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Tampa’s streetcar fest offers glimpse into past, future
Tampa Tribune – October 18, 2014
With about 100,000 passengers a year, most of them tourists, the old-fashioned streetcars that rumble down Ybor City’s streets are more novelty than mass-transit. HART gave residents and tourists a walk through the history of Tampa’s streetcars during an annual festival Saturday where users paid only 25 cents per ride. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Plumbing students volunteer time, skills at Tampa Baseball Museum
Tampa Bay Times – October 17, 2014
More than 30 Central Florida Plumbing academy students recently volunteered their time and skills to install all of the necessary plumbing at the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, in historic Ybor City, under the guidance of instructors. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Dracula rises in Tampa Bay in ballets, comedy
Tampa Bay Times – October 16, 2014
Just in time for Halloween in the Tampa Bay area, there are three shows based on Dracula — two of them ballets. The ballet performances will be at Hillsborough Community College's Main stage Theatre in Ybor City on Saturday and Sunday, the same weekend the Brandon Ballet is putting the toothy Transylvanian on stage at the historic Centro Asturiano de Tampa on Saturday in a show that it says it is suitable for ages 7 and up. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Hillsborough approves deal for $100M in downtown development funds
The Tampa Bay Times – October 15, 2014
On Wednesday, Hillsborough County commissioners unanimously approved a proposal designed to do two big things. The deal comes via the renewal of CRAs for seven areas inside the city of Tampa, including downtown, the Channel District, Ybor City and east Tampa. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Sweet success will be object of Ybor City Cupcake bakeoff
Tampa Tribune – October 15, 2014
More than 20 contestants will compete in a cupcake bakeoff for the coveted title of the 'Best Cupcake in Tampa Bay 2014’ during the annual Cupcake Festival on Saturday in Ybor City. The event takes place as part of the Ybor City Saturday Market, which opens at 9 a.m. at Centennial Park. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

More apartments on tap for Ybor City
Tampa Bay Business Journal – October 13, 2014
Another old factory in Ybor City may find new life as an apartment building. Plans are in the works to convert the warehouse at 1728 E. Second Ave. in Ybor City into a 22-unit apartment building, according to paperwork filed with the city. Read more from Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Spanish Lyric Theatre Announces Cabaret Series Partnership With 100-Year-Old Historic Centro Asturiano – October 11, 2014
Spanish Lyric Theatre and SLT Productions, the nation's oldest Hispanic theatre company and the longest running theatre in the greater Tampa Bay Area, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Centro Asturiano de Tampa to present a professional Las Vegas-style theatrical cabaret series during the 2014-2015 season. Read more from

Joffrey's debuts in larger Ybor City abode
Creative Loafing – October 10, 2014
Ybor City's Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Company, which opened at the Centro Ybor Complex in 2009, relocated to a bigger building at North 15th Street and East Eighth Avenue. Joffrey's, the 30-year-old Tampa-based coffee and tea company, moved its shop from the Centro Ybor complex to a larger space a block away. Read more from Creative Loafing.

Cupcake Festival, apple torte and more reasons why I love October
Tampa Tribune – October 8, 2014
Bigger, better and sweeter than ever, the 4th Annual Cupcake Festival returns to the Ybor City Saturday Market on Oct. 18. During the cupcake celebration, which coincidentally falls on National Chocolate Cupcake Day, festival visitors can purchase scrumptious original creations from more than 20 cupcake vendors, beginning at 10 a.m. The day will include a showdown of the sweetest batch of local amateur bakers, as they compete for the title of best cupcake baker in Tampa. Read more from

Guavaween tradition rooted in having a ball
Tampa Tribune – October 8, 2014
Coordinators of this year’s Guavaween want to mimic the Artists and Writers Ball that inspired the creation of Guavaween in 1985. The word itself was created from “Halloween” and “The Big Guava,” the nickname bestowed on the city by Tampa Tribune columnist Steve Otto, one of Guavaween’s creators. Read more from

Ybor City Ghost Tour: Discover Tampa's Haunted History
10 Best: USA Today – October 7, 2014
The Ybor City Ghost Tour begins as daylight fades and the streetlights come on. The shadows lengthen as your guide Charlie Doan begins his story. Tampa’s famous historic district Ybor City is a charming New Orleans-style city within a city, featuring decorative wrought-iron balconies overlooking worn cobblestone streets. During the day, it’s a great spot to do some souvenir shopping or relax at a sidewalk café while sipping café con leche and people watching. Read more from 10 Best USA Today.

