Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tampa on a Tuesday Evening! Hyde Park Cafe is off the List!
Friends flew in from Chicago for work, and wanted to partake on Tampa after a great meeting, so they called upon me to help them with some places to go. One of them used to live here, and loves the Crab Shack on Gandy Blvd in St.Pete, just over the bridge, so we headed there for eats. Typical Florida shack, serving some great crab, a few orders of Dungenous, and King crab were ordered, along with Blue Crab claws, drenched in butter, Maryland Crab Cakes, loaded with crab, very little breading, and raw oysters, huge in in season. All dinners include Salad or Slaw, and choice of potato. Just a very casual, Florida, seafood shack. After a two hour dinner(we took our time, and relaxed, very laid back), it was time to head out on the town...on a Tuesday night. We started at Hyde Park area and the Howard Avenue strip(SOHO)...at nearly 10:30pm, there was nearly no one out and about. MacDintons had an ok crowd, mostly outside, or inside a few were there to listen to Karaoke. Dubliner had a few people, but they only serve beer and wine. Walked by CHEAP, not one person in there, the Corner Bar on Howard and Platt was closed, Mangroves had less than a dozen at the bar. Walking down Platt Ave a little further there were lots of people milling around by midnight, Hyde Park Cafe had a small line, what confuses me is how can a place in Tampa dare to have a Velvet Rope, and select people to go in. I know this is a busy night for Hyde Park Cafe, but it just turns me off to see something like this in of all places Tampa, we are Not LA or Miami. There were less than a dozen people outside, there were several lines, one for women, one for guest lists, one for if you were to drop $300 for a table, and one for the visitors and locals. We were told we could not go in because one of us had sandals(be it nice sandals), but saw a group of other guys walk right in with sandals, only to be told by Manager Mario that they reserved a $300 table, so they can wear what they want. Well, I can tell you that as much as I used to like this place, it isn't worth all this trouble to stand behind a velvet rope(just silly in Tampa), be told when I can go in(with hardley a crowd inside yet), and that I cant go in because of sandals, and I didn't purchase a $300 table, yet I see all the ladies walking in with Flip Flops..this is Florida, right? So we walked over to the Rack, where there was a very lively crowd, billiards, and sushi, and enjoyed spending over $250 for all of us. Hyde Park Cafe is officially off my list of places to patronize. Leaving the guys on their own, they ventured off to Tampa's finest - Mons Venus, and a few other strip clubs via Taxi. I had to work in the morning!