When it comes to dive bars, we have learned they come in all sizes, shapes, amenities, and locations that surprise you. We discovered this gem as we traveled the coastline of the Florida panhandle.
After leaving places like Alligator Point, Panacea, and St. Teresa in the Florida panhandle along Rt. 98, we came into a small fishing village called Carabelle.
Hunger led us to a sign stating Harry’s Bar and Package. All I can say is, if there is a mold for dive bars, Harry’s created it!
You walk in the front door directly under the classic neon sign to a dim-lit room that takes your eyes a few seconds to focus on your surroundings. There are two bright areas – the pool tables and the back well-stocked bar. A friendly voice said, “have a seat, be with you folks in a minute”.
Quickly finding a seat at a 30-foot-long bar, the first sign I saw was a beer special offering $1 Milwaukee’s Best beer in cans.
A couple of crusty locals had already taken advantage of the special based on the cans in front of them.
A table off to the side of the bar had three fishermen discussing the day’s fishing success – or lack thereof!
The barmaid finished serving the table and headed our way. “What can we get you to drink, sweetie?”, was the first statement as napkins flew in front of us. She was cordial and quickly quenched our thirst.
Then we decided to ask a question that we weren’t sure we wanted the answer to – “Do you serve food.” That can be a dangerous question in a dive bar.
It was evident our friendly barmaid had been asked this question many times before and a quick “not really” flew off her lips. “Give me a minute and we’ll get you a menu from next door” she stated.
“Next Door” is a kitchen with a window that serves food in an atrium with another small bar and a few tables. It seems Harry’s uses this venue next door to serve food to hungry guests.
There is a back door that leads to the atrium- where, after placing our order, fifteen minutes later our food arrived. Typical bar food, nothing outstanding, but enough to feed our hunger.
Eating gave us time to look around the bar for more clues to confirm Harry’s dive bar atmosphere. There was a small room with bottles of common liquor and cordials. This room was the “Package” part of the name – a closet size room with many popular liquors offered by the bottle.
Harry’s Bar and Package may not be the grand dive-bar glorification like Flora-Bama, but the fishing village-friendly atmosphere is worth the stop.
Harry’s might be a great place to get a Gulf fishing charter captain, since the is aptly located on Marine Street, just steps from the Gulf of Mexico.
Read more about great Florida dive bars here.
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