Our area has so many great beach bars that it's tough to pick a favorite. In fact, we have everything from the beach bar that was named best in Florida, to one with a sign that says "Wurst Place on the Beach."
There are so many choices that it may depend on your mood at the moment. For this story, I feature a few favorites that I think are among the most interesting. Certainly, add your own in the comments.
I LOVE SHARK TEETH
They have great food and drink at Sharky's on the Pier in Venice. In 2013, FloridaBeachBar.com ranked it as the best beach bar in the state. But I love the whole shark thing. The beach in Venice has millions of fossilized shark teeth. You can get a scooper and pick them up. It's great if you have kids along (or even just a shark nut like me).
Sharky's placemats have pictures of sharks and teeth so you can determine what kind of sharks your teeth came from. They just opened a more upscale seafood restaurant next to the beach bar.
FROM BEST TO WURST
I first visited Mahuffer's on Indian Rocks Beach years ago. It's a crazy creation of boat hulls, fishing nets, photographs and dollar bills stuck to the wall. If you're the kind of person who demands order in your life, it may not be the place for you. But, if you don't care, order a beer.
"I guess that's all in the eye of the beholder," said Mike Rogacki, grandson of the bar's founder. "You either get it or you don't get it."
While the sign outside advertises "warm beer," I discovered that the beer is kept on ice. The place may not be as bad as advertised. In fact, you won't find another place quite like it.
ACCIDENTAL TIKI BAR
So, where does the inspiration come from to open a tiki bar? "I don't think we ever dreamed of owning a tike bar," offered Karina Tashkin, co-owner of a new place called The Getaway on the St. Pete side of the Gandy Bridge.
She and husband Scott enjoyed similar places in the Keys and just happened upon the neglected property with a killer view toward Weedon Island. They struck a deal to buy it and opened The Getaway just a few weeks ago.
The bars are under thatched roofs and the food comes from food trucks. They call it a "food truck carousel." They have a different truck for lunch and dinner every day of the week.
HAVE AT IT!
The voting for Florida's Best Beach bar is now open at www.floridabeachbar.com There are many other local beach bars that I've visited over the years, and some that I want to visit. So, let all our viewers in on your favorite ones. Cheers!