Best Of 2005

BEST BAR TO DRINK ALONE IN: Friendly Tavern

Three types of bars make for good solo drinking: 1. The depressing hole-in-the-wall, where you can anonymously drink yourself into a stupor. 2. The singles bar, where you can anonymously leave with someone else. 3. The Friendly Tavern. A textbook dive, complete with crooning country on the jukebox and NASCAR on the TV, the Friendly Tavern lives up to its name. The regulars are quick to buy the new guy a beer or play him in a game of pool, and if you don’t know the words to Lefty Frizell’s “Saginaw, Michigan,” the crew will be happy to teach you; the tune plays every 20 minutes. If solitude is what you’re after, the folks at the Friendly Tavern are happy to oblige. But unlike most bars, a good conversation is always just a stool or two away. 3120 W. Gandy Blvd., Tampa, 813-837-5913.