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Nice Guys Pizza and Beer is quite possibly the ultimate Bar Worth Traveling To, situated in Cape Coral, a small, unexceptional retiree-heavy town outside of Fort Meyers on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Even if the owner wasn’t an old friend, I would be absolutely obsessed with this place. Starting out five or so years ago as a tiny pizza shop, Nice Guys has since expanded across three storefronts into one of the better bars I’ve ever been to, featuring fun, unpretentious craft cocktails, pinball machines, a small vinyl selection for sale, and a space for rock shows in the back. The bar is perfectly divey, while remaining totally welcoming and forward-thinking, with weekly events like Drag Brunch and a soul/hip hop/R&B DJ night.

The various bells and whistles don’t distract from the quality of the pizza, either, it’s a perfectly crispy thin crust style pie that comes in a wide variety of wild preparations, like the intensely savory Hot Honey Pizza, which drizzles hot honey over salami, prosciutto, garlic, and three kinds of cheese, or the General Tso’s Pizza, which was inspired by a chemically-enhanced late-night concoction created back in college, an elevated mashup featuring everyone’s favorite fast food Chinese dish. They also offer a handful of solid vegan pies, as well as an insanely decadent dessert pizza, the aptly named Future Cavity, which features layers of Nutella, marshmallows, peanut butter, bananas, and other seasonal fruit.

In a span of just these few years, Nice Guys has become the cultural hub for anyone looking for an escape from the strip malls and chain restaurants that are the norm for the area, as well as attracting a slew of indie rock and punk bands to make the harrowing journey down to Southwest Florida, rewarded with a bounty of pizza, booze, and incredibly stoked fans. If ever you find yourself adrift in Florida, America’s weird cousin of a state, make the pilgrimage to Nice Guys and feel normal again.

Nice Guys Beer & Pizza, 1334 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Cape Coral, FL 33904, is open Tuesday through Saturday 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday noon to 1:30 a.m. Feature image from Nice Guys Pizza Facebook page.

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