Poor Walt Tavern and Package

When you think of Flagler Beach watering holes usually  Finn’s or maybe Fuego come to mind (meh).  Both are big bars right across the street from the red sands of Flagler’s gorgeous beaches.   And they are both nice bars with decks and who doesn’t like a drink outside?   But Beachfoam likes a bar that that has a bit more character to it (and a few characters in it).

Tucked away a couple blocks behind Finns next to a Dollar General is Poor Walt Tavern and Package.   You’d never know it was there unless you already knew it was there.   This is a drinking man’s bar of the old school variety.   Dim lights, no windows,  jukebox, dartboards and pool tables.   Up front is a large U Shaped bar with about 20 stools and the obligatory couple flat screens against the back wall.   Behind the bar is Bonnie who will get you a cold beer in a hurry but doesn’t take any crap.  In the back room are pool tables and dart boards.  Around the bar you’ll meet one or two snowbirds but mostly locals hang out here.   Around 11:30pm just when you think everyone’s heading home the place fills up with restaurant industry people getting off their shifts at the Funky Pelican / Oceanside / Johnny D’s etc.   They arrive with a big thirst and pockets full of tips.

These folks are friendly and loud.  Cigarette smoke still fills the room here so if you can’t handle a little sidestream action take a miss on this one…Its been that way at Poor Walt for over 40 years and it ain’t gonna change tonight.

The back room at Poor Walt Tavern and Package

A bottle of Bud light or High Life will set you back $3 most drinks are around $5 -$7.  Play Pool for free M-W nights.    Since its also a package liquor store you can get your favorite bottle of poison to go as well.    Oh and ever wake up real early and need a bit of a hair of the dog?   Poor Walt’s bar starts serving at 8:00 AM.   They don’t serve food at Poor Walt so fill up before you get here.

Poor Walt is located at 302 Moody Blvd in Flagler Beach

Tir Na Nog ~ Off the Beaten Path

Tir Na Nog, in Irish literally means ‘Land of the Young’.  In Celtic lore it is a magical land of Irish Gods and Fairies.  Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in Daytona Beach may not quite conjure up that image, but what it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in Irish hospitality.   The true measure of an Irish Pub is not how many shamrocks it has on its walls, but rather the atmosphere or Craic, and the Craic at Tir Na Nog is mighty.   It is a dive bar in every sense of the word and that is a good thing.   The Pub’s own website describes it as ‘a basement like atmosphere’.    I wandered over the first time on a Wednesday night around midnight already having had a few libations at the much more touristy but fun Ocean Deck a few blocks away.   As I approached the pub I could see a small group outside puffing on cigarettes.  They greeted me with hellos and maybe a bit of an odd look, the kind of look that is not unwelcoming but implies that they don’t see many strange faces. They started a conversation with me right away and before I had even entered the bar I had met three regulars…Willie, Mickey and Marie.   Inside it was pretty slow as it was a cold January night, just three or four more folks sitting on bar stools.   Marie introduced me to Scott manning the bar.   I ordered a pint of Guinness which is another very important part of any Irish Pub.  If you’re a Guinness drinker you know the quality of the pint can be dramatically different from bar to bar.   It can range from spectacular, to down right awful.  Being at pub on the beach in Florida I wasn’t expecting anything more than average, but I was pleasantly surprised when Scott took the time to pour the pint correctly and delivered it to me with just the right amount of smooth, creamy head (get your mind out of the gutter).   It wasn’t quite a Dublin pint, nothing this side of the Atlantic is.   It was, however, a very good pint of Guinness and definitely the best I’ve had in Florida.      Over the next couple hours I enjoyed several more pints and some great, crazy conversation from Scott and the rest of the gang.  I have returned to enjoy many fine pints since.  If you’re looking for a great neighborhood bar without any pretense I highly recommend Tir Na Nog.

Tir Na Nog is located on ISB (International Speedway Blvd) just off A1A in Daytona Beach