If you find yourself sailing into Port Aransas, Texas you will soon discover that there is no shortage of bars to wet your whistle. Port A is tourist destination with plenty of t-shirt shops and snow birds driving down the street on golf carts. But, around the corner there’s a run down old building that somehow managed to survived Hurricane Harvey with its hats still hanging from the ceiling and that is Shorty’s Place. Opened in 1946 by Mack Daniel & Gladys (Shorty) Fowler, the bar is the self-proclaimed oldest bar in Port A.
Even with the sign advertising that it’s also the friendliest bar on the island, it’s the kind of place a gentler spirit may second guess whether or not they should go in. But if you’re the kind of person who likes your your whiskey poured into a plastic cup by a guy smoking a cigarette this is the place for you. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the thousands of hats hanging from the low ceiling and pigs on the wall. The second thing you notice is those hats haven’t been cleaned since… probably never. But, if you wanted Joe’s Crab Shack you would have gone there. There’s a pool table if you want to play and an old school cigarette machine if you need a smoke which is obviously allowed.
Shorty’s is the kind of place that somebody is going to tell you a story, true or not, if you sit around for more than five minutes. And if you’re as lucky as us, you’ll also get a show by a dancing yellow lab who likes her ass scratched.
What can I say? It’s definitely a locals’ hangout and a bonafide dive bar. The beer is cold and comes in bottles. It’s the kind of place you probably won’t get stabbed as long as you’re not a jerk, but you might get tossed out the door by the patrons if you’re rude to the bartender. If you want to avoid prudes, hear a dirty joke and a story from an old pirate then you’ll be in good company. There’s good live music on the porch, but don’t expect them to keep their website updated. February 22nd and 23rd they’re hosting the Pirates and Poets Invitational if you want to get your music fix.
Stop by sometime, there’s a good chance I’ll be sitting at the bar.
By the way… If you want to help keep this place going, share the heck out of it and if you’re in the mood buy some stuff through the Vintage Gentlemen (I get a piece of the action) by clicking below! Or if you want to advertise (or just send me money) click the contact link and shoot me a message!