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The Pub Crawler: Fat Cat Tavern

This hidden gem is worth finding for fans of sports bars, family dining and hat collecting.

Tucked into the back corner of the Tri City Plaza, the Fat Cat Tavern has one major factor working against it: location.

But what it lacks in real estate desirability, it makes up for in customer-friendly accessibility.

Located on the busy corner of East Bay Drive and US 19, Fat Cat’s is a hidden sports bar gem just waiting to be discovered.

In order to make the place user friendly, owner Bill Soleau had three goals in mind when he opened Fat Cat’s last year: a big bar, comfortable booths all facing the TVs and 24 oz drafts.

The bar is 85 feet around, with 20 flat screens easily visible throughout the restaurant. The booths are there. And so are 16 domestic, craft and microbeers on tap - I’d say mission accomplished.

Soleau, a veteran of the restaurant service industry with managerial stints at Shepherd’s, Long John Silver’s and Applebee’s, opened Fat Cat’s in June 2010 because he wanted a neighborhood bar that would be inviting to locals and snow birds.

What he carved out of an old Indian food restaurant is an open, clean and spacious sports bar and family diner with plenty of food and drink specials, group events and excellent customer service.

Thanks to an additional function room in the rear of the building, Fat Cat’s hosts many local groups on a monthly basis. The Pinellas County Florida State Seminole Club, the University of Louisville Alumni Association, and the Hurricane Pass Anglers Club all call the Fat Cat Tavern home.

Fat Cat’s offers a variety of lunch and dinner plates. Burgers, wings, steak, seafood and comfort food like meatloaf can all be found on the menu. Specials rotate daily, and the full liquor bar offers drink specials like $1 Pinnacle Vodka drinks on Saturday for Ladies Night.

On Tuesday nights Fat Cats hosts a trivia contest, where you can win prizes for placing as one of the top three finalists. Thursday and Friday is karaoke. There is also live music during the year.

A really neat special at Fat Cat’s is the “I Drank From All The Taps” contest. Sample each of the 16 available draughts and get a Tampa Bay Rays hat with the Fat Cat’s logo and “I Drank From All The Taps” stitched on the back.

That alone makes the Fat Cat Tavern worth finding. 

Fat Cat Tavern

16080 Us Highway 19 N

Hours: From 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Call: (727) 530-0424

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