It’s last call for Ferg’s Live. After four years in business across from Amalie Arena, the bar and restaurant that’s become synonymous with Tampa Bay Lightning games will call it quits after Saturday, March 9.
General manager Billy Osborne says staff knew all along the bar was nothing more than a placeholder until the time came for Lightning owner Jeff Vinick to develop the plot of land where Ferg’s is located. He says they’ve been operating all along on “borrowed time.”
“This is something know has been coming since we took the lease four years ago,” Osborne explained. “We’ll be missing you guys. We love you and thank you for being a part of this experience.”
But just because management knew the end was near doesn’t mean fans did. Many patrons were shocked when we broke the news to them before the Lightning home game against the Minnesota Wild Thursday night.
“It’s not going to be the same without [Ferg’s],” said James Vanhaerents, who called Ferg’s a staple of the Lightning game experience. “Yeah, it sucks.”
“I just don’t understand why they would do it right before the Lightning finish up their best season on record, potentially breaking some NHL records,” said Andrew Flink, who calls himself a frequent Ferg’s customer.
Before the normally packed tables and chairs become empty for good, management hopes all fans will join them by Saturday for a final toast.
“Let’s go out with a bang!” said Osborne.
The bar posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon about its imminent closure.
“March 9th may be our last day open, but you haven’t seen the last of us… we shall raise a glass together again soon. <3” the post reads.
Owner Jay Mize hopes to reopen somewhere downtown in the future, but doesn’t know when or where that may happen.
Employees will be relocated to other restaurants within the company if they wish.