Bingo has a reputation for being a retirement home specialty. You can picture it now, a room full of retired men and women, tables covered in bingo cards and faces full with reading glasses all looking down. Well, forget all of that because Hamburger Mary’s offers a much different experience, where the drag is followed by a Queen! That’s right every Sunday through Wednesday, Hamburger Mary’s Bar and Grill is host to a local charity B-I-N-G-O fundraiser.

This past week I had the opportunity to organize a fundraiser for Startup Weekend Tampa with my fellow organizers. The event was on a Tuesday night and for us regulars that means leave your judgement at the door and prepare for a Rated R Bingo session. There is no room for sore losers at this game and you can expect to be called out by Miss Alicia Markstone (the drag queen bingo host on Tuesdays). I would recommend ordering a drink to loosen up or just because there is a happy hour deal every night of the week.

Some other things you need to know:

1. Reservations highly recommended (especially for large groups)

2. Bring Cash- $10 for Bingo Card, 50/50 Raffle

3. Bingo starts at 7:30 but arrive early

4. It lasts about 2 hours

But to really understand Drag Queen Bingo you have to experience it for yourself. Many of us have been a number of times but there is a new story every time. This time was particularly fun because not only were the proceeds going to support an event so important to me but many of our invited guests were winners! But not all winners are equal, 10 games, 10 gift bags (the last game is blackout and the bag is extra stuffed). A special thanks to Yelp for coming by with some awesome swag for those in attendance.

When playing you have to pay attention to the announcer because she decides the game; can be anything from traditional, four corners (all three cards) or something more provocative.

A single game Bingo card.
Bingo key to explain each game.

“B-11, Legs to heaven.” “O-69,” and the crowd goes wild! Three more numbers and someone in the crowd loudly screams, “It’s on, B!$#*es,” so that everyone knows he is one letter number combo away from a win!

I must admit, I have never won Bingo before, but this time was different… I was a winner! And I probably should have mentioned this earlier on but when you win you must circle the restaurant while all the losers crumple their Bingo boards and pelt them at the winner. I must say, my lap was epic.

We completed the experience with a picture with Miss Alicia.

Group shot with Alicia.

It was a great night for a great cause so next time your Facebook tells you about a friendly game of Drag Queen Bingo… 1. Don’t believe it and 2. Make sure you attend.


PS. Check out their Fried Twinkies (no this is not a typo).
Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

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