Naples Pubs Have Their Own Character Blending Old & New



Think “pubs” and immediately your mind takes a romanticized sail to Ireland or jolly old England for a pint among rousing company. Whereas the Naples area does claim its share of traditional pubs that fit that vision, it tends to add to the formula a shot of Florida. Most of the UK inspired pubs here, such as The Pub Naples at Mercato and Old Naples Pub downtown, localize the traditions with outdoor patio seating that takes advantage of the warm climes. Others focus on Florida beers. In recent years, new traditions have been born. Also European inspired, the gastropub combines the warm pub atmosphere with fine noshes. Bar Tulia in downtown Naples, an Italian gastropub, is one example. Finally, the craft beer brewery trend has caught up with Naples and this list includes two of them. All told, the list delivers a well rounded sampling of Naples’ different pub scenes, enumerating those that offer the best conviviality, beers, atmosphere, and in many cases, food. 



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Pelican Larry's Raw Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

You need not be a Green Bay Packers or Florida State University Seminoles fan to enter, but duly note that you will be in the minority here, where Packers and 'Noles memorabilia hang in between dozens of sport TVs. The two indoor and one outdoor bars pour more than 12 draft beers alone. Pelican Larry's, which has a spinoff in East Naples, wins awards for its raw bar and chicken wings. It is also proud of its seven varieties of burgers, sliders, fried baskets, Neapolitan pizza, grouper reuben, Philly cheesesteak and spicy taco queso dip. The three seating areas are spacious but crowded when the big games air.


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Momentum Brewhouse


 

Another among the Naples area's growing craft brewery scene, Momentum does not fit into the "pub" physical formula of cozy, dark, wood panel bars. In fact its tasting room is quite large, almost lunchroom like in its size and layout. It is probably a good thing, its size, because the place can get crazy busy. Momentum bottles and distributes its inventory to bars around the area, but fans come for the special and seasonal brews available only in the tasting room. It counts seven varieties in its core inventory, from White Noise white IPA to Knee Highs, an imperial red with a high alcohol content.


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Village Pub
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

Indoor, the space feels somewhat pub like, but all in all this pub has more of a waterfront bistro persona. To earn its name it serves pints from seven taps, plus a variety of popular bottled beers, cider, and wine. Most people enjoy the sea breezes on the generous wraparound porch overlooking Venetian Bay at the Village on Venetian Bay shopping center. Open lunch and dinner, its menu roams the realm of pub food, local seafood, burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. Guests gather around the bar and fireplace to listen to live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.


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Riptide Brewery
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

The newest generation of Naples pubs follow the oldest traditions of crafting in-house the brews they serve their customers. Riptide Brewery is one of the latest of this species, and the closest to downtown Naples. Its tasting room is part of the microbrewery that creates such craft beers as Jackman's Abbey Belgian Triple, Kraken Dipa IPA, Anklebuster Amber Ale, Backwater Stout, and Mr. Watson's Wit (Belgian wheat). The brewery hosts special events such as Trivia Tuesday, live music, and food trucks. When there are no food trucks on hand, beer drinkers can order from the café a couple of doors down.


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The Pub Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

A modernized, Americanized notion of the British pub institution, it nonetheless is popular among lovers of beer, fine liquors and pub food. It lies along a strip of bars at Mercato Shops, a lively and youthful shopping and entertainment complex. Like many of the others, this is a chain, and it feels a bit cookie-cutter.It does take its tipples seriously, however, featuring more than 22 English, Irish, Belgian and American beers on tap, including rotating craft beers. Its selection of single-malt scotches and small batch and single barrel bourbons is also quite impressive. In the food department, you will find classics such as Shepherd's Pie and Bangers & Mash, but also burgers, salads and sandwiches.


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Fitzgerald's Famous Pub & Grill
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

It has the Irish pub scene down pat, once could say. Appropriately convivial, it fills pints with Fitzgerald's Red Lager and Amber Ale, Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick's on tap. It opens for lunch and dinner daily and Sunday for breakfast. The extensive menu nods to the Emerald Isle with Irish soda scones, Scotch egg, corn beef and cabbage, Mulligan's Irish stew, farmhouse pie, Galway Bay fish and chips, bangers and champ and Irish whiskey pudding, but it also has a good selection of sandwiches, salads, and other American fare. Happy hour runs daily from 3 to 7 p.m.


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Lansdowne Street
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

Named for the street behind Boston's Fenway Park that many a pub and bar call home, Lansdowne Street's loyalty to the Boston Red Sox, who play their spring training games in Fort Myers, is blatant. Outside, a courtyard with a fire pit has street signs indicating the intersection of Lansdowne Street and Yawkey. Inside, Boston memorabilia, including a Green Monster scoreboard, decorate the space around the handsome bar. More than a dozen craft beers on tap, including Bonita Springs' own Momentum, and a long list of bottled and canned brews make this a beer-lover's paradise. Besides Boston favorites – "clam chowda" and lobster roll, the food menu lists pages of sandwiches, burgers, and paninis paired with beers.


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Old Naples
Old Naples Pub
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

The Old Naples Pub is located in the thick of one of Naples's leading shopping zones. Folks trying to avoid the sticker shock and relatively formal air of Third Street restaurants and bars head here for a casual setting indoor and out. The lunch and dinner menu strays a bit from traditional pub fare, offering everything from fish and chips and burgers to Caesar salads and bratwurst. The bar's extensive beer list makes a splash with brew-heads. This is a cool place to hang, and patrons are treated like long-lost friends. The shaded courtyard area holds tables that fill up on cool, sunny days. Inside has a typical pub feel. The happy hour prices are more than reasonable. Live entertainment includes regular performances on the 100-year-old tavern piano.


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Old Naples
Bar Tulia
Photo courtesy of Bar Tulia


 

Billing itself as an Italian gastropub, Bar Tulia grew up next to big brother Osteria Tulia next door, a noisier, younger version with a more active bar scene. Unlike typical British or Irish pubs, the focus here is more on craft cocktail and fine food than beer. It DOES have "birra" â€" one from Italy, the others from Florida and elsewhere. The craft cocktails run the gamut from twisted classics such as Bitter Mai Tai to creative ventures with names such as Cotton Panties and Bananarama. Some favorite noshes: Fried Pig Ears, charred octopus, fried oyster sliders, ceviche, deviled eggs, pizza, and pasta.


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Shea's at Lansdowne Street
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


 

You do not have to be a Boston Red Sox fan to enter and enjoy, but if you are here to cheer on the Yankees, you may want to turn around. A spinoff of Lansdowne Street in Bonita Springs, it even recreates the Green Monster scoreboard inside, where a mounted moose head wearing a Red Sox hat greets you at the door above the fireplace. A beautiful wood bar with more than a dozen tap handles fills the dimly lit pub. If you prefer a lighter atmosphere, head for the courtyard. It doesn't have as many sports TVs as the bar, but it has some. The long list of craft beers includes a good showing of Florida brews. Its long menu of sandwiches and bar noshes is equally impressive. In fact, it is known as much for its food as its bar scene.


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Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle

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