If you thought Punta Gorda was hot during the daytime, things really heat up at night. And there’s no better place to be than downtown, where cocktails and beer flow all night and great live music can be heard from the streets.
So, put on your walking shoes and come with us as we stop by some of the best bars, restaurants, and pubs in Punta Gorda to experience the best of the area’s nightlife.
Check Out Dean’s South of the Border for late night or morning after beverages
Further down Tamiami Trail is Dean’s South of the Border, which has been serving some of the best Tex-Mex food in Punta Gorda since 1992. Dean’s doesn’t just serve lunch and dinner. From 7 to 11 a.m. breakfast is served, with all kinds of eggs prepared in different styles, great locally-brewed coffee, and delicious Bloody Marys, so it’s the perfect place to go the morning after a night out on the town. But if you’d prefer to visit at night, Dean’s is open until 1 a.m. and serves dinner until 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturday. This place also has some great late night specials from 11 p.m. until closing time and Happy Hour from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day. There’s a full bar and live entertainment every day of the week.
Drink Craft Cocktails at Perch 360
The newly-designed Perch 360 is a great place to start the evening as you sip a craft cocktail and watch the sunset from the rooftop of the Wyvem Hotel located on E. Retta Esplanade. If you’re hungry, sample a variety of dishes, tastes, and flavorings from the tapas-style menu, which has only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers and the rooftop garden. Perch360 has almost a dozen local and regional beers on tap, along with an extensive wine menu. But the craft cocktails is where it’s at, with featured favorites such as The Wyvern, a beautifully-layered bourbon drink with a depth of flavor, and the Sunset Martini, a sweet tasting treat made with Malibu rum.
Play volleyball and sip a margarita at TT’s Tiki Bar
Our next stop is just a few minutes away from the Wyvem Hotel on Tamiami Trail, TT’s Tiki Bar is right on Punta Gorda Harbor and has some truly incredible views. This beach bar with a tiki-hut theme has plenty of seating, either at the bar or beachside with colorful Adirondack chairs so you watch boats whiz by as you sip a drink or nibble on some food. TT’s offers a variety of specialty drinks such as a Summer Breeze, a Tiki Tai, mojitos, margaritas, daiquiris among others. If you’re feeling hungry, choose from the Mahi-Mahi Smoked Fish Dip, the brick oven wings, salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, tacos, and pizza. TT’s also has live music every night and there’s a volleyball pit if you’re so inclined to challenge some friends to a rousing game of volleyball.
See live music at Shorty’s Place
Just a few blocks down on Marion Street, Punta Gorda’s main drag, where quirky shops dot the area, is Shorty’s Place. This place is low-key and casual with an extensive beer list offering draft, cans, and bottles. The food menu is just as extensive with everything from seafood, sandwiches, and burgers, appetizers and tacos and tostadas. Shorty’s Place also has live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night. Though kitchen hours are only from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Shorty’s serves beer until 2 a.m.
Sample traditional Irish fare at the Celtic Ray Public House
Just a bit further down Marion Avenue is the Celtic Ray Public House, which has been around since 1997 and serves imported draft and bottled beers, ciders, and fine wines, along with a full liquor bar. The menu features traditional Irish Pub favorites like Fish & Chips, Bangers, a Shepherd’s Pie, along with soups, salads, and appetizers. Celtic Ray offers live music most nights of the week, and even has trivia every Wednesday night.
Downtown Punta Gorda may be small, but it’s big on nightlife. From upscale bars with scenic downtown views and craft cocktails to casual beach bars with live music, there are plenty of places to go for good times with friends or a romantic night out with your significant other.
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