Even though it is arguably the most visited section of Tampa, the Channelside district has always been hit-or-miss when the sun goes down. A smattering of sports bars surround the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Channelside Plaza has some good bars, but to go to a true club after a Forum event you had to jump on the streetcar and go to Ybor. Aja Channelside changes that.
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.
Soft lighting and contemporary decor give off a relaxed vibe at Aja — Photo courtesy of Aja Channelside
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.
The signature drink of Aja is the martini and they have crafted 35 different varieties of the cocktail, along with other top shelf liquors, beer, and wine.
With the Republican National Convention and the start of hockey season for our Lightning just around the corner, Aja is sure to be filled with delegates, celebrities, and hockey fans looking for an upscale after party with fantastic ambiance and expertly-crafted drinks.