Of all the doubtful locations I’ve visited for a night at the bar, a hockey amphitheatre in Wesley Chapel is one of the best unique.
A few months back, I bent wind of a new sports bar’s admirable opening, amid in the high accouter of Florida Hospital Centermost Ice. I bound abstruse this is no accustomed ice rink: Florida Hospital Centermost Ice is the bigger ability of its affectionate in the Southeast, featuring three NHL-sized rinks, an Olympic amphitheatre and a inferior rink, additional a fettle center, pro boutique and acknowledgment stand.
The bench acknowledgment angle is an addendum of the kitchen admiral at the Top Shelf Sports Lounge, a full-service bar and restaurant accouterment to players, skaters and admirers alike, as able-bodied as casuals like me blockage out the absurd setup.
On its own, Top Shelf is a reasonable sports bar. It’s apple-pie and simple, with able TV advantage and affluence of booze and food. There’s bar trivia on Wednesdays, blessed hour specials on weekdays and late-night blessed hour specials every day of the week. Lightning abecedarian activate alike added specials.
The best, by far, is Flipping Friday. From 9 p.m. to aing (which is 11:30 p.m. at the earliest) on Fridays, you can cast a bread for a adventitious to win 50 percent off your alcohol tab. A bifold of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Top Shelf’s top shelf, is $45. I’ll leave the algebraic up to you.
The coolest aberration is the actuality that Top Shelf overlooks three ice rinks, which are generally alive able-bodied into the black with ice skating, amount skating or hockey. Floor-to-ceiling windows accommodate the aftereffect of actuality in a ample apartment in a baby arena, with abundant angle of the activity below, appropriate from your table.
Top Shelf has become accepted for its aliment menu, but it’s a abounding bar in its own right, with 20 beers and four wines on tap, forth with a admirable canteen and can selection. There’s a abounding liquor selection, too, alignment from able-bodied vodka to Balvenie DoubleWood.
Top Shelf shares a co-owner with Tampa’s 81Bay Brew Co. in Keelan Cottle, who has accumulated the lounge’s Tampa Bay-centric beer list. Five of the bar’s 20 curtains are 81Bay brews, including a house-labeled adaptation of its Coriander Orange Wheat and flagships Coffee Porter, Sun Viking IPA and Reel Slo Irish Red. The fifth is the brewery’s hockey-themed Lightning Lager, a sub-4 percent pounder that seems appropriate at home aloft the ice.
Speaking of the rinks, it’s acutely algid in the bar. Unless you’re advancing off the ice for some post-game booze and food, you ability appetite to amend a shorts-and-T-shirt combo.
Many of the assemblage are absolutely beginning off the ice. There’s a fun “shift change” that happens against the end of the night, as the hockey abecedarian accomplishment and players leave the locker rooms. What bigger time for the circadian late-night blessed hour?
Even if you’ve never abstemious up a brace of skates, you’ll accept little agitation seeing why Top Shelf has become a hit in Wesley Chapel. It has all the chops of a acceptable sports bar, with some benefit comedy address of the ice rinks. Hockey division is imminent, and here’s a abode to watch both the Bolts on TV and an abecedarian alliance downstairs. Can’t say that about too abounding places.
— Contact Justin Grant at [email protected] Follow @WordsWithJG.
If you go
Top Shelf Sports Lounge3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel, 33544. (813) 953-1032; topshelftampa.comThe vibe: A avant-garde sports bar overlooking a brace of hockey rinks.
Food: Sides, appetizers and salads, $3.45-$13.95; entrees, $9.95-$16.95.
Booze: Beer, wine and liquor. Beer, $4.75-$6.50; wine, $7-$16; liquor, $4-$12, with ultra-premiums up to $37. Blessed hour: 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, $4 calm drafts, $2 off abode wines and $4 exceptional wells.
Specialty: You’ll apprehension several 81Bay Brew Co. beers on abstract — Top Shelf co-owner Keelan Cottle is additionally a co-owner of that brewery. Check out the Top Shelf Orange Wheat, a relabeling of 81Bay’s Coriander Orange Wheat, or go for the Lightning Lager, an all-malt ablaze lager.
Hours: 4-11:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 11 a.m-10:30 p.m. Sunday.
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