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The Pub Crawler: Palm Pavilion

The historic beach establishment has been serving sunshine worshippers for more than 80 years.

With a service record that spans eight decades and a location that capitalizes on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico backdrop, it’s no wonder the Palm Pavilion is considered one of the most desirable destinations on Clearwater Beach.

Located at 10 Bay Esplanade at the north end of Mandalay Avenue, the Palm opened in 1926 as a place for sweltering beachgoers to grab a bite to eat and a cold beverage, and it’s been fulfilling that duty ever since.

“It’s the oldest pavilion still standing in the United States today, as far as we know,” general manager Cindy Phillips said. “But what makes the Palm Pavilion special is the people.”

Indeed the people that populate the beachfront eatery are an eclectic mix of locals, transplants and tourists who are drawn to the place for one main reason – its close proximity to the Gulf.

But in order to bring people in from the sandy shore, you have to offer a solid selection of food and drinks, and the Palm does just that.

The food menu contains all the standard beach bar fare, from giant grouper sandwiches to a variety of hamburgers, wraps and salads. But the ever-expanding list also includes such items as Oriental tuna, shrimp flatbread, pasta primavera, and the popular gator nuggets.

The drink menu is just as varied, with everything from imported beers to frozen concoctions available, as well as wine and hard liquor. And sodas, water and iced tea are always in high demand, thanks to the omnipresent Florida sunshine.

Live music is featured nightly in season and on most weekends when the spring breakers and snow birds leave, but whenever you sit on the spacious and recently remodeled patio deck, you never seem to use your ears as much as your eyes.

“How can you not loves this,” Massachusetts resident Susan Theriault said as she looks out at the beach from her barstool. “I don’t want to go home.”

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