Our secret hideaway; Cock and Bull farmhouse. Sarasota, FL.

As our 10 weeks in one place come to an end, and we head North to Orlando, I believe it’s finally time to let you all in on a little secret of ours called The Cock and Bull Farmhouse.

Sometimes on the road we like to be able to get away from it all and keep one good place to ourselves. The last few weeks have been manageable with our secret date nights at one of the coolest bars around, and I’m so happy that the secret never got out.

Picture this, you’re driving towards your destination; RV camper sales to the right, car mechanics to the left, and warehouses for days. All of a sudden the road opens up and you see a small cabin buried to the side; that would be the Cock and Bull.

It looks mysterious, it’s dark and out of place, it looks intriguing, and most of all it looks local. From the front it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of space, but once inside it really opens up and feels like home. Specializing in craft beer, it is a theme park of fun and games that would have any craft beer lover eager to get back for more.

My husband instantly said ‘this is our kind of place’ and off we went, heading for the entrance.

As I pushed the creaking wooden door, unsure of what to expect, I instantly gasped. It was dark; not in a bad way, but in an inviting ‘come forget your troubles’ way. I noticed instantly the only vast amount of light was coming from a wall of fridges housing cans and bottles filled with craft beers from around the country, and even ciders and meads.

I couldn’t look fast enough, all around me were fun things. A beer fridge wall to the left, a small intimate stage housing a taxidermy deer head to the right, a wall of taps and a comfy looking sofa (where we’d spend almost every visit from that moment on) and quirky signs telling us to check outside. It was gloomily dark in the most beautiful way, and my husband and I instantly fell in love.

The darkness didn’t make you feel your troubles any more than you already did, in fact it had the opposite effect; it lifted them away. With so much to see and live music almost every night, it felt as though stepping into the darkness was like coming home.

We placed our beer orders and plopped ourselves onto the inviting white sofa next to the bar area, our new favorite spot. From the sofa we had a front and center view to the stage, and every visit seemed to match up with live music that had us singing and dancing the night away.

With hunger pangs ever present I grabbed a menu.

The menu wasn’t much to write home about, but the food wasn’t the reason we had walked into this establishment. The food was typical bar food; sandwiches, pizzas, and pretzels. It was drinking food.

The menu was short, one page, and to the point; no bull crap here. Our first trip we ordered the X-large pizza to share and were overly excited when it appeared from the kitchen in less than 15 minutes.

We ate slice after humongous slice, until I’d gone past the point of no return and regretted my last bite. My husband shook his head with a huge smile on his face, knowing that I’d make that same mistake again and he’d laugh the next time too.

It was good pizza for a bar that didn’t really sell ‘food dishes’ as such. It was fluffy, it was cheesy, and it was everything you wanted when the beers started flowing.

Above the bar hung a huge screen with information of all beers they had on draft.

We were spoilt for choice. The fridges were full with never ending delights and the taps where packed with even more! Where was one to start?

The picture doesn’t do any justice, but the tap heads where quirky with chess pieces and random statues that made every glance back a new point of view.

With full bellies and beers in our hands we decided to head outside.

Wow.

My jaw dropped.

The back opened up into a ginormous space. There was room for a fire in the pit, a whole stage where we watched a band on our second night, an area under construction for their new axe throwing tournaments – yes you heard me right, and yes we did sign up – and a whole outside bar/patio area with fans to keep you cool. It was perfect.

This place was a goldmine of fun. There seemed to be so much of the little bar that every time I saw a new room or area, I’d wonder if we were still inside the little dark cabin I’d seen from the road.

We loved this place. We visited a total of 4 times, always just my husband and I. We’d stay for a few beers, we’d sing to live music whether it be outside or inside, we’d chat with the amazing bar staff that we’d gotten to know well, and every trip was better than the last.

There’s just something about this 20+ year establishment that screamed fun. It doesn’t need any new hip decor, the outside doesn’t need any face lifts, the bar is perfect as it is, and that good old off white sofa is still the best seat in the place after all those years.

I’m happy to say that for those few weeks I got to be a local, and if I ever found myself in the area again then I’d go right on back. It was our kind of local. There was nothing fancy about the place, and it almost felt as though taking a step back in time with every entrance. The atmosphere was relaxed, the people where friendly, you never had to drink the same beer twice with so many choices, and I’m beyond sad that we have to leave.

On our third visit I also noticed they had local baked homemade goods for sale, and nuts for bar snacks piled into a big mason jar.

It was small things like that which shouted ‘we’re not a restaurant, but we’ve got what you need’ that made it feel like home. Between the hospitality, the darkness, the comfy sofa, the fun outside yard, and just the feeling of years gone by, it was hands down my favorite bar in the whole of Sarasota.

The secret is out, and if you ever find yourself down in Sarasota then skip all of the other bars, because this is the only one you’ll ever need. Thank you to everyone for so many amazing nights in a bar that will forever be on my mind.

Forget your troubles, forget your worries, and step inside the Cock and Bull.

Until next time,

Mrs. Conley.

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