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Best Sarasota Nightlife

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However you define nightlife—whether it’s rowdiness and brews, high heels and highballs, or crooning karaoke—you can find it here. Sarasota isn’t SoHo, but there are more than enough venues to keep you busy after hours for a week or so. At the end of the night, the best nightlife may just be sitting outside at your hotel’s bar just taking in the atmosphere.

Captain Curt's Crab & Oyster Bar

Neighborhood: Siesta Key

If you brought little ones along and need a place to tire them out before bedtime, the entertainment at Captain Curt’s is G-rated, and there’s food to go with the fun. Live music tends toward cover bands and Jimmy Buffet  sound-alikes, though there are some karaoke nights mixed in. The menu is typical beach fare—fried grouper fingers, burgers, seafood baskets, baby back ribs—at moderate prices.

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Captain Curt's Crab & Oyster Bar  

The Gator Club

Neighborhood: Sarasota

This downtown dance club does it Sarasota style—meaning there’s a strict dress code (no sleeveless shirts on guys, no sports jerseys, no sunglasses after 7PM, no “excessive bling”) and the crowd stays this side of out-and-out rowdy. Think of a good time billiards and beer place housed in an elegant, well-restored historic building. The Gator Club is, in fact, in a 1913 building that’s done turns as a grocery, newsstand, cigar store and real estate office. Now it hosts local and regional acts ranging from rockabilly to hip hop. The crowd is mostly under 30 though you probably will see some gray hair in here, depending on the entertainers. The downstairs bar can get pretty packed during the live performances, but there’s also an upstairs bar. Special nights include a Tuesday Ladies Night Dressed to Kill and Bloody Good Saturdays when you build your own Bloody Marys from 11AM to 3PM. The club posts a list of its events online, so you can check out what’s on for the dates you’ll be in the area.

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The Gator Club  

McCurdy's Comedy Theater

Neighborhood: Sarasota

This big red room has hosted some of the funniest acts in the business, including Larry the Cable Guy, David Brenner, Kevin Nealon and Jeff Foxworthy, plus lesser-known but just as witty characters you might have seen on HBO or Comedy Central. Tickets are reasonable, starting as low as $6 for some shows, and although there is a two-item minimum—not a two-drink minimum—this is a well-priced evening out. McCurdy’s even runs a “Humor Institute” where you can learn to do stand up or get help writing jokes.

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McCurdy's Comedy Theater »

Kroaky's Karaoke

Neighborhood: Sarasota

You may think you know what to expect from a Karaoke bar, but Kroaky’s is different. That’s because the owners, who lived in Japan for 18 years, adhere to the traditional Japanese concept of karaoke, where there are private rooms instead of one large room with a bar. Kroaky’s has eight individual rooms, all soundproof and available to rent during specials for just $4 per person per hour (not including alcohol or food) plus a library of 18,000 songs, from all genres and time periods. But if you prefer to mingle and share your questionable singing talents with strangers you can always hang out in the club’s new lounge area. With 99 cent drafts and $5 pitchers every day, you won’t pay a bundle for a night out.

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Kroaky's Karaoke  

The Beach Cub

Neighborhood: Siesta Key

Where the Gator Club is upscale and mild, The Beach Club is all-out wild, which is how it packs in the early 20s crowd. There’s live music ranging from reggae to Top 40 and event nights (the SIN “service industry night” gives local hospitality workers 25% off their tab) and bikini contests, celebrity lookalike contests and such draw a party hardy contingent. The club recently added a VIP Room with bottle service.

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The Beach Cub  
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