Unless you consider the ones host Kirsten Sponseller has. Every Monday Night at the busiest Sarasota Bar in the downtown area, Smokin Joes, all ages line up bar side for a high energy game of Bar Beats Bingo! This isn’t your Granny’s Bingo but we’re sure she would enjoy it as much as everyone else does.
On arrival either Bingo host Kirsten, or one of the very attractive, friendly bartenders, will greet you with a smile, Bingo card, dabber and an ice cold drink that comes with a raffle ticket. It’s all FREE to play, even the raffle ticket. Yep, not only does the 2 hour game consist of several games of bingo, between rounds you can also WIN more PRIZES with the FREE raffle ticket you received for each drink you ordered.
What does “No Balls, Just Beats” mean? Well, as mentioned, this isn’t granny’s bingo. Host Kirsten doesn’t call out Bingo Numbers. With the help of manager and bartender extraordinaire, Kyle Bauer, (during the game Kirsten affectionately refers to him as DJ K Bau- a DJ name she came up with one night during the game) the Bingo intro music bumps and thumps it’s way to a countdown on the 3 HUGE screens surrounding the bar. Music videos start to play and that’s when you “dabber” your 2 Bingo cards. So, rather than listening for a number, you’re listening (and watching) for a song to play. Each round consists of 10 songs. After each round Kirsten announces, “It’s time to take a dance break, drink break and/or potty break” while Kyle plays more great music videos. By 7:30 the pizza has arrived! Yep! Not only do they tempt us with great people, prizes and music, they tempt us with PIZZA! 6 LARGE pies from Tavern on Main. Hot & fresh. The crowd loves the chance to mingle and eat and dance and catch up on songs they may have missed on their bingo card. It’s a great way to actually meet new people at a bar, rather than sit idle and drink alone, waiting for something to happen. This is the NEW way to be SOCIAL. Actually connecting with real people and having a blast!
Get there early to get a seat! The place fills up and once the game starts you’ll want a good seat to not only view the music videos but you’ll want to be able to see and hear host Kirsten. Not only to hear the song, artist and title but to watch and hear her, off the cuff, jokes and TMI (she reveals too mush info about high school/adult memories about some of the classics played on the screen). Funny and brave, it’s all part of the fun and excitement of the game. “Kind”, “cool”, “funny”, “generous”, “hot” are just a few words regulars use to describe her.
After a bag full of great prizes has been given away the final game is the Black Out Round, where bingo players play the final round of bingo by blacking out their bingo card to win a bottle of booze!! It’s a blast and it ends early enough on a school night. 7:00-9:00 Monday Nights
Follow Kirsten Sponseller on her What’s Up Sarasota page. She’s been part of the Sarasota Scene for many years. Respected and liked, she shares her inside scoop on news in Sarasota and hosts a weekly video, talking about what’s up with the weekend events and cool places in Sarasota.
If you don’t know, Smokin Joe’s has a lot of people that go in for lots of reasons. Everyone goes to Joe’s cause the one thing that they don’t do in this establishment is judge. Whether you’re on vacation in Sarasota and want to stop by for a quick drink, or if you’re a regular who maybe spends alot of time there, all are welcome. There are a lot of bars in Sarasota that cater to one crowd only or who dislike a certain type of business, but they certainly are not one of them.
So go on in, enjoy some local craft Sarasota beer, or grab a drink from their fully stocked top shelf liquor bar and browse the cigar collection. They’ve got it all there. Cool Events and Opportunities they run for the Sarasota Bar scene.
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep posted on upcoming events. Periodically throughout the year they host costume parties, sponsored liquor parties, and cash-prize giveaways and pay-per-view events. Smokin Joes also supports all of Sarasota’s local events, such as the Harvey Milk Festival, the Boat Race Parades, and Veterans Day Parades.
Photos from Kirsten Sponseller.