As many of you know (or maybe you don’t), we decided to start this blog as a way to force ourselves to explore all that Tampa has to offer. We admit, we do enjoy revisiting our old stomping grounds every once in a while for a bit of nostalgia, but let’s be honest- things change. That bar that was your go-to, where “everyone knows your name” suddenly has new bartenders and a crowd you can’t make out anyone’s face in. So when we heard about a new bar going in within walking distance of our place that didn’t’ have S. Howard in the address, we were intrigued.
Being the nosey nuggets that we are, we just had to get a first hand look at the new Soho Backyard. Located at 610 S. Armenia, it’s definitely off the beaten path and won’t be South Tampa’s best kept secret for long. We decided to take a little gander after the Taste of South Tampa and were amazed by the work that had gone into the place. We couldn’t help ourselves as we peeked in the windows and checked out the outdoor area. After our own private sneak preview, we knew we had to be one of the firsts to get in there.
Well we may not have been first in the door given that they had about 12 (or so it seemed) soft openings, but when things were up and running, we took our crew over to scope out the place. They had only been open for about 3 days and the place was already full on a Friday night (off to a good start!). And now that we could actually get inside, we could see how cool the bar looked. With historic Tampa photographs lining the back of the bar, it was a nod to the old Tampa neighborhoods and really gave the place a neighborhood bar feel. The outside area isn’t huge but it’s perfect for a small intimate gathering for a group of friends to grab a drink.
With some tequila and sprites in hand, it was time for us to check out their menu. Something we love about Soho Backyard is how different their menu is from the typical bar. With so many options to choose from, we turned to our bartender for some culinary guidance. She told us how amazing the duck wings were and never ones to shy away from a suggestion, we ordered them up along with the baja shrimp salad, margarita flatbread, and the black bean burger.
When the duck wings came out, we dove right in and I have to say, it was probably my favorite thing we tried. If you are looking to just grab something small to snack on, make this your choice! Next up were our entrees-huge entrees may we add. We were able to share with everyone in our party and all agreed our bartender was on point with the meal suggestions. The shrimp in the salad was seasoned to perfection and I just about wanted to add them to my flatbread. We can’t wait to try the other options on the menu next time!
Something else we loved about Soho Backyard was the fact that everyone was so friendly. The bartenders chatted with us for a while and the owner, Jeff, even came over and gave us the run down on the place. With plans to house a craft beer fridge in the near future, we KNOW that will draw an even larger crowd. Now that we are older and moving away from the Soho Bar scene, it is great that we can have a place to go grab a drink and a delicious meal with some friendly faces. So next time you’re in the area and looking to try something new- make sure to try out Soho Backyard!