Ybor City developers devoted to building knowledge of history
Tampa Tribune – October 4, 2014
To plant a message in the public’s mind, carve it atop a building for all to see. That’s the strategy behind the marketing that put Raymond James on the stadium along Dale Mabry Highway, Amalie on the arena downtown and Tropicana on the field in St. Petersburg. And soon, José Martí in Ybor City. It’s not a particular product or service that businesses are selling this time, but an image: Ybor City played a central role in Cuba’s successful fight for independence from Spain in the late 1800s. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Blind Tiger Café, Co-Work Ybor
Tampa Bay Times – October 2, 2014
What is Black & Denim Apparel designer Roberto Torres brewing at the Blind Tiger Cafe in Ybor City? California-made jeans, T-shirts, leather goods and accessories, sold along with Buddy Brew Coffee, TeBella Tea, Piquant pastries and Jerk Hut veggie patties. "Coffee, tea and textiles," Torres calls the food and fashion mashup named for what bootleggers called speakeasies in the Roaring '20s, "because a blind tiger couldn't hurt you." He anticipates a Nov. 6 opening. At the same time, Torres is launching Co-Work Ybor in the adjacent office, an open communal space for creative entrepreneurs to network. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Tampa venues get spooky for Halloween – September 29, 2014
From family thrills and spooky shrills, to best-of brews and handcrafted suds, visitors will have an abundance of options to experience all-around fun this fall in Tampa Bay. Ybor City is getting in the spirit with Fantasma Fest hosted by the Ybor Merchants Association from October 20-31. The Ybor City Chamber will be presenting the 29th annual Guavaween Costume Contest Saturday, October 25 at the Centro Ybor Stage. Read more from TBNWeekly.

Worth the Drive, part 1: Plan B Block Party in Ybor
Orlando Weekly – September 29, 2014
There are a number of awesome music festivals right around the corner this fall, and I want to make sure nobody in Orlando misses out just cuz so much distracting, exciting stuff is happening here locally. So I’m putting together a series called Worth the Drive to highlight some more distant music events you might want to cuddle up to this fall, starting with this weekend’s Plan B Block Party in Ybor City. On Saturday, Oct. 4, beginning at 4 p.m., Ybor City’s strip with Crowbar and New World Brewery welcomes great national acts. Read more from Orlando Weekly.

Tampa's Cigar City becoming Apartment Central
ABC Action News – September 25, 2014
Cigar City becoming Apartment City? That could change as 700 residents move into the historic Ybor district. Currently, three residential projects are in progress. Read more from ABC Action News.

AARP – September 25, 2014
When it comes to entertainment, there's never a dull moment in Tampa. Colorful Ybor City, a heavily Cuban-influenced area minutes from downtown, is a case in point. It has by far the biggest concentration of nightclubs (too many to list here), all situated along 7th and 8th avenues. Read more from AARP.

Hooper: Build a thriving, home-grown tech community
The Tampa Bay Times – September 25, 2014
The county’s Small Business Information Center soon will rebrand and relocate, morphing into the new Entrepreneur Collaborative Center and moving from its location on 56th Street and Sligh Avenue to more accessible Ybor City. The mission will be to create a common location for residents to find entrepreneurial assistance, and to stimulate "the entrepreneurial ecosystem." The center will feature greater accessibility to nonprofits that can help small businesses, and the Ybor location should make it easier for them to stage events given the number of social clubs and venues in the district. To read more visit The Tampa Bay Times.

All God’s creatures can get blessings at church events
The Tampa Tribune– September 24, 2014
All Creatures great and small are welcome at several Blessing of the Animals events beginning Oct. 2 and continuing through that weekend. On October 4, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ybor City will offer blessings at 10 a.m. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Exotic flavors shake up Tampa Bay margarita menus
The Tampa Bay Times – September 22, 2014
The most celebrated tequila cocktail is the simple margarita, but flavored margaritas are growing more inventive in the craft cocktail industry. One such margarita kicked off this writer’s quest for the oddest flavors available on drink menus in the Tampa Bay area. The original margarita flavor of greatness (or OMFG) came from Tequilas in Ybor City. The Apple Pie margarita, which only costs $6, tastes exactly how you think it would — and that's the danger. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Another revamped Guavaween coming to Ybor City
The Tampa Tribune – September 22, 2014
Guavaween is coming back to Ybor City as something different. A new promoter is banking on a return to Guavaween’s roots, bringing the festival back to where the event first started as the Artists and Writers Ball in 1976. Big City Events, producers of the popular Tampa Bay Margarita and Summer of Rum festivals, announced that Guavaween: Voodoo Carnival will be held at the Cuban Club on Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Read more from The Tampa Tribune.

Celebrate Hispanic food, music at Festival delSabor in Ybor
The Tampa Tribune – September 22, 2014
Spanish music, traditional dances and the aroma of Spanish foods will engulf Ybor City on Saturday, Sept. 20, during the ninth edition of the Festival del Sabor. The celebration of Hispanic culture, food, music and arts in the Tampa Bay area serves as the kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month. Sabor, in Spanish, means flavor, and food remains at the heart of the festival. Festival del Sabor includes an arroz con pollo contest — best tasting and most creative categories — with the winning chefs taking home cash prizes. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

9/11 memorial to be unveiled today in Ybor City
The Tampa Tribune – September 11, 2014
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will unveil it’s 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial at the sheriff’s operations center in Ybor City on this morning. The ceremony will pay tribute to victims and survivors of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, “and to those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.” The event will begin at 8:25 a.m., the approximate time the first commercial jet, piloted by terrorists, struck the first tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

