Six Tampa happy hour spots to visit during RNC

wtatangelo@bradenton.comAugust 26, 2012 

If you're planning on attending, covering or protesting the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week, you might want a place to visit during happy hour.

Which will probably be whenever there's a break in the action.

Here are six destination spots for a drink, bite to eat or just to dry off.

Four Green Fields

Featuring a distinctive thatched roof and no televisions, Four Green Fields, a longtime favorite among downtown movers and shakers, offers an authentic Irish pub experience complete with perfectly poured Guinness, ample whiskey selections and delectable dishes such as fish and chips, Irish stew and shepherd's pie. 205 W. Platt St., Tampa; 813-254-4444 or www.fourgreefields.com.

Gilligan's

Duck inside to nosh on the tasty Caribbean chicken or fish tacos while sipping on something from the full liquor bar with drink specials offered weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. In the evening, sit on the patio and listen to classic rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd, country star Trace Adkins or rebel party starter Kid Rock

playing private RNC concerts at nearby Liberty Plaza. 202 N. Morgan St., Tampa.; 813-301-9050 or www.gilliganshideaway.com.

The Hub

This historic downtown den, which is regularly frequented by everyone from judges to homeless people, pours priced-to-move doubles that have been known to bring a grown man to his knees. You've been warned. 719 N. Franklin St., Tampa; 813-229-1553 or www.thehubtampa.com.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company

Ybor City is Tampa's very own French Quarter, and no trip is complete withoutdropping by the entertainment district's top brew-pub. What to order? Old Elephant. This traditional India PaleAle is a hopped-up masterpiece that packs a wallop (6.8 percent alcohol by volume.) Food? Try the mighty Moosekiller Meatloaf or snack on Brew House Pretzels brushed with Red Eye Ale. 1600 E. 8th Avenue, Ybor City-Tampa; 813-247-1422 or www.tampabaybrewingcompany.com.

Tiny Tap Tavern

An anomaly in Tampa's upscale SoHo district, this ancient dive bar is a former gas station where the workers from the world-famous Bern's Steak House down PBRs with seniors who wandered over from the nearby VFW hall and University of Tampa students. Take note: The bar is beer, wine, cash only, and very smoky. 2105 W. Morrison Ave,, Tampa; 813-254-3872.

Wine Exchange

A jewel of tony Hyde Park Village, this bistro andwine bar is where youwant to be for a Napa cabernet described as a "Bordeaux with big biceps and a fortitude of attitude in anold Ford fueled with fullyleaded." The spacious, beautifully designed establishment also serves pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads and aslew of other scrumptious stuff. 1609 W. Snow Ave., Tampa; 813-254-9463 or www.thewineexchangetampa.com.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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