Drift-In and Lounge

Fine dining, drinks on the river or kick back at an old-school bar.

We’re drifting into the month of December with a relatively quiet weekend ahead.

But that’s fine. Last weekend in downtown Bradenton was quite the party with the Riverwalk. And we’ll be back at it with Main Street Live! and a New Year’s celebration later this month.

Let’s see what else is out there beyond the borders of Old Main Street. Manatee Avenue has one of the city’s oldest bars, Oasis Lounge. Smitty’s Pub & Grille is another local landmark that’s been around for a long time.

Check out the acoustic band Faultline at Drift-In Liquors 2 on Cortez Road, try fine dining and drinks at Pier 22 on the scenic Manatee River and – especially if you’re a Baltimore Ravens fan – catch any of this Sunday’s football games at Gecko’s.


The Oasis Lounge, 6006 Manatee Ave. W., one of the oldest bars this far west in town, has $1.25 select drafts of beer all day Friday. For all you early birds out there, Oasis opens at 7 a.m. The bar and the package liquor store are open until 2:30 a.m.

Smitty’s, 3812 Manatee Ave. W., on Friday nights has $5 double well drinks, $7 pitchers of Natural Light, three shots of flavored vodka for $12. If you’re looking for a snack, try Smitty's World Famous Chicken Wings I these flavors: Mild, Medium, Hot, WOW!, Opie, Garlic or BBQ - served with Smitty’s homemade Bleu Cheese or Ranch dressing with celery and carrots. Serving sizes range from six ($5.99) to 100 ($74.99).

Drift-In, 2907 Cortez Rd., has house band Faultline playing Friday night from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Get there early for happy hour specials from 8 a.m. until noon and again from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ask your bartender about the drink specials for the day.

In addition to fine dining and exquisite martinis, Pier 22, 1200 Barcarrota Blvd., has live music from The Arch from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

If you’re a Baltimore Ravens fan, try Gecko’s Grill & Pub, 4310 S.R. 64 E., the official game watch party location of the Ravens. The Ravens take on the Washington Redskins at 1 p.m. Drink specials include two-for-one well cocktails, margaritas, martinis, frozen drinks and house wines. Reduced prices on select beers. Gecko’s routinely adds new craft beers to its lineup so make sure to see what beers are available Sunday. Gecko’s also has a full menu, so bring your appetite.


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