Well, FloridaBeachBar.com on Tuesday released its list of the state’s best beach bars, and Shephard’s Beach Resort Backyard Tiki Bar on Clearwater Beach won a couple of awards. It was named the second-best overall beach bar in the state and the absolute best beachside bar in the state. Yeah, we were a little confused about that distinction, too, as the absolute best overall beach bar – Jimmy B’s Beach Bar in St. Pete Beach – is also ON THE BEACH. There’s sort of an easy answer, however. FloridaBeachBar.com just wants to share the love among more than one winner. For instance, the third best overall beach bar for 2012 is the Paradise Bar & Grill on Pensacola Beach, which was also named the best waterside beach bar because it isn’t really located on a cracker-jack beach the way Shephard’s tiki bar is, but is still technically on the water. Are you still confused? Sorry. We tried. Maybe we shouldn’t be so anal about it. I mean, this is a best-beach-bar contest, so maybe the ones running the contest had a few margaritas before they announced the results, and just got a little sloppy-happy drunk, you know, the way any barfly might before he starts throwing his arm around any stranger who happens to sidle up next to him to order a drink. Like we said. Share the love.
This is how FloridaBeachBar.com came up with the winners. First, people were allowed to vote for their favorite beach bar on the contest web site, and thousands spoke out, bringing up the names of some 200 bars. But you know how those things go. Individual bars encourage their patrons to vote, or maybe vote themselves, or buy votes, the same way dictators in the third world buy votes before sham elections, so things can get skewed. I mean, a guy can pay enough people to vote for his bar, and technically win, even though it’s located on a retention pond in Polk County. So, FloridaBeachBar.com decided to include in the process its own beach rankings, before issuing the list. Naturally Shepard’s and the other two had the highest rankings even before folks started inputting their votes.