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Raising the BAR Tampa

by D.L. Brock

This is dedicated to all of the average guys out there. If you're too good-looking, click elsewhere! If you lift weights regularly, log off! If you aren't embarrassed to wear those stretchy-type, torso-hugging shirts, shut down! This is about a place made for guys like me: okay-looking, a little tubby around the waist, afraid to use hair gel, and always in a golf shirt and khakis. In other words, average. Women wouldn't notice us unless we were behind the bar mixing the drinks.

Unless, of course, you travel to BAR Tampa, located on the westernmost end of 7th Avenue in Tampa's famous Ybor City. Ybor City is in the same league as New Orleans' Bourbon Street and Atlanta's Buckhead. There you will find BAR Tampa, not just a place to gaze at beautiful women and partake of inhibition-reducing beverages, but also a place where the average male like myself can feel loved.

To illustrate my point, I shall now share a true story that exemplifies the magic of BAR Tampa. A friend came to visit me for a long weekend, and, of course, we ventured into Ybor for the evening. He is not much a "pick up" person, not much of dancer, and would probably have been happier at the mellower Irish Pub. But we tried BAR Tampa anyway. We were dressed in our usual average-guy garb -- khakis, Oxford shirts, sweater vests, and brown loafers -- and approached the bar. Uninhibited ladies were dancing on the bar; noticeably not-at-all-average guys danced and grinded with them; bartenders stood on the bar and poured shots. Familiar hits from the 80s pounded as hundreds danced and sang to "Come On, Eileen."

I pushed my way to the bar, bought two Bud Lights, turned around to deliver the goods to my friend and -- poof! -- he was gone. I swear, nowhere in sight. I looked around for a while and found him in the most unlikely of places: on the dancefloor, grinding (or rather being grinded by) a beautiful temptress who had apparently pilfered him from the bar area. I took my cue and retired to the back part of the dance floor, took a conspicuous place on one of the risers, danced (poorly) and drank both beers. When my buddy finally reappeared, he was bathed in sweat and was wearing only his sweater vest and pants. His Oxford had somehow been shorn from his body during what I assumed was a vicious struggle. His right arm was covered with writing in magic marker ... her name and phone number.

He grabbed what was left of his beer (the bottle) and said simply, "I like this place." I was proud of so many things: proud of my buddy for not losing his sweater-vest; proud of the temptress who had seen something special in my "average" friend; and proud to be an average guy, too. And even though I danced alone the rest of that evening, basking in pride, I knew that my chances of meeting someone next time were ... above-average.

D. L. Brock writes the articles that make the whole world sing.

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