Bars, Strobe Lights, Sports Brighten Tampa’s Nightlife (sometimes)

Out of all the colleges I’ve attended—one—I can easily say Tampa has the most exciting night life.

With clubs, bars, house parties, movie theaters and three major sports teams within a few miles of campus, it’s very hard to be bored on any given night.

There’s Channelside in downtown Tampa; this spot has many classy restaurants, a bowling alley, a theater and the more upscale bars and clubs. But you must be 21 to go to any of these. If your’re not (or at least your real ID says you’re not) don’t plan on spending much time here until you’re a junior or senior.

Where you will be if you’re planning on going to a club (legally) is Ybor.

Never heard of it? Yeah, there’s a reason.

I’m not saying it’s a “bad part” of Tampa, but if you go to Ybor on a weekend and don’t see a fight or a stabbing it’ll be considered a good night.

But if you want to see old Chevy’s with 30-inch rims and obnoxiously unnecessary paintjobs blasting Lil Wayne (and who wouldn’t?) then

Ybor is the place for you!

On Ybor’s main street there are a few clubs which stick out. First off there’s Club Prana, which is the largest in Ybor with five different floors to choose from.

Imagine any club you would see in a rap video and that’s Club Prana.

Now imagine anyone over 18 with $10 cover.

Not so cool anymore is it?

Although it’s not always that crowded, there are nights when you can come in with a group of friends, take ten steps away and then never see them again.

Prana also has a floor dedicated only to dance and techno music which is a perfect spot to play this timeless game with your friends: “Guess who’s on ecstasy” Here’s a hint: everybody.

The Honey Pot is another good one. It’s only one floor with a variety of music throughout the night. But here’s the selling point: There’s a stage in the middle of the floor where “celebrities” come and perform!
Are you as excited as I am? Last year, I was lucky enough to see Enigma from “America’s Best Dance Crew” perform, which is kind of a big deal for anyone who watched them lose on the first episode.

Moving on from Ybor (which I’m sure you’ll all do too) if you want to go to a bar literally a few hundred feet from campus there’s the Drunken Monkey, formerly Study Hall.

Ninety-nine percent of the kids there go to University of Tampa (1% undercover cop/“that guy looks way too old to be here”), so you’ll probably see a lot of your friends there.

The best part is the karaoke.

Yes, most weekends you can walk in to find a group of drunk girls singing Britney Spears (how original!) or at some point in the night a few guys will sing “The Thong Song.”

If you’re looking for some place to go on Saturday night, Chez Bryce on Davis Island has become a popular spot.
It’s only a short taxi ride from campus making it convenient for all UT students.

The best way to describe Chez Bryce is to imagine a closed down Olive Garden (the restaurant) with beer pong tables, a keg and a giant fountain outside.

Sounds crazy right?
Basically people stand around and talk about how awesome the fountain is.

“Did you see the fountain?” “Yeah it’s so cool!” “Yeah it’s awesome isn’t it…so you want to come back to my dorm and have sex?” “Obviously.”
If going out to clubs, bars and Chez Bryce (whichever category that would be under) isn’t your thing, there are always frat parties!

If you plan on drinking (which god forbid you do if you’re under 21) don’t count on drinking at the party.

Waiting for the keg is like waiting in line at the DMV. By the time you get your first beer you’ll realize you’re late for your first class Monday morning.

Finally we come to Tampa’s professional sports teams.

With the Rays, Lightning and Bucs, there’s always a game you could go to or watch on TV if you decide to stay in.

The Lightning even has a deal for UT students, selling tickets in the upper levels for under $10.

Tampa offers you something to do every night of the week—not that I think you would because right now you’re reading the school newspaper, which shows you have some sort of interest in learning.

Even with so much to do around the city of Tampa, there will still be those Friday nights where you order in pizza and end up watching “Intervention” on A&E in your dorm until three in the morning thinking, “God I wish there was more to do around here.”

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