Wine Dine and Play: Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill

Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill












October 2017 review  /  July 2016 review

The Top 101 
St. Petersburg, Florida USA
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 2/5
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:



Executive Chef:
John Currier
Restaurant Owners:
Mark Ferguson 

Being new to an area you want to learn, explore and do as many things as possible that the locals do. One of those things, when you're talking about St. Petersburg, Florida, is to go to a Ray’s baseball game, then afterward, sort of like the 19th hole of golf, visit an iconic sports bar that has been around since 1992, called Ferg’s, which used to be a Sunoco gas station, purchased by a local school teacher named Mark Ferguson. Today it is the place to go after the baseball Ray’s game, or anytime at all, as the bar and grill now span's nearly two city blocks, and is a must visit on your list when you come to St. Petersburg. CNN named Ferg’s Sports Bar as one of the Top 101 Sports Bars in the country (#21 on this list). 

Picture courtesy of Ferg's
From the Ferg’s home page:
Encompassing nearly two city blocks, there is truly something for everyone at Ferg's. We have 90+ TVs, an awesome menu, including craft beers, signature burgers and our famous wings. Choose indoor and outdoor seating with live music, a friendly staff and easy access to the "Trop" via the tunnel under 1st Avenue South that leads directly to the stadium property. We have eleven unique group and Event Venues. Come experience Ferg's today and have a great time!



My friend Eric and I work together over in Iraq, and it just so happened to work out that he would be home on leave the same time that I was going to be. He lives with his wife and two kids just outside of Tampa, while my wife and I live in St. Petersburg. He mentioned getting together with his extended family for a baseball Ray’s game at Tropicana Field and invited my wife and me to join his tailgate group. We humbly excepted and also invited my folks to come along, as they lived just outside of Tampa as well. For my stepmother, this would be her first time going to a baseball game. 

Tropicana Field. Living in St. Petersburg for nearly a year, when I am home, we pass by the stadium often when on I-275 heading towards Tampa. It was originally named the Florida Suncoast Dome opened in March 1990. It became the Thunderdome in 1993 with the arrival of the area's National Hockey League expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have moved to the Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa. It was renamed Tropicana Field in October 1996 and became home to the Ray’s in 1998. Though still called Tropicana after Dole, it is now owned by PepsiCo, who elected not to change the name. In its earlier days, the field would come close to selling out for major events. The largest crowd to date, of 47,150 was an August 11, 1990, concert featuring The New Kids on the Block. Pretty sad when a boy band sells more tickets then its home iconic team. 


Location and convenience have been an issue for Tropicana Field. Yes, the St. Petersburg residents can get downtown easy enough o see a game, but most of the fanbase lives either in Tampa or Hillsborough County, and with traffic, it takes too long for a person working in Tampa to drive on the freeway home, to just get back on that same freeway to go further over to St. Petersburg, and back home again. When we went to this game, the field was maybe halfway filled. The Ray’s are in talks about moving into Tampa to boost the crowds for the home games. 

Picture courtesy of Ferg's

We arrived, meeting up with Eric’s wife Tracie and the kids, plus his extended family, where we enjoyed some beers, food, and great conversation. My folks joined us as the game was starting, and we all had tickets in the same area to sit close by, continue the conversation, and enjoy the game. During the Seventh-inning stretch, Eric and his youngest daughter got to sing the opening of “Take me out to the ballgame.” The stretch is a tradition that according to the baseball-almanac webpage began in 1910 when President William Howard Taft stood up to stretch during the 7th inning since the wooden seat was uncomfortable for him as he was obese, and the chairs were not designed to cater to people of his height and weight. 


The Ray’s would end up losing the game that day to Detroit,  and just prior to the games end, Eric mentioned going to Ferg’s, a tradition after you see the Ray’s. I had never heard of the place but was looking forward to it all the same. We left the dome, walked a short while past the parking lot, through a tunnel under the main road, and came out the other side at Ferg’s.


The bar was extremely busy, and humungous in size, like mentioned above, is roughly two city blocks, with inside and outside bar + seating for both. We could barely move but found an area with a few open tables. There were no servers or hosts to be seen, so any orders had to be placed at the bar. The items are broken down by the following from their regular menu: 

  • Starting Lineup  
  • Filed of Greens
  • Clubhouse Classics
  • Wraps
  • Spring Training
  • Ferg’s Famous Wings
  • Dugout Dogs
  • Signature Burgers
  • Entree’s
  • Sides
  • Little League 

Besides the regular menu seen above, they have a party menu for larger groups, weekly special menus, the patio grill menu which we ordered from, and the famous BBQ menu. With the BBQ menu, you can get assorted hot dogs, salads, ribs, smoked sausages, and assorted sandwiches. The patio grill menu has assorted salads, sandwiches, and starters, a smaller version of the main menu.


