Bar rescued!Shenanigans bartender JoJo Zanussi can’t seem to get enough of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue”— that makeover show where Jon Taffer, the Robert Irvine of nightlife, transforms fading bars. Now she’s seen such a transformation firsthand, and Taffer had nothing to do with it.
Late into the night, Shenanigans bar owners Susie Bishop and Tim Thompson wielded sledgehammers in a whirlwind two-week remodel of their aging Harbour Heights neighborhood club. After discovering an Aug. 1957 St. Petersburg Times stuffed in the wall, they now know just how old the building is. Regulars like Joni and Wayne Darrall were as gobsmacked as the blindfolded owners when they first stepped into what had become a new bar.
“Absolutely blown away!” said Joni. “Best-looking bar in town. We know because we had to go to other places when they were closed. We were like lost souls.”
When Bishop and Thompson bought the place eight years ago, Skipper’s Cove was a shadowy den with a black ceiling, red walls and dark terracotta tiles — which it remained until the mid-August remake.
Shenanigans now has gray barnboard paneling, metal wainscoting, a gleaming new bar with diamond-plate foot rails and liquor shelving fashioned of industrial pipe. Bishop designed and built a row of wall-hung lacquered tables, with baskets hanging overhead to keep condiments and paper towels out of diners’ way.
Under the terracotta tiles the couple found sticky laminate and, beneath that, a hidden treasure: terrazzo flooring, which they kept. Susie Bishop’s extensive home-made menu — noted for its varied spring rolls and wings — is served from 4 p.m. daily. On tap: Yuengling, Mich Ultra, Busch, Budweiser, Bud Light and the trendy new low-calorie, low-carb, sugar- and gluten-free Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, a 4.5%-alcohol mixer which can be flavored with a variety of Skinny syrups. Shenanigans holds cornhole tournaments on Mondays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., pool tournaments on Thursdays at 7 p.m., karaoke Fridays at 8 p.m. and poker on Sundays at 6 p.m.
Shenanigans Sports Bar ($), 941-875-9695, 3103 Broadpoint Drive, Harbour Heights, is open Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday to Saturday to 2 a.m., Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Members pay $14 a year and may bring a guest three times.
You say it’s your birthday? This columnist’s birthday is coming up, and the folks at Thrillist seemed to know it. Now you have them to thank for another of their exhaustive rundowns — this one, of 32 local chains where you’re entitled to something free just because you were born.
Applebee’s Free dessert for members of EClub.
Arby’s Free shake coupon sent a week before your birthday by Arby’s Extras. Auntie Anne’s BOGO pretzel through Pretzel Perks
Baskin-Robbins Free scoop of ice cream courtesy of the Birthday Club.
Bonefish Grill Free dessert for Bonefish Grill Insiders.
Buffalo Wild Wings Members of the Buffalo Circle get a free snack-size order of traditional or boneless wings with choice of sauce during the two-week window around their birthday.
Carrabba’s Free appetizer or dessert during the birthday month of Amici Club members.
Checkers Flavorhood club members get a free small milkshake.
Chili’s Email club sends a coupon for free dessert, good for two weeks.
Cracker Barrel Free dessert AND a song on your birthday, and you don’t need to join anything.
Culver’s Club members get a free sundae.
Dairy Queen Join the DQ Blizzard Fan Club for a birthday BOGO and a coupon for a discounted dessert.
Denny’s Free Grand Slam, no exclusive club required.
Dunkin’ DD Perks members get a free beverage.
Hooters E-club members score 10 free wings.
IHOP Free stack of pancakes for Pancake Revolutionaries
Jersey Mike’s Free sub and drink for email club members
McDonald’s For kids only: a free Happy Meal via their email newsletter.
Moe’s Southwest Grill Free birthday burrito for life, just for downloading Moe’s mobile app—and a free order of nachos just for joining.
Olive Garden eClub members get unlimited breadsticks and a free dessert.
Outback Steakhouse Free kid-size vanilla sundae.
Panera Bread MyPanera members get a free pastry.
Pizza Hut Free cinnamon sticks will arrive at your door if you have an online ordering account.
Red Lobster Fresh Catch Club members get a randomly chosen birthday freebie.
Ruby Tuesday Get So Connected with a free burger
Sbarro Slice Society members get a free slice with a drink purchase.
Starbucks Starbucks Rewards members get a free beverage or food item of their choice
Steak ‘n Shake Email club members get a double-steak burger with cheese fries
TGI Fridays Free dessert with purchase of an entrée during the birthday month.
Waffle House Waffle House Regulars Club members get a free birthday waffle.
Wendy’s Free Frosty through WendyMail.
Zaxby’s Join the email club, get a free zandwich on the zpot and a free Nibbler (chicken zlider zandwich) on your zpecial day. Send restaurant and bar news and recommendations to columnist Sue Wade at email@example.com. Average price ranges are $ = inexpensive (under $10), $$ = moderate ($11-$30), and $$$ = pricey (over $30), including tip and beverage.