Best Of 2008

BEST DIVE BAR (PINELLAS): Emerald Bar

St. Petes Emerald Bar.

Downtown St. Petersburg has gotten quite gentrified in recent years but the cash-only Emerald Bar remains delightfully grungy. It’s a long narrow room with a low ceiling and a wooden bar that runs nearly the entire length. There are also circular tables, and the walls are decorated with local art. The Emerald’s cocktails are consistently strong and the joint stocks plenty of beers, of the mostly domestic variety. The clientele typically consists of seasoned drinkers who know how to hold their liquor. On the weekends, expect a $3-$5 cover and live music of the loud and rowdy sort. 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-898-6054