After Hours: Nightlife in Sarasota


Attention martini connoisseurs: the raspberry lemon drop martini at the Ritz-Carlton may change your life. The chocolate-covered cherry martini at Selva Grill is also money well-spent.

Downtown Sarasota is teeming with bars and clubs for all tastes (and ages…over 21, that is). While the Ritz and Selva are swanky enough for donning a little black dress or a suit, several downtown venues have a more casual, island vibe.

While taking a stroll down Main Street on a weekend evening, you'll likely hear the sounds of live music wafting over from Mattison's City Grille. Outdoor dancing and a full bar make this casual spot a favorite among locals.

Mattison's City Grille

The Gator Club is a lovable dive and a downtown favorite. There is a mixed crowd that tends to be slightly older, but the live music, dancing, pool tables, lounge area and reasonably priced drinks make it fun for residents and visitors of all ages.

Evie's Tavern draws a crowd most nights, but on Fridays and Saturdays, you may have some trouble getting through the door. However, it's worth the wait--the drinks are affordable and strong and the crowd is easy-going. Evie's is popular among younger people in Sarasota, particularly recent grads or college students visiting for weekends or breaks. Some patrons get dressed up while others come in jeans so, no matter your style, you'll fit right in at Evie's.

Smokin' Joes is a popular bar also along Main Street where you can sit inside or outside, smoke and/or enjoy a cheap but impressive beer selection.

St. Armand's Circle

While St. Armand's is known for its restaurants, galleries, shopping and nearby Lido Beach, it's also home to 15 South Martini Bar. The upstairs bar has live music and dancing. Pop by after a meal at one of the popular nearby restaurants.

Daiquiri Deck

Daiquiri Deck's newest location on the Circle with both indoor and outdoor dining. Have a frozen drink out on the balcony, looking down at all the beautiful shops, statues and homes.

Siesta Village

Siesta Key Oyster Bar is packed on any given night. Its live music is excellent, with musicians performing everything from fun, upbeat songs to rock 'n roll to laid back beach tunes. SKOB has a late night menu, drink specials and both an indoor and outdoor bar. The patio is usually packed to capacity, but you can squeeze inside, as well. It feels like a true beach shack filled with hundreds of your closest friends. Odds are, some of your closest friends are inside--this local favorite is a great spot for reunions.

Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Daiquiri Deck's original Siesta location is an outdoor oasis of beach-y drinks, light bites and good people. The spot is usually less crowded than SKOB, making it a good place to chill out at the bar or at one of the many tables. The drink menu is almost overwhelming with its inventive, ice-cold concoctions. The orange Deck Diesel, the yellow Banana Slider or the blue Electric Lemonade will definitely add some color to your night.

Gilligan's Island Bar is another fun spot across the street. Its outdoor bar is reminiscent of one you'd find on a private beach on a remote island.

The Beach Club is indoors, but you'll still feel like you're on the beach with the cold beer and live music. There's usually a band playing and the dance floor is packed. Let loose and meet some interesting people--everyone is very friendly.

The Hub is mostly indoors, but they have tables outside, as well. As one of the newest bars/restaurants in the Village, it's often packed. The drink selection is great and the crowd is fairly young. It is most certainly a hub of fun activity on weekend nights.

North Sarasota

The Bahi Hut on the North Trail is legendary among locals, but it's also gaining national fame. Recently covered in major publications, the Hut is known for its Mai Tais. They're delicious, but oh-so-strong, so there is a limit of two-per-customer. It's a true dive in every sense of the word--cheesy in an endearing way. You'll definitely want to stop by.

Longboat Key

Longboat is known more for its beach and breathtaking homes, but there is nightlife, as well. Euphemia Haye's Haye Loft closes earlier (usually around 11 p.m.), but it's a great place to start the night--it's quiet, relaxing and they serve up delicious coffee liqueur drinks, as well as live music.


Sharkey's on the Pier

You'll feel like you're in Margaritaville at Sharky's on the Pier in Venice. The frozen drinks and island music will take you away.

For such a small town, Sarasota has a big nightlife. No matter your scene, you'll find something spectacular.