Is it the best bar ever? No, probably not.
Is it the cheapest bar ever? Not necessarily, although their special nights are hard to beat sometimes.
Is it a home? For a good portion of St. Augustine's downtown population, yes--yes it is.
If those new to St. Augustine want to get a taste of local life, the St. George Tavern should be the first stop. As the only dive right on the St. George strip, this is the watering hole of choice for downtown's workers to stop off after a shift, have a beer or five, and meet up with friends. If you're anyone who's anyone, or you know anyone who's anyone, you will know at least one person in the Tavern on any given evening. And on the odd night you're a stranger, you won't be for long, as the crowded layout literally fills with people on a good night.
Drawbacks to the tavern? Sure, there are a few. Mostly they do boil down to the crowds. As the place packs up tighter and tighter, everything becomes a little bit difficult. If you're entering on what looks like a crowded night, assume a few things:
-You won't be getting a booth (although fortune often favors those who hover).
-Maneuvering from one end of the Tavern to the other, which takes thirty seconds on a clear evening, could take anywhere from two to ten minutes, depending on how often you want to stop and chat, and how willing you are to muscle people aside.
-Because smoking is permitted inside, oxygen can become a rare commodity, especially when every booth has two or three people lighting up. Beware of eye-stinging.
But the crowd is one of the points of the Tavern that you learn to love. There are certainly less crowded bars around town, but sometimes, all you want is to get lost in a sea of weirdoes.
Is there anywhere in St. Augustine better than the Tavern to do that? Definitely not.
How I used to love the tavern and still do...
It's a great local bar that's nothing fancy and gives off that "dive" vibe.
Awesome local crowd that kinda makes you feel like you're in a Cheers rerun.
The best attribute though?
It was/is within stumbling distance of my childhood home. ..
St. Augustine's Hidden Secret: This is probably the closest establishment you'll find to an English Style Pub in this part of Florida. The warm, social surroundings have kept me coming back since I first visited the tavern six years ago. If you're looking for a tiny pub, with great ambience, and intimate surroundnigs with more than reasonable drink prices and great service, this is your place