Jun. 30, 2009
CRACKER JACKS PUB
The Basics: 4116 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, 377-0666 [map it]
Signature Drink(s): Sarasota Apple
Most friendliest bartender(s): Erika
As I pull up to Cracker Jack I see two leather-clad bikers with shaved heads pulling their bikes onto the sidewalk. I happened to show up just in time for the weekly Tuesday night pool tournament. I ask the bartender what their specialty drink is and she looks at me dumbfounded. “We don’t have specialty drinks here,” she says before mixing me up a “Sarasota Apple” (aka Washington Apple). By 8 p.m. the bar is full of Sarasota’s finest blue-collar workforce, cut-off denim jacket-sporting Harley riders, and a few younger tattooed pool players in plain white T’s (Eminem attire). The neighborhood crowd around the U-shaped bar all seems familiar with each other and there are plenty of jokers among the group. I ask what weekly events they have. “Karaoke on Saturdays,” says the bartender, “and comedy every night,” says a guy at the bar. Charlie, the owner, buys me a drink before testing his billiard skills in the tournament.