Best Of 2012

Best Continuation of an Irish Tradition: James Joyce Irish Pub’s Dave Diggler

Best Continuation of an Irish Tradition

When we heard that Ybor mainstay James Joyce Irish Pub was moving into the building that formerly housed Mema’s Alaskan Tacos and, before that, Little Sicily, we had our doubts. The stucco warm-weather-insinuating edifice is a stark contrast to anything remotely Irish. How do you make that kind of transition? Well, in short order owner Ryan Gougeon and the JJ team transformed the spot into a public house like one you’d see in Dublin, plus they added a pretty good food menu. Best of all, James Joyce still has that real-life 4-foot-6 leprechaun, Dave Diggler, a dwarf who dances, entertains and greets customers at the entrance. James Joyce Pub got big, but thankfully its greeter stayed small. 1724 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City, 813-247-1896.