Ferg’s has a very extensive bar menu, especially beers. For the wine drinkers out there, they have a house white or red from California, and that's it.  For their beers, they break down the list into 18 separate categories with local, national, and international beer selections, some on tap and others by the bottle. 

  • Lagers
  • Amber Lager
  • Vienna Lager
  • Euro Pale Lager
  • American Amber Ale
  • American Cream Ale
  • American IPA
  • American Pale Ale (APA)
  • Witbier
  • American Pale Wheat Ale
  • American Brown Ale
  • American Porter
  • American Stout
  • Stout
  • Ciders
  • Variety 
  • Non-Alcoholic
We all ordered an assortment of items from the patio menu and shared a few, while we drank a few beers from the list above, and enjoyed the rest of our day. It was a Friday, so that could explain why it was so busy, plus the fact that the tradition of going to Ferg’s after a game adds to the number of people as well. Ferg's also mentioned that the pre-game shows are even busier with more crowds then the post games believe it or not. 

One person ordered the authentic Cuban sandwich ($9) made in the Ybor tradition, it looked yummy, but not sure if it follows in the footsteps of the restaurant that invented the sandwich back in 1906, the Columbia Restaurant.  

Another person in our party ordered the food truck nachos ($10) which comes with your choice of beef, chicken, or pork with freshly made assorted colored tortilla chips, topped with queso cheese, pico de gallo, jalapeños, shredded lettuce & cilantro sour cream.

Then, of course, the all classically prepared fried chicken fingers dish ($9) served with fries and choice of BBQ, honey mustard or ranch dressing. If you're going to a sports bar, it would be a sin to not have some type of chicken finger, tender, or nugget on the menu.


Finally, from the regular menu, our party ordered a few potato skins appetizers ($9), topped with melted cheddar and chopped bacon with a side of sour cream for dipping. I’m sure they had a dessert menu, but we never made it that far.

It was a wonderful day with friends and family, and Ferg’s was the perfect way to finish out Ray’s game. My wife and I will most likely be returning there again, and when my friend Eric and his family get together again, I’d love to repeat our experience. 

Other noteworthy Bar Foods /Cocktail Dining on Wine Dine and Play:
Anclote Brew Gourmet grilled cheese and a bar in Greek country, Tarpon Springs, Florida 
Café Cocó A chocolate and Champagne bar by the Rothschild family at the Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam 
Captain Tony’s Saloon Old school pub and landmark from 1851 in Key West, Florida
Cave Dubai A French-style wine bar at the Conrad Hotel, Downtown Dubai, UAE 
First Flight Wine Bar Chic airport bar offering wines and charcuterie at the (TPA) in Tampa, Florida
O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille Waterfront American eats and drinks in Gulfport, Florida
O’Maddy’s Bar And Grille  Second review of this waterfront bar in Gulfport, Florida
Reflections Bar and Grill American favorites in the Westin Hotel at the airport in Detroit, Michigan
The Cork and Stogie Laid-back bar with cocktails, wine, and cigars in Key West, Florida
The Dickens Inn 1800s warehouse dockside style British pub, in London, UK 
The Pike Brewing Company Brewpub with a locally sourced menu in Seattle, Washington


See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary


Other St Petersburg restaurant and review articles:

Old-school English-American Eatery
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Cal-Italian Cuisine, At the Sundial 
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Casual LGBT bar and burger joint
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Lively Bar and Grill 
At the Hollander Hotel
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
American Cuisine at Marina Cove
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Organic Farmers Market in Pioneer Park
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA


See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country






Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience, and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Ferg's a 2 out of 5 stars, meaning that they were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants.



Review basics:

Overall Star Rating:
2 of 5 Stars: 
72% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
Far Above The Average Dining Experience
Wine rating:
1 of 10
Old World selections: 
0
New World selections: 
California
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine Style:
American, Bar and Grille, Fast Food
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Vegetarian Options
Reservations:
Not Required
Walk-Ins:
Accepted
Dress code:
Casual attire
It’s Florida, everybody wears flip-flops!
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Experiences:
Trendy, Lounge, Great bar, Rustic, Hole-in-the-wall, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Payments:
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking:
Street meter parking
Wifi
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Medium to Loud
Smoking:
Warning: Some areas are smoking
Patio or terrace:
Yes






Ferg’s Sports Bar:
1320 Central Ave, 
St. Petersburg, Florida 
33705




Contact Information: 

Maître d or host:
+1 727 822 4562
Restaurant website: Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time (GMT - 5:00)

Daily:
11:00 am - 3:00 AM
*Note: On all afternoon Rays home games we open at 10:30am
website contact:

Social Media 
Accolades:

Facebook link                
Twitter@FergsSportsBar
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram




“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)




Who is John Galt?

TTFN





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