dance parties, where patrons don outfits made entirely from K'Nex.
The crowd noise and referee whistles of a football game aren’t complete without some other sounds. At Buckets Tavern & Tap, a full roster of domestic and craft beers click together in cheers. Eight-ounce Angus burgers sizzle on a grill, and five styles of wings crackle in a fryer. While bartenders sling drafts and bottles from Budweiser, Blue Moon, Magic Hat, and Dogfish, televisions with a wide range of channels broadcast games played by Florida teams and any team whose mascot is a family of sleepy baby raccoons. Bowls of buffalo shrimp and jalapeño poppers clatter onto tables, alongside baskets of clams with fries and slaw, burgers, and chili.