Okay, so everyone who goes to New College has a love / hate relationship with Palm Court Parties (PCPs). On the one hand, you don't want to admit you enjoy the absolute insanity of it all. On the other hand, it's frigging fun to bounce around like an idiot all night with a bunch of hot, young college kids. New College has those in abundance. I think it’s all the organic tofu and yogurt they eat.
Anyhoodles, PCPs occur sporadically throughout the year, but always near Halloween, Winter Break, Valentine's Day, Spring Break, and Graduation. Basically, it's a huge outdoor party that the college kids throw for themselves and the community at large in the swingin' Palm Court. There's usually a pretty complicated and obscure theme that somehow involves both the readings of Goethe and a kiddie pool full of Jell-o. Outsiders are welcomed . . . as long as you behave. Read: no pedophiles or assholes, please. Also, like strippers, some New College kids will dance with you, grind all up on you, but the minute you touch them, you're done for. I'd be careful where I put that hand if I were you, Mister.
There are three groups of people that attend these parties: Novo Collegeans (the students - they'll be drunk and dressed like either pirates or Cyndi Lauper or both), sketchy alumns (that would be my category), and "townies" (the name given to any outsiders). In theory, PCPs are BYOB, but it's usually everywhere anyway. As a townie, it's proper form for you to bring beer anyway. It's the principal.
Also, like Vegas' new ad campaign touts: what happens here stays here. If you went to some lame college where dancing half-naked on a table was considered slutty, and not revered as a act of personal expression, PCPs are a good way to capture that lost grip on absolute freedom.
Also, if drunken dancing is not really your thing, I would still check out a PCP. It’s really a sight and you'll have plenty to write home about. Besides, if you get bored / scared / heart burn, Memories Karaoke is just down the street.
Dress Code: Everything from nudity to three-piece suits.
The Gator Club is one of Sarasota's best bars. It's in a really neat historical brick building and decorated to look like old New Orleans (where the original owners come from according to our slightly drunk server one night).
The bottom floor is pretty much your regular bar set-up with stools and tables and a small dance floor, but upstairs there are couches and a more intimate setting if you just want to sit and talk. They play mostly blues and jazz here, though they are not immune from the top 40 spew. In any event, there's live music every single night of the year.
Also, if you are really into the booze, they have over one hundred different kinds of single-malt Scotch in their upstairs bar. An alcoholic friend of mine alerted me to that fact. I guess they are kind of famous for it.
Dress Code: I don't think there's a dress code. If there is, I didn't pay any attention.
Are you dying to hear someone belt out "Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong" after their tenth gin and tonic? Well, then Memories is for you. Memories Lounge invites people from literally all walks of life to shed their inhibitions and make a complete and total ass of themselves behind the microphone. The booze is cheaper than most places about town, and its a very relaxed atmosphere. If you are vacationing in Sarasota, this is kind of a fun stop and it's the only place I know of to do karaoke there.
Dress Code: Very, very casual.
A really great place. The beer they brew here is pretty good. They usually have a small assortment of lagers, lights, ales etc. My current favorite is a dark "Midnight Pass" Porter. The food is usually excellent, and there are lots of big screen TVs for watching sports events.
Dress Code: Casual
OCTAVE - located on Superior Ave. in the GulfGate District of Sarasota is a cool, chill lounge with live music most nights of the week. Tuesday's have the place packed with their house blues band and the live music keeps going all week. With plasma TV's, comfortable sofas and a toned down, funky atmosphere - it's a great place to go with a group of friends or head out on your own to enjoy some good drinks and good people. The first week in February should be hot - as they are celebrating a Grand Re-Opening under new mangement, with fresh new sounds and different themes each night, all leading up to one of Sarasota's best SuperBowl parties on Sunday! A must see!
Dress Code: No strict dress code, but more "dressy" than your local bar. Lookin good never hurt anyone.
Friendly, comfortable cinema, unusual paint scheme, great popcorn, ginger beer, ice cream and sorbet....not the typical concession stand...and not the typical Hollywood movies. Eclectic just about sums it up.
Dress Code: Casual
Sarasota nightlife generally centers around the Quay, where all the new 'hot spots' congregate. If nothing listed below strikes your fancy, just head on down to this waterfront area; you'll be sure to find something.
The Gator Clubon Main Street is the perfect place to enjoy a little jazz , blues or rock n' roll, depending on the night. The club is situated in an old brick building with both a bar downstairs (where live bands play nightly) and a pool bar upstairs.
The Downunder Jazz Bar & Bistro on the Quay features the best jazz in the city and a view to match.
The Emphasis is a 60's-style coffeehouse (minus all the smoke) augmented by fantastic desserts, nightly performances, and a wonderfully diverse menu. Be prepared for a step back into the funky and possibly surreal. Coffeehouse hounds will love it.
The hottest of the hot is In Extremis, of course. A pounding light and sound system keeps the beats coming in fast and wild succession for those with a little wild blood running through their veins.
Me and my girlfriend group went to Kroaky's Karaoke. We had thought it was a karaoke bar, but it was something I hadn't seen before -- private karaoke rooms. They don't have any public bar at all! The place has 14 clean rooms all different sizes and colors. After we had a quick tour we decided on one of the medium sized rooms. It was done out in purple and had disco lights. After some instruction on how to use the karaoke computer we started to select songs from the huge song book. They have all the classics up to today's Top 40. Even the people who couldn't really sing had a great time. One of my friends sang the Star Spangled Banner and we all stood to attention -- it was hilarious.
All the food and drink is ordered using a phone on the wall and the waiter brings it to your room. It was $5 per person per hour for the room and very reasonable for pizza and wine. We were there for almost three hours. I didn't want to leave. I highly recommend Kroaky's for a fun night out for tourists and townies.
Dress Code: Casual
One of the best clubs for Karaoke in the Sarasota-Bradenton area on Friday and Saturday nights. I have been to many Karaoke shows, but this place has the best sound and best singers I have ever heard in the area.
The atmosphere is laid back and the people are the greatest.
They have great food and the biggest cheeseburger I have ever seen!
If you like to sing or just want to listen, this is the place to go!
Dress Code: No dress code as long as you have a shirt and shoes.
Every Sunday Esca hosts the 'T-Dance' which is geared towards the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgendered) Community, but EVERYONE is welcome!!...If you love good dance music, fabulous people watching, tasty libations set in an upscale location, then this is the place for YOU!...And dont worry that you have to work the next day, this only happens from 4pm-9pm so there's plenty of time for sleep!!.....Come out & support!!
FREE Hor d' oeuvres from 4pm-6pm in the Downstairs Lounge.
DJ Shambala spinning Ambient, House & Downtempo from 4pm-6:30pm upstairs.
DJ Sinna-G spinning Vocal & Soulful House from 6:30pm-9pm upstairs.
Drink Specials & FABULOUS views of Downtown SRQ set in an upscale atmosphere!!!
ALL FOR A $5 COVER???
WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT???
1888 Main St.
Sarasota, FL. 34236
21+ w/ proper I.D.
Dress Code: No special dress requirements are observed!!
I love cities at night. Sarasota, with its pleasant sea breezes, is a great place to walk and people watch in the evenings.