Beyond the ‘Burg: Diving Into Mahuffer’s, “the wurst place on the beech”

Interior of a Beach Dive Bar with license plates, neon signs and dollar bills stuck to the wall

How do you make a great dive bar? Try two parts unique atmosphere, one part nostalgia, and a dash of danger. Mahuffer’s on Indian Rocks Beach has perfected this recipe. Fans of the Blueberry Patch will think they’ve strolled into the Key West franchise when walking through Mahuffer’s outdoor entrance. A journey through a meta-physical margaritaville is always a good way to start a session.

Low ceilings, bars made of boats, and thousands of messages from good times past greet you when you make it inside. The indoor main bar has a seedy dinginess you would be hard pressed to find anywhere outside of Bourbon Street New Orleans.

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Faded photos of people you would have been wise to avoid in the 70s and 80s cover the walls. The sexually illustrated zodiac adorned with generations of graffiti is a piece of sub-Americana that demands appreciation and wonder, and there’s no better way to get working on your horoscope than a few popsicle shots: a lovely mix of liquor and popsicle that should give any self respecting parent pause for having both ingredients under one roof. Time stops and the laughs come easy at Mahuffer’s.

A sinful respite from the sun and pastels outside, Mahuffer’s has a real edge to it. If the dead animals, questionable characters, and sexually explicit art don’t provide a sense of danger, the pinewood coffin will.

You never see it coming in, and can’t miss it on the way out. A suggestion you escaped a brush with something and lived to smile about it. Mahuffer’s provides a buzz and a feeling one is getting away with something, and really, what’s more delicious than that?

Mahuffer’s is located at 19201 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

Feature contributed by Sean Lux