Who says you can only find history in a museum? Fortunately for Tampa Bay residents, history is all around. Walk through familiar streets, take a closer look around and begin to see what gems of the past make themselves present. If looking to whet your whistle with a history lesson, check out these Tampa Bay bars.
The Oxford Exchange
420 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33606
The Oxford Exchange was originally built in 1891. This bar/restaurant has been a photo studio, a dentist office and an insurance office over the years, among other things. It was originally built to be part of the Plant Hotel. Much care and time went into the restoration of the original brickwork and wood and stained glass while opening the current place. The Oxford Exchange is a very rare and unique place. Not only is it a bar and restaurant, but it also has a bookstore and library area, all under one roof built 122 years ago.
Four Green Fields
205 W. Platt St.
Tampa, FL 33606
Four Green Fields is an authentic Irish pub and it also has a genuine thatched roof, just like the thatched roofs in the old country. Four Green Fields is well loved and a place many of the Gasparilla Krewes hold their monthly meetings. This bar is donned with old photos and news clippings dating back 100 years with the history of the conflict between the UK and the IRA.
Palm Pavilion Inn
10 Bay Esplanade
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
The Palm Pavilion Inn is the oldest bar on the beach. Palm Pavilion Inn opened back in 1926 and the gift shop sells prints of the original building that still looks exactly the same today. This a must-see spot directly overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. With a saying of “here everybody is somebody, and nobody cares,” you won’t run into any pretentious patrons. Stop in on the weekends for live music.
937 Douglas Ave.
Dunedin, FL 34698
Dunedin Brewery is not only the oldest microbrewery in Tampa Bay, it is the oldest microbrewery in the entire state of Florida. The owner is dedicated to the community and good causes in general, and always helps out in these areas with donations of his wonderful brews. Enjoy a brew in a Dunedin landmark that is sure to be around for many more years to come.
Sam’s Beach Bar
6325 Clark St.
Hudson, FL 34667
The Hudson area is rich with history of pirates and buried treasure. Sam’s itself is built on the water where many a pirate ship came ashore. Since 1981, Sam’s Beach Bar has stood on this little piece of paradise and gone through many changes that are documented by the pictures. However, despite the changes, it is still a locals’ favorite and owned and operated by the original family.
Sherrie Beth is a freelance writer covering all things Tampa Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.