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Best Spots For Networking In Tampa Bay

Credit: The CW

Many people in today's society live by the phrase "it's who you know." This contingent buys into the fact that in order toadvance themselves in a career for example, they need to have that paramount face-to-face moment with decision makers. And frankly, it's a proven fact that a person in a position of power will more than likely give someone they're acquainted with the opportunity over a well-written resume. So knowing that, here are a few prime spots in the Tampa Bay area to take advantage of that all-important face time.

The Buzz
Jackson's Bistro
601 S Harbour Island Blvd
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 277-0112

As part of the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce's Emerge Tampa Bay leadership program, "The Buzz" is a recurring monthly event held on every second Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m at Jackson's Bistro. Geared toward young professionals (ages 21-35), the waterfront restaurant/bar is an ideal place to mingle in a relaxed and trendy environment. Food and drink specials are available and there's always a decent turnout, leading to productive conversations. The event is open to both members (free) and guests ($5).

Fly Bar
1202 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 275-5000

Walking into Fly Bar during the happy hour timeframe presents a strong possibility that one will be crossing paths with an assortment of business professionals. Located right in downtown Tampa, many eight-to-fivers stroll into the bar that has traditional restaurant seating, an outdoor patio and a rooftop lounge area. The set up of each area encourages people to engage with one another while picking at tasty dishes and sampling a variety of libations.Related: Best Nightlife Spots for the Under 21 Crowd

Nova 535
535 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St N
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 821-6682

The lavish event space in downtown St. Petersburg is host to one of the premiere networking nights in the bay area. The Entrepreneur Social Club comes together every Thursday starting at 6 p.m. with the goal of cultivating ideas brought forth by all who attend and are brave enough to share. Having a fully stocked bar and being surrounded by fine art, the creative juices flow effortlessly here. Once the meeting concludes, the group sticks together and ends up continuing the discussion at a dinner afterwards.

2223 NW Shore Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 353-0200

Holding court in International Plaza, this upscale sports bar sees its fair share of business professionals setting up camp at both the spacious bar area and table-seating areas. Usually office groups will come in to snack on appetizers while taking the edge off with select draft brews and cocktails. The wide-open design of the joint enables people to eavesdrop on chats, which will assist them in deciding if getting to know a particular professional crew could be profitably advantageous.

Kickball Leagues

As random as kickball leagues may sound, it just might be the best bet to have substantial engagements with other professionals. The nightly, weekday leagues bring people from all walks of life looking to relive their childhood, with one difference: some are getting their drink on during the friendly game. Immediately following the six-inning battle, all competitors usually head straight to a local watering hole nearby and yap over reasonably-priced drinks. So why not try bonding and advancing your life through a childhood pastime?

Related: Top Jukebox Bars in Tampa Bay

Head to CBS Tampa's Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Joe Belcastro is an established journalist based in Tampa, Florida. His vast coverage of the local, national, & international scene has led his work to appear all over the world in respected print and online publications. After making a name for himself in the realm of film criticism, his candid approach & style to reporting has enabled him to cover such beats as music and nightlife, all while conducting interviews with people who have way more money than him. His work can be found at

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