Make us your home page

Bar review: Happy hour, and 96-ounce Moscow Mules, beckon at Blind Goat in Tampa

I'm not a big happy hour guy, but I am a fan of bold claims, so I had to check out Blind Goat Food & Drink Co. when I saw it advertising "South Tampa's best happy hour."

Come to think of it, that may not be too tall of an order. There are some decent specials to be found in South Tampa, but the bars trend higher on the price scale to begin with, so happy hour is often more of a reasonably priced hour. It's the kind of claim that gets people in the door, though.

The Blind Goat is named after the "blind pigs" and "blind tigers" that were used to describe speakeasies during Prohibition, and although it advertises Prohibition-style drinks, it's very much a modern neighborhood bar.

The bar is decorated with a variety of quirky local art, including, naturally, several metal sculptures of goats. It's a compact, two-room deal, with a small bar space and even smaller bar proper, neighbored by a larger dining area — a small kitchen serves simple bar food like salads and flatbreads. There's a side patio with a couple of high tops and a scaled-down version of horseshoes played with metal washers, as well as — strangely enough — an outdoor pool table.

The Palma Ceia neighborhood needed a solid, go-to neighborhood bar. Blind Goat has become that bar in the past year or two, as evidenced by the fact that it can be surprisingly tough to order a drink at the crowded bar, even on weekdays, and well past happy hour.

Speaking of happy hour, this seems to be a case of honest advertising. While it's an entirely typical Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m. kind of deal, the prices are legitimately cheap and are not limited to the least desirable drinks. You're looking at $3 premium wells, $4 craft drafts, $5 house wines and cocktails, as well as $5 food specials.

There's even a late-night happy hour on the weekends, with additional drink specials after 10. And weekends feature some good ol' day-drinking specials: all-you-can-drink Bloody Marys, mimosas and Shock Top tallboys for $15 from noon to 4 p.m.

Better yet, there are daily specials that last all day, such as a different $5 cocktail available each weekday, as well as my new favorite — a 96-ounce Moscow mule served in a comically large dimpled copper mug, discounted on Tuesdays from its normal $45 to only $30. It's obviously meant for sharing, but the bartender told me that she's seen a guy go solo on one before. Hats off.

The drinks are solid, too. The beer selection is pretty small, but there are always some good rotating draft options. When I visited, Sarasota's Darwin Brewing Co. was featured in a tap takeover, with four of its beers available, take-home Darwin pint glass included. There's a good wine selection, including house-branded Blind Goat wines — apparently made in Florida, but I was unable to get a definitive word on the actual source — served on tap.

The liquor selection is on-point, with the aforementioned "premium wells" priced at a wholly reasonable $5 each. What constitutes a premium well, you may wonder? Surprisingly good stuff, like Four Roses bourbon. That's a bargain any time. It's no wonder that this place is happening.

The cocktail list does feature some popular Prohibition-era cocktails, like the Moscow mule (also available in smaller sizes) and mint julep, along with some twists on old classics, like a cilantro-jalapeño margarita, a cucumber "vojito" (like a mojito, but with cucumber vodka) and a spin on the gimlet featuring Ty Ky cucumber sake in place of gin.

In keeping with the Blind Goat's occasional over-the-top tendencies, there's also a drink called the Goat Punch, which is limited to two per person because it's preposterously strong. I couldn't tell you what's in it — "secret house recipe" — but there's definitely pineapple juice involved, and a friend thought it tasted like Fruity Pebbles cereal. In a good way.

You know, the Blind Goat may very well have the best happy hour in South Tampa. There are a heck of a lot of excellent specials for the happy hour crowd, late-nighters and weekend daytime drinkers alike.

Cheap drinks will only get you so far, which is why it's also good that the Blind Goat is a fun, laid-back spot. Some folks undoubtedly show up for happy hour, but there's plenty to stick around for afterward, and that's good news for Palma Ceia locals, as well as any other thirsty South Tampa folks looking for some bona fide booze bargains.

Contact Justin Grant at Follow @WordsWithJG.

Blind Goat Food & Drink Co.

4106 Henderson Blvd., Tampa; (813) 515-7962

The vibe: A funky, popular neighborhood bar known for its drink specials.

Food: Appetizers, $5 to $10; salads and entrees, $6 to $12; desserts, $9 to $10.

Booze: Beer, wine, liquor. Beer, $4 to $5; wine, $6 to $11 by the glass and $28 to $44 by the bottle; liquor, $5 to $13. Happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., with $3 premium wells, $4 craft beer goblets, $5 house wines, cocktails.

Specialty: Check tap list for local brewery tap takeovers, or enjoy house-branded wine on tap. In a cocktail mood? Consider the Goat Punch $15), a fruity but aggressively boozy recipe in a giant goblet suitable for sharing. Not extreme enough? Consider a 96-ounce Moscow mule (only $30 on Tuesdays), in an improbably large copper mug and absolutely should be shared (it contains about seven full cocktails).

Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday and Tuesday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

Bar review: Happy hour, and 96-ounce Moscow Mules, beckon at Blind Goat in Tampa 06/15/17 [Last modified: Friday, June 16, 2017 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24


    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]