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Bar Tab: Gulf Gate University

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Happy hour is from 11 to 7 p.m. daily, with $1 off all craft drafts; $1.50 Bud, Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling drafts; $2 Genesee Cream Ale and Narragansett Tall Boys; $3 Harp, Bass and Sam Adams; and $4 Swamp Head Stumpknocker Pale Ale.

Happy hour is from 11 to 7 p.m. daily, with $1 off all craft drafts; $1.50 Bud, Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling drafts; $2 Genesee Cream Ale and Narragansett Tall Boys; $3 Harp, Bass and Sam Adams; and $4 Swamp Head Stumpknocker Pale Ale.

College nostalgia overtook me last weekend at Gulf Gate University (GGU)—an August-founded bar and taproom on Superior Avenue. It was timely, as I had just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of my college graduation and had been wistfully reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

Posters with scenes from “Animal House,” two dartboards, a beer pong table and a Multicade video game machine made the cozy bar feel like a co-ed dorm. I chatted with Kimberlie Jacobson, who owns GGU with her 33-year-old son and chef, Clinton Combs. The two had envisioned the themed bar as a safe, community hub with a college clubhouse kind of vibe. It worked for me as I ordered a chocolate-orange Thomas Creek IPA on tap and scanned the chalkboard specials.

“This is place where you can come in by yourself and feel like nobody’s going to bother you,” Jacobson says. “We want to take care of you and make you feel at home, and we have a lot of regulars who have made this ‘their bar.’”

With 12 taps (ales and ciders) and nearly 80 bottled or canned beers, GGU favors craft selections, but you can still get your standard Buds. There is wine but no liquor, and you can score any flavor of MD 20/20 at $2 for a three-ounce shot. It is the only place I know of in town that serves “Mad Dog,” as we insiders often call it. Trademarks like Mad Dog give GGU a little leg up in Gulf Gate, and since the bar opened on August 9, regulars have been flocking back for these signatures and the people who serve them.

Happy hour is from 11 to 7 p.m. daily, with $1 off all craft drafts; $1.50 Bud, Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling drafts; $2 Genesee Cream Ale and Narragansett Tall Boys; $3 Harp, Bass and Sam Adams; and $4 Swamp Head Stumpknocker Pale Ale. Craft taps include McKenzie’s Hard Cider, the aforementioned Thomas Creek variety, Curious Traveler Shandy and Jai Alai IPA.

Smoking is allowed and there is no food on the menu other than chips and snacks, but as Gulf Gate goers know, any restaurant in the neighborhood will deliver right to your barstool.

Event-wise, it is common to see Evan Eastmoore play at GGU on a Friday night, and gatherings like “punk rock bingo” rock the calendar. Come back from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday for the “Drink for Life Pub Crawl,” which will showcase several area bars including GGU. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the crawl.

It is the prime time to test out GGU. Summer registration is open and the bar is taking new applicants.

 

Gulf Gate University Bar and Tap Room
6616 Superior Ave., Sarasota
921-1154
Last modified: September 13, 2013
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