In Tampa Bay's tattoo mecca, Ybor City, skin is always in
Tampa Bay Times – September 11, 2014
Esben Lincoln Rey, 35, said it's been years since Tampa had a major, national tattoo convention and he worked with organizer Villain Arts to change that. "We think there is market for it here." Rey, who has been tattooing for 17 years, opened Bloodline one year ago, in the location of the first tattoo shop in Ybor City. His partner is Aaron "Is" Michalowski, who will be tattooing at the convention and currently is featured on Season 5 of Spike TV's Ink Masters. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Upcoming “Roll and Read” event promotes literacy
Tampa Tribune – September 10, 2014
Parents can decorate strollers and wagons for a 1-mile walk down “reading lane” for the first-ever “Roll and Read — Powered by Parents as Teachers,” an international event promoting early literacy and healthy families. Corinne Gaertner, of South Tampa, a certified parent educator with Parents as Teachers, said the walk will take place locally Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon in Ybor City. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Apartments proposed for old Ybor City cigar factory
Tampa Bay Business Journal – September 9, 2014
A former cigar factory in Ybor City could find new life as an apartment building. A corporate entity tied to Darryl Shaw, CEO of BluePearl Veterinary, has filed a request with the city to reduce the parking at the Oliva Cigar Factory from 42 spaces to 21 as part of its conversion to a multifamily building. Shaw’s plans call for the conversion of the building into “a maximum of 42 multifamily rental units.” The three-story, 30,000-square-foot factory was built in 1900, according to Hillsborough County property records. Read more from Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Pressure-brewed coffee is his passion
Tampa Bay Times - September 4, 2014
For now, Commune + Co. sells its pressure-brewed specialty iced coffee at pop-up events around town, as plans for a retail store are in the works. Joel Davis started the coffee company in his Ybor City kitchen in June. To read more visit Tampa Bay Times.

Refurbished streets will entice businesses to Ybor, officials say
The Tampa Tribune – September 3, 2014
Plans to refurbish 21st and 22nd streets will transform them from part of the state’s rumbling truck route into scenic throughways that could actually reunite the long-divided Ybor City historic district. That reunion, said Vince Pardo, manager of the Ybor City Development Corp., could make the area more appealing to businesses considering relocating there, including developers seeking to build residential units. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Complimentary coffee, free admission at art show
The Tampa Tribune – September 3, 2014
Showing support for the local arts community, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company will be showcasing the work of local artists at their first “Art of the Roast” art show. The free event will take place Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at The Ritz in Ybor City. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Local artist's sculpture commemorates 9/11 response
Lancaster Online – September 1, 2014
Next week, “Fearless Champions,” a sculpture commemorating America’s response to 9/11, will be taken by truck to Ybor City, Florida. On Sept. 11, it will be officially dedicated as the centerpiece of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office 9-11 Remembrance Park. The sheriff’s office recently built two memorial parks on the site of a former parking lot. Besides the 9-11 Remembrance Park, there is the Fallen Heroes Remembrance Park, which was dedicated in May. Visit Lancaster Online to read more.

Eric Newman: A proud day for Cigar City
Tampa Tribune – August 24, 1014
I have never been more proud of our Cigar City than during these past several months. It was so gratifying to see how our community banded together to try to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from enacting regulations that could close Tampa’s last operating cigar factory. Today, our J.C. Newman Ybor City factory is all that remains from our very special historic legacy, and even this factory is under threat of closing due to proposed FDA regulation. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Tampa’s prohibition Repeal Day Party will be four-day celebration
Tampa Tribune – August 22, 2014
The city’s biggest craft cocktail celebration is about to get bigger. Tampa’s Repeal Day Party, celebrating the Dec. 5 anniversary of when Prohibition was overturned, will become the four-day Repeal Day Conference & Gala, with seminars, spirit-pairing dinners and a blowout party at the Cuban Club in Ybor City. The goal: To put Tampa firmly on the cocktail map along with trendy cities like Portland, Oregon, Austin, Texas, and New York City. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Sipping Soiree: Ybor City gets its first wine festival
Creative Loafing - August 21, 2014
Ybor might be many folks’ destination of choice for nightlife merriment, but Jayme Kosar, owner of Ybor City Wine Bar, says she wants to show off another side of the historic neighborhood through an inaugural wine festival. Featuring a broad selection of wines, eats from Ybor restaurants and live music, the Ybor City Wine Fest, hosted by Kosar’s wine bar, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Centro Ybor complex along Eighth Avenue. Read more from Creative Loafing.

Dog Friendly Dining Abounds in Ybor City
Never Have I Ever (Tampa edition) – August 21, 2014
Dog-friendly dining can be found all over Tampa Bay – some restaurants even go so far as to offer pooch-friendly food menus. In Ybor City, a thriving neighborhood that is chock full of restaurants and bars, dog friendly seating can be found almost anywhere. Read more the Never Have I Ever blog.

