TampaBay.com – By Laura Reiley, Times Food Critic
Tampa – Remember the fern bar? It has become, like the “yuppies” who patronized it, a bankrupt term that seems quaint and deeply evocative of the late 1970s and early ’80s. Fake Tiffany lamps and abundant greenery transformed a pub into something else entirely, something in which women felt comfortable and mating rituals were powered by white wine spritzers and a fog of Obsession perfume. Despite their carefully orchestrated gender neutrality, fern bars’ core edible was this: the hamburger. No place more assuredly heterosexual, the archetypal fern bar was Perry’s in San Francisco’s Marina District.