Delightful Destinations for the Designated Driver: Howl at the Moon

If you’re a non-drinker like me, I’m sure you’ve found yourself in the position as the permanent designated driver, or maybe it’s just your turn to sit out on the fun and watch your friends down a few beers. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to miss out on the fun even if you’re not the one drinking if you know where to go, and Howl at the Moon in Channelside, Tampa is definitely the place to go!

Howl at the moon is a dueling piano bar complete with stage, microphones, speakers and a drum set. Strategically placed behind the stage is a mirror where raunchy comments from the crowd are written by the band members for the right price (which is usually a dollar to two). Just slightly to the left is a type of game show spinning wheel where a member of the crowd can take a spin and test their luck for the highest bet.

This bar is classic, absolute fun for the drinker and non-drinker alike. The crowd requests popular songs for the pianists to play and sing along as the musicians belt out their piano versions of crowd pleasing tunes like Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feelin” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.” The music doesn’t just stop at the popular though. For example, a request came in where half of the crowd didn’t know the song. Did that deter the pianist from playing it? Not a chance. The talented musician just asked the crowd if they knew the song and proceeded to teach us the lyrics in a style far different than your average campfire singalong.

The requests pour in from the crowd along with dollar bills, and whatever the pianists choose to play at the time always energizes the crowd to the point where you can get up and dance a bit. Don’t dance too much though because the place is always packed and there is barely sitting room, let alone room for busting a major move. All in all, the bar is great. Talented musicians, live music, a lit up crowd, and you can fit in without even being tempted to take a sip.

There’s always the opportunity to jump on stage, and the musicians and crowd encourage it to the point where you need not feel self-conscious or shy. Besides, you’re the designated driver and, for the most part, the crowd is too drunk to remember or even care what you are doing as long as you’re having fun. The bar specializes in birthday parties, anniversaries, bachelor/bachelorette parties, any type of party really as long as you’re 21 and up! The doors open at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and close at 3 a.m. The cover charge, if there is one, rarely goes over 5$ per person.


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