Shriners fill the streets of Ybor City in parade
Tampa Bay Times – August 20, 2014
The fez-bedecked throngs of the 121st Imperial Council Session of the Prince Hall Shriners stepped off in Ybor City on Wednesday night in a parade full of music, clowns and floats. It's one of many events for the annual gathering of Shriners and their auxiliary, the Daughters of Isis, which has been taking place at the Tampa Convention Center since Tuesday. About 25,000 Shriners are here from all 50 states, plus parts of Western Europe, Japan and Korea. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Summer of Rum Festival a hit at Ybor’s Cuban Club
Tampa Tribune – August 16, 2014
The historic Cuban Club was on island time Saturday when it played host to thousands of people who came to the tropical Summer of Rum festival. This is the second year that Big City Events — the same company that puts on the annual Tampa Bay Margarita Festival and the Spring Beer Fling — has hosted the rum festival, said organizer Ferdian Jap. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Ultimate Bar Guide: 6 bars serving a taste of Tamp Bay’s music culture
Tampa Bay Times – August 15, 2014
In its annual Ultimate Bar Guide, the *tbt tallied up more than 100 reasons to love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Ybor City’s Orpheum made the list of six bars where you can experience Tampa Bay’s vibrant musical culture firsthand. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Coffee, tea or jeans? New retail concept coming to Ybor
Tampa Tribune – August 15, 2014
Buddy Brew Coffee and TeBella Tea are opening their first locations in Ybor City — sort of. Founder of Black & Denim jeans and serial entrepreneur Roberto Torres will lease space on Seventh Avenue for a new kind of retail project, a combination coffee-tea shop with upper-end denim for sale in the back and a co-work space on the side for other plucky start-ups to get their footing. The project will take up two spaces on Ybor City’s main drag, at 1903 and 1901 E. Seventh Ave., and take the name “The Blind Tiger Cafe.” Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Ybor patrons rally to save iconic Cephas’ Hot Shop
Tampa Tribune – August 11, 2014
With its history of Latin immigrants, gangsters, revolutionaries and artists, Ybor City is an eclectic collection of fascinating characters. Cephas Gilbert is near the top of the list. For more than three decades, Gilbert has sold healthy Caribbean cuisine and natural elixirs such as aloe vera shakes from Cephas’ Hot Shop restaurant at 17th Street and Fourth Avenue. Now, Cephas and his business face the prospect they’ll be drifting soon into Ybor’s colorful history. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Tampa to sell vacant Ybor City land for apartments
Tampa Bay Times – July 31, 2014
The City Council Thursday cleared the way for a new Ybor City apartment complex with a brick-and-tall window design meant to echo the historic district's old cigar factories. The council voted to sell vacant city-owned land on the northern rim of Ybor to a partnership between Tampa developers Greg Minder and Phillip Smith and Robert Moreyra's Forge Capital Partners. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

First Cuban Club president memory honored
Tampa Tribune – July 30, 2014
As a child, when Lloyd Carrera visited the Cuban Club, his mother always pointed to a photograph on the wall. “Mom would say, ‘That’s your grandfather,’ ” Carrera, 54, said recently. On July 19, standing in the club’s lobby, Carrera was surrounded by others who shared his heritage as descendants of Eladio Paula gathered to celebrate the man whose picture was on the wall. Paula was the first president of the club, serving from 1902 to 1908. Carrera organized the Ybor City event, which also included the installation of a marker in Paula’s name outside the Ybor City State Park Museum. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Exhibits focus on Ybor immigrants, mutual aid societies
Tampa Tribune – July 30, 2014
Two new exhibits at the Ybor City Museum State Park celebrate the immigrants who came to this part of Tampa between 1886 and 1930. The exhibits, The Immigrant Groups of Ybor City and The Iconic Mutual Aid Societies, tell the stories of people coming from Spain, Cuba, Italy, Germany and elsewhere to work not just in the cigar factories but in the many businesses around them as well. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Tampa Upbringing crucial to La Russa’s Hall of Fame career
Tampa Bay Times – July 26, 2014
It was the night before second-grade photo day at V.M. Ybor Elementary and Oliva La Russa had picked out a nice shirt and dressy pants for her son. But Tony wouldn't have any of it. He was going to wear his gray flannel baseball uniform and cap, and that was going to be it. They went back and forth for a few minutes, but Oliva realized then what the rest of the world would find out: That Tony La Russa would love baseball more than anything else, and that he would do things his way. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Budget boost helps revive historic pool
FOX 13 – July 24, 2014
Cuscaden pool first opened in 1937. In 2005, cracks and leaks forced the city to sink in $2.5 million for repairs. The fixes failed; the great recession hit, and Ybor City's kids were left out to dry. But now, with construction projects and new tax money, an expected $15 million deficit will only be $8.4 million. The mayor says they can afford to contribute $300,000 to fixing Cuscaden this year, and $1.5 million next year. Read more from FOX 13.

BluePearl Veterinary CEO adds to Ybor City real estate holdings
Tampa Bay Business Journal – July 18, 2014
The CEO of BluePearl Veterinary has added to his Ybor City real estate holdings, this time buying the building that once housed the Blue Ship Cafe. Darryl Shaw paid $1.06 million cash for the 13,000-square-foot building at 1920 E. Seventh Ave., according to a Hillsborough County deed recorded Thursday. Read more from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant, still special after 100 years
USA Today – July 17, 2014
The scene: The Columbia is the oldest restaurant in Florida and the oldest Spanish eatery in the United States. It's also one of the largest, seating about 1,600 patrons in a dozen different dining rooms. Reason to visit: Tableside salad, tableside sangria or mojitos, Cuban sandwich, tapas, house special entrees, flan. The food: The original Columbia is so charming it would be fun to visit even if the food was not good, but fortunately, that is not the case. Read more from USA Today.

