Dance and Play the Night Away at One of Tampa's Popular Nightclubs
By Skye Rodgers
Tampa Local Expert
Looking for a place to dance the night away? Tampa has more than a few great options to choose from. Whether you're looking for your favorite DJ, fabulous light shows, or value for your dollar, there is a Club for you. Through extensive on-site research, 10 Best has found the top hot spots so you don't waste your vacation time worrying about where to go.
When Ybor City reinvented itself in the 90's, it primarily became known for its nightlife, particularly its dance clubs. Everyone looking to party in Tampa, from professionals to college kids, went to Ybor on weekend nights. That scene is still going strong, even though the clubs might have changed hands, changed genres, or changed buildings. Currently the hottest ticket in town is the CZAR in the Ritz weekend dance parties.
However, there is also a blossoming market for dancing in other areas of town including a revitalized downtown, trendy SoHo and even in north Tampa. Downtown is slowly bringing nightlife back with places like Club Underground, and while SoHo always had good nightlife, it was more based in bars and restaurants. Now with places like the The Kennedy, people can get their dance fix as well.
Whiskey North is one of the few dance clubs located in the northern part of the city. Over the last ten years the club has become a popular watering hole that enjoys a loyal following thanks to great happy hour specials and fun weekly events. Designed to provide guests with an Adirondack lodge atmosphere, decor features lots of mountain charm with real wood beams and rustic furniture. The dancing take place on two levels complete with a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Reservations can be made for VIP table service in one of many Adirondack-themed seating areas, perfect for special occasions. (813-968-1515, 813-523-5483)
Hyde Park Cafe
Hyde Park Cafe has been setting the tone in the SoHo bar scene for over a decade now. With three distinct areas, all types of clientele come to dance, drink, or just hang out. The Velociti Room is your DJ-led dance party, spinning everything from salsa to hip-hop. Whatever music Velociti is spinning, chances are WB's Room is doing something completely different. On the other hand, if you just want to relax, there's a biergarten with over 60 varieties of brew along with bar food such as burgers, wings, and hot dogs. The VIP fills up quick, so reservations are recommended. (813-254-2233)
For those looking for more hip-hop flavor in their lives, might we suggest Club Skye. The best hip-hop and reggaeton DJs in the southeast make routine stops at this Ybor City club. You might even me surprised by a national MC giving a planned (or unplanned) performance from time to time. The club itself is two levels, a VIP balcony, and an exclusive private champagne room. Skye also features an outdoor tiki bar if you need to recuperate a little. Club Skye is an 18 and up club, so you may find that the clientele is pretty young. ((813) 247-6606)
On the very northern edge of the SoHo neighborhood lies The Kennedy, an upscale dance lounge that caters to both the young professionals that frequent SoHo's bars and students from the nearby University of Tampa. The decor is sumptuous, featuring lots of red and black velvet lounge seating. They play everything from Latin flavors to house to pop and are occasionally visited by nationally-recognized acts, such as Lady Gaga. As they are associated with the Hyde Park Cafe, any promotions or cards usually translate over to The Kennedy if you want to club-hop between the two. (813-259-9669)
This high-end, high energy dance club and lounge is located in the heart of GAYbor. The club features videos, go-go boys, martinis, sexy bartenders and so much more. Happy hour is from 4-9pm, and from 7-9pm you can get 3-4-1 wells or 2-4-1 calls. Wednesdays are Liquid Tampa's REWIND 80s & 90s night. Fridays feature Latin dance parties. Saturdays are epic and Sundays are erotic. The club also hosts events such as album release parties, and film premiers. From concert ticket giveaways to erotic underwear contests, you'll find it here. Make reservations for private tables. ((813) 248-6104)
Boasting all the style and glitz of a Big Apple dance club but without the ridiculous cover charge, Club Underground enjoys a loyal following of seductively clad, young-and-trendy types. Located in a converted warehouse in the heart of downtown Tampa, the club sports a modern, industrial feel featuring six full-service bars and a 7,500 square foot dance floor. the club also supports several VIP areas and a lavish bottle bar for private parties. When techno and Euro beats crank up in the wee hours, the club's high energy feel will have you dancing to the wee hours. (813-221-4582, 813-221-2582)
Located in the Towers of Channelside, the twin, rounded buildings across the street from the Plaza, Aja seeks to bring the Miami ultralounge concept to downtown Tampa. The space is two floors of both indoor and outdoor elements designed by former Frank Gehry architect Kirk Blaschke. His goal was to make an open, inviting environment where people can both dance and converse easily. But it's the outside covered patio that sets Aja apart. It overlooks the downtown skyline and provides a rare ambiance, especially in the downtown Tampa club scene. It also makes the club cigar-friendly, which is often appreciated this close to Ybor City. ((813) 223-5758)
This massive club has a different theme for nearly every night of the week, ranging from pop video night to goth or trance. There are five different rooms in the facility, each of them capable of a different purpose depending on the theme or private bookings. Despite the alternative clientele, everyone in The Castle is friendly and welcoming. It's a good bet that you'll leave this club having seen something completely new. Because The Castle is so wide-ranging, it's a good idea to check the website to see what you might be getting yourself into. (813-247-7547)
The Ybor club scene sees its fair share of turnaround, but Club Prana has been around for more than a decade because it isn't afraid to reinvent itself on occasion. With five different levels this ultra-modern dance club features an eclectic mix of latin, hip-hop, reggae, and dance music. Most people clubbing in Ybor choose to at least make a stop here to check out the DJs and take advantage of the traffic drink specials. The sound and light system is unmatched in the area, making sure you lose your bearings by the end of the night.The exclusive rooftop bar is a great place to have a conversation or just look at the lights of downtown Tampa in the distance. (813-241-4139, 813-277-4321)
CZAR in the Ritz
The Czar is a very popular dance club located in Tampa's Ybor City entertainment district. Recently moved from across the street, Czar is now located in the Ritz event venue taking advantage of their recent $2 million renovation. Club goers flock to the Friday night dance party called Filthy Richard featuring the the talents of DJ Monk. This party is a music video driven mixture of remixes, indie, electro, party rock and underground dance music. In addition to great dance music, there are loads of drink specials. Saturday's "Reign" at Czar with all three rooms of the club bouncing to a different beat. This is an 18 and up club. (813-247-2664)
About Skye Rodgers
Skye has lived in Tampa for over 16 years and spends much of her time exploring the region and discovering its hidden treasures. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no cold, no snow climate and enjoys basking on the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and navigating the waters of Tampa Bay. When not out exploring Tampa, Skye is a freelance writer and public relations professional. She currently provides public relations counsel on a freelance basis to non-profits, social enterprises and small business.
Read more about Skye Rodgers here.