Carlton: Signs of progress for police, bay area
Tampa Bay Times – July 17, 2014
Lots of fans who cut their teeth on Harry Potter are well into legal drinking age, so maybe the new libation due soon in Ybor City will hold special appeal for them. The folks from Tampa's Cigar City Brewing, with its notable craft beers, hope to be up and running in August on 15th Street, this time making hard cider and mead. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Five best reasons to visit Tampa Bay this summer
Travreviews – July 16, 2014
Tampa Bay’s cuisine is just as unique and rich as its culture. Start your day with Cuban bread and a delicious cup of café con leche, at one of the brick-lined streets of Ybor City’s Historic Latin Quarter. Explore some Tampa Bay nightlife. When the sun goes down, Ybor City comes alive and the Historic Latin Quarter becomes a host to a diverse nightlife scene. Read more from Travreviews.

Tampa Baseball Museum celebrates its own All-Star night
Bay News 9 – July 16, 2014
While the mid-season classic heated up in Minnesota Tuesday night, St. Lawrence Higgins Hall in Tampa hosted their own All-Star gala consisting of many local baseball greats. Lou Piniella, Tino Martinez, Jody Reed, Sam Militello, and Jason Romano highlighted a list of former big leaguers in attendance. Meanwhile, high school coaching legends Pop Cuesta, Frank Permuy, John Crumbley, Billy Reed, Pete Mulry and Jim Macaluso took to the stage to share stories of some of the great moments and players of the past century. The event celebrated the upcoming grand opening of the Tampa Baseball Museum, set to open at the Al Lopez House in Ybor City later this year. More from Bay News 9.

Downtown Tampa: Past and Future Rolled into One
Austin-American Statesman – July 14, 2014
As I marvel at the cigar roller's workstation on display at the Ybor City State Museum, it occurs to me that while Tampa's development was sparked by the cigar industry, the city today is like one of the roller's creations: Its inner core contains Cuban, Spanish and other rich cultures, and the outer shell and colorful band hold the past together in an artistic package. Tampa's illuminating history and its bright future can be explored by museum hopping through downtown. Read more from the Austin-American Statesman.

Editorial: Tampa cigar company merits FDA exemption
Tampa Bay Times – July 10, 2014
The FDA's proposed rules are a much-needed attempt to protect the public from the considerable health risks associated with tobacco use. The agency should include cigarillos, little cigars and other low-end cigar products that are really masking as cigarettes in its strictest regulations. But the Newman company should be spared. It is a unique business with tremendous historic significance that cannot be replicated. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Prep coaches to aid fundraiser for baseball museum
Tampa Tribune – July 10, 2014
For Tampa native Frank Permuy, baseball has been more than just a pastime. Permuy, who recently retired from a 40-plus-year high school coaching career, said although baseball has been a major part of his life, the game has been a bigger part of the community he loves so much. Permuy will join a historic group of Tampa-area high school baseball coaches in a panel discussion and fundraiser for the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House on Tuesday at Higgins Hall in Tampa. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Tampa’s Coast bike-rental program begins signing up members
Tampa Bay Times – July 7, 2014
Tampa's new downtown bike-rental program launched membership registration Monday with an offer: pay a little more and get more riding time. Coast Bike Share is scheduled to launch next month with 300 bikes distributed across more than 30 hubs throughout downtown, on Bayshore Boulevard, in Hyde Park, on Davis Islands and in Ybor City. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Historic buildings find fresh new purpose
Tampa Tribune – July 6, 2014
Some cities are known nationwide for architecture and historic buildings. Chicago, yes. New York, for sure. Tampa, maybe not so much. So, fans of architecture like me have reason to fiercely celebrate and defend those structures here that retain a bit more history than a Publix-anchored strip mall. The University of Tampa, the old Federal Courthouse, Ybor City cigar factories. That kind of thing. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Blue Pearl CEO Shaw buys Don Vicente in Ybor City
Tampa Tribune – July 3, 2014
Blue Pearl veterinary hospital chain Chief Executive Officer Darryl Shaw has acquired the historic Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn property in Ybor City for $2.2 million, according to Hills­borough County clerk records. Shaw made the acquisition through a company he controls called Ybor Varadero LLC. The 16-room Don Vicente has stood at 1915 Avenida Republica De Cuba in Ybor City since 1929, and it’s long been a favorite location for weddings and special events. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Fla. Gov. and Lt. Gov. get on “Save Cigar City” Bandwagon
Tampa Tribune – July 2, 2014
Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera on Wednesday dashed off a missive in defense of Tampa’s last large-scale cigar factory. Their letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asks her to cut a break to cigar manufacturers like Tampa’s J.C. Newman Cigar Co. from new federal tobacco regulation. Newman wrapped a banner around its El Reloj cigar factory in Ybor City asking for public support of exempting premium cigars from new regulation. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Legacy Awards presented
Tampa Tribune – July 2, 2014
Jason Fernandez, the owner of several Ybor City restaurants, said he got into the business because of his neighbor — the late Adela Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant. Now he has an award that bears her name. Fernandez received the Adela Gonzmart Award recently from the Ybor City Museum Society, along with two others who also received prestigious recognition with the presentation of the 2014 Legacy Awards. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Beerfest to mark brewery expansion
Tampa Tribune – June 27, 2014
In May, Ybor City-based Tampa Bay Brewing Co. announced it would build a second brewery and restaurant in Westchase to keep pace with customer demand for its Old Elephant Foot India pale ale. On Saturday, the company hosts a beerfest to celebrate the ground-breaking of its future location. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

GTE Financial, HCC partner on student-run credit union office
Tampa Bay Business Journal – June 23, 2014
GTE Financial is preparing to open its first credit union office run entirely by college students. GTE partnered with Hillsborough Community College/Ybor City on the student-run community financial center, scheduled to open June 30 in the Centro Ybor complex. Read more from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Ybor City’s Guavaween gets new promoters, new concept
Tampa Bay Times – June 20, 2014
Guavaween, one of the area's most famous and rowdiest parties, has new promoters who promise to revive and improve the flailing event. The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce has selected Big City Events and to produce the decades-old Halloween party for the next three years. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

170 Years to fill Hillsborough sheriff’s office museum
Hernando Today – June 22, 2014
Not even Vicente Martinez Ybor was above the law. The man for whom Ybor City is named, the father of the hand-rolled cigar industry that made Tampa famous in the early 1900s, has his name inked in a log book documenting criminal offenses during the spring of 1892. The book will be placed on display one day when the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office opens a museum in a 100-year-old Spanish-style house at Ninth Avenue and 19th Street near the sheriff’s Ybor City Annex. Read more from Hernando Today.

Travel: The Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, an Unforgettable Family Experience
Growing Up Bilingual – June 20, 2014
The Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City is a real culinary institution.  Founded in 1905 as a little corner coffee frequented by local cigar rollers the Columbia Restaurant grew into the largest Spanish restaurant in the United States with 15 different dining rooms seating up to 1,700 people. Read more from Growing Up Bilingual.

Ybor City’s Guavaween gets new promoters, new concept
Tampa Bay Times – June 20, 2014
Guavaween, one of the area's most famous and rowdiest parties, has new promoters who promise to revive and improve the flailing event. The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce has selected Big City Events and to produce the decades-old Halloween party for the next three years. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Coppertail Brewing prepares to brew first batch at facility near Ikea
Tampa Bay Business Journal – June 19, 2014
After more two years of planning, Coppertail Brewing Co. is on track to brew its first batch of beer in Ybor City on June 23. President Kent Bailey plans to open a temporary tasting room in August and a permanent tasting room in November. Read more from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Summer of Run to transform Cuban Club into Caribbean street festival
South Tampa News – June 18, 2014
Anyone 21 and over experiencing the summer doldrums can get into the “rum zone” at the second annual Summer of Rum Festival on Aug. 16. Organizer Ferdian Jap, of South Tampa, said this year’s event will take place from 2 to 11 p.m. at a new venue — the Cuban Club in Ybor City. Read more from South Tampa News.

Artist shares her “random observations” at Ybor gallery
South Tampa News – June 18, 2014
Retired and living in New Tampa, Dorothy Banker sometimes draws from her childhood memories as a painter. Her “Grandpa’s Boat” pastel painting was inspired by her memory of her grandfather who would keep a rowboat tied to a tree at a reservoir for weekend fishing in upstate New York, where they lived. Banker’s art will be on display Sunday through Aug. 10 at The Bunker, 1907 N. 19th St., Ybor City, as part of her one-woman art show, “Random Observations and Memories.” Read more from South Tampa News.

Father’s Day Things to Do in Tampa Bay
10 News – June 15, 2014
Head over to historic Ybor City for a free lasagne or spaghetti entrée for dad at the Spaghetti Warehouse on Sunday. If you enter the "Incredible Dad Photo Contest," you can get a free appetizer (with the purchase of a meal) and chance to win a lasagne entrée for each month of the year. Spaghetti Warehouse, 1911 13th St. Read more from 10 News.

10 Awesome Activities for Kids in Tampa Bay
Laura Winslow Photography blog – June 8, 2014
Take a trip to Cuba: Ybor City, Tampa’s Latin Quarter
So, who knew that Ybor City wasn’t just for those late nights out when I was in college? Head over to Ybor City in Tampa to admire all of the old architecture, grab an authentic Cuban sandwich for lunch and sit and chat over a cafecito. Read more from Laura Winslow Photography’s blog.

Ritz Ybor, Orpheum combine annual band competitions
Tampa Tribune – June 4, 2014
The Ritz Ybor and The Orpheum are combining their popular, annual battle of the bands competitions into one new event called the 7th Avenue Band Slam, the Ybor City concert venues announced this week. Read more from The Tampa Tribune.

Carrollwood artist paints roosters to tell political satire
South Tampa News – June 4, 2014
Lynn Rattray, of Carrollwood, first became inspired to paint roosters after spotting one in Ybor City after lunch. “I was attending a luncheon celebration with friends in Ybor City,” she said. “When I tried to cross the railroad tracks, passing rights were in possession of a jaunty Ybor City rooster. I stopped to observe him and was finally permitted to cross.” Read more from South Tampa News.

Summer of Rum Festival moving to Ybor City – June 3, 2014
The popular Summer of Rum Festival is returning to Tampa for a second year, this time in Ybor City. The festival, which drew a sold-out crowd of 4,000 to The Heights Waterfront last summer, will move to the Cuban Club on Aug. 16 to coincide with National Rum Day, organizers announced. Read more from

Four ways to enjoy Florida
British Airways' Highlife – May 2014
It's not just year-round sun, a world-class coastline and exuberant theme parks. Whether it's wildlife spotting, hipster bar crawls or the wide open road that appeals, there's a piece of Florida with your name on it, says Emily Payne. She says Night owls can hit the bars in SoHo, or hop on a streetcar to Ybor City for laugh-out-loud comedy at Tampa Improv, or go clubbing with the cool kids at Amphitheatre, Orpheum or Czar Nation. Read more from High Life.

New memorial honors fallen Hillsborough County deputies
Tampa Bay Times – May 29, 2014
For Sherri Longway, the new memorial outside the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Ybor City will become a place where her daughter and nephews can go to learn about their grandfather.

Longway and her family, including her mother, Laura Longway, were among the families gathered outside the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for the annual Memorial Service and dedication of the new Law Enforcement Memorial on Thursday night. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

ACT 1 stages a compelling production of Nilo Cruz’a Pulitzer-winning Anna in the Tropics
Nashville Scene – May 29, 2014
Anna in the Tropics, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, may not yet have attained classic status, but Nilo Cruz's soulful and smartly crafted slice of life — set in 1929 in Ybor City, a historic Tampa neighborhood known for its immigrants and cigar manufacturing — certainly qualifies. Read more from Nashville Scene.

Artist shares her recycled beauty in Ybor City show
Tampa Tribune – May 28, 2014
Growing up on a farm in Plant City, artist Dee Youmans-Miller said she developed a strong connection to the land. She also remembers creating collages with old magazines as a child, a practice that evolved into her grown-up art, which includes recycled magazines. Her solo art show, “Recycled Beauty,” is on display through June 7 at The Bunker, 1907 N. 19th St., Ybor City. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

The Sip – Mead and beer ahead
Tampa Tribune – May 23, 2014
Cigar City Cider and Mead, the latest venture by Cigar City Brewing, has set June 23 as the scheduled date to open in Ybor City at the former home of Roosevelt 2.0. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Entrepreneur facility may be moving to Ybor City
Tampa Tribune – May 23, 2014
Hillsborough County residents who aspire to build their own software business will soon be able to get free advice from mentors with a history of starting their own tech companies. County commissioners unanimously approved creating an Entrepreneur Collaborative Center that will probably be located in Ybor City. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Chantal Ruilova Hevia: Leading a big show-and-tell about Ybor City
Tampa Bay Business Journal – May 23, 2014
Chantal Hevia, president and CEO of the Ybor City Museum Society, was featured in the Executive Files. Chantal discussed her work in Ybor City and the status of the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, which is scheduled to open in late 2014. Read more from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

ACT I stirs passions with ‘Anna in the Tropics’
The Tennessean – May 17, 2014
In Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Anna in the Tropics,” an industry steeped in tradition provides the unlikely backdrop for personal upheaval and transformation. Set in 1929, the drama centers on a family-owned cigar factory in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Fla. Here, Cuban immigrants hold fast to their traditions, hand-rolling tobacco with pride. Read more from The Tennessean.

Scavenger Hunt benefits kids with cancer
10 News – May 15, 2014
Saturday, May 17 it will be a people-watcher's dream in Ybor City as more than a hundred people dressed in funny costumes will hit the streets for the Quest for Hope scavenger hunt. Using a mobile app, teams make their way to local businesses where they'll have to solve riddles and perform ridiculous stunts. "Teams of two to six run around Ybor City performing eating challenges, physical challenges…and having a ton of fun," says Minesh Patel of the Krewe of Nautilus, which puts on the hunt. Read more from

Tampa Bay Brewing has start date, site to build 2nd pub
Tampa Tribune – May 15, 2014
Tampa Bay Brewing Co. was one of only a handful of microbreweries in the area when it opened in a tiny Ybor City space in 1995. Twenty years later and in the midst of a local craft beer boom it helped nurture, the brewpub announced plans Wednesday to build a second brewery and restaurant to keep pace with customer demand for its Old Elephant Foot India pale ale. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Moms start tech camp for kids in historic Ybor City home
Tampa Bay Times – May 14, 2014
Children play video games and cellphone apps but often know little about how they were created. Two working moms are hoping to fill this void with a new technology camp. The camp, called Gr8code, starts next month and runs through August. It is open to children ages 8 to 13, and allows them to choose from four tracks of learning: create an app, design a game, shoot a short digital film or create a website. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Tourists spend more than ever
Tampa Bay Times – May 14, 2014
Every year tourists flock to Florida to visit the state’s beaches and theme parks. But how can Hillsborough County compete for tourists when it has no beaches and just one theme park? The answer: Tampa-Hillsborough doesn’t have to compete. It just has to grab some of the dollars spent by those already visiting the area. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Review: Tropical Heatwave, the Hold Steady throw another killer party in Ybor City – May 11, 2014
Five years ago, Tropical Heatwave was the only game in town. There was no Gasparilla Music Festival, no Antiwarpt, no Whigfest, no Big Guava, no Sunset. Sure, there was the Clearwater Jazz Holiday and Ribfest, but in terms of a pure eclectic, electric rock festival experience, you had to go to Ybor City for WMNF-88.5’s biggest annual event. Read more from

Artwork from Cuba comes to Ybor gallery
Tampa Bay Times – May 9, 2014
If he had the space, lawyer Manual Fernandez would keep all the oil paintings he brings back from Cuba. Instead, he and Ybor developers Joe Capitano Sr. and Alan Kahana, along with Florida produce owner Mike Mauricio, opened Habana Arts gallery in the heart of Ybor City. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

The Hold Steady of lyrical history with Ybor City
The Tampa Tribune – May 7, 2014
For well over a decade, Ybor City has been celebrated in songs by The Hold Steady. The Brooklyn-based group's original numbers such as “Slapped Actress,” “Stay Positive” and the band's anthem “Killer Parties” salute Ybor's late-night club scene. Read more from The Tampa Tribune.

Bicyclists raise money for Hillsborough sheriff’s office memorial – May 4, 2014
More than 100 bicyclists rode between 25 and 50 miles on Sunday in a benefit for a memorial being built by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Fallen Heros Remembrance Park will be located adjacent to the sheriff’s office headquarters in Ybor City on 20th Street between 8th and 9th avenues. Read more from

Church renovates home for mother of 10
ABC Action News – May 1, 2014
The Ybor City community came together Wednesday to help one of their own. Ruby Brown, a 67-year-old mother and community volunteer, was selected by Relevant Church of Tampa to receive a total home makeover. Read more from ABC Action News.

Top Ten Things to Do in Tampa Bay for Families
Trekaroo – April 30, 2014
Ybor City lands on the list of top ten things to do for families in Tampa Bay by Trekaroo, a travel blog. Take a step back in time as you walk down the brick streets of Ybor City. Marvel at the buildings rich with history that lead into a cultural experience for the whole family! Read more from

7-Eleven gets ready to renovate in Ybor
Tampa Tribune – April 22, 2014
Ybor City can add another big, national brand name to the list of companies moving in along Seventh Avenue between all the cigar shops and tattoo parlors: 7-Eleven. The national convenience store chain will soon begin renovation of the “La Ultramar Jewelers” building at 1535 E. Seventh Ave. at the heart of a neighborhood better known for tattoo parlors and nightclubs, and directly across the street from the City-backed Centro movie theater and restaurant complex. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Ybor City Rotarty Club celebrates founding in 1948
Tampa Tribune – April 23, 2014
It was a step back 65 years when the Ybor City Rotary Club recently held a celebration of its anniversary. Club members had the same menu as their founders did and heard post-war swing and jazz music at the club’s 65th anniversary party, “Party Like It’s 1948.” About 150 members and friends gathered April 11 on the patio of the Ybor City Museum to eat chicken and yellow rice, black beans, salad, guava pastries and Cuban bread. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Doctor, tech startup create social app for Android, Google Glass
Tampa Bay Business Journal – April 23, 2014
Ybor City tech startup Type 2 Designs and Dr. Piotr Borkowski, a Tampa pathologist, have partnered to create Launch, a social app designed for Android smartphones and Google Glass. Read more from Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Crews work to unite vacant Ybor City lots for concert venue
Tampa Tribune – April 24, 2014
Demolition crews Thursday tore down walls along the alley separating the Cuban Club and El Pasaje in Ybor City. Tampa City Council abandoned the alley last month at the request of the Cuban Club so the space could be used to create a larger concert venue by consolidating the back lots of both buildings. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Relief on the roadways
Tampa Tribune – April 26, 2014
The interstate 4-Selmon Expressway Connector has significantly reduced truck traffic in Ybor City since it opened in January, living up to its promise. The elevated road provides access between the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway and the east-west stretch of I-4 that cuts through Ybor City. It was the first step to improve 21st and 22nd streets, which previously were the quickest routes for trucks traveling between the port and I-4. Read more from Tampa Tribune.

Cristino’s Coal-Oven Pizza Opens in Ybor City

83 Degrees – April 15, 2014

After four years in Clearwater, the Cristino brothers -- Lenny, Marco and Joe -- found the perfect spot in Ybor City for their second Cristino's Coal-Oven Pizza and Italian restaurant. 

Read more from 83 Degrees.

Festa Italiana features something new: Club Italia
Bay News 9 – April 4, 2014
Where can you get Vietnamese inspired lemongrass meatballs this weekend? At Festa Italiana. The newest attraction to the Sunday, April 6 event in Ybor City is "Club Italia."
Read more from Bay News 9.

The Hold Steady to headline Tropical Heatwave in Ybor
The Tampa Tribune – April 4, 2014
Fresh off the release of their first new album in four years, Brooklyn-based rock band The Hold Steady are playing the WMNF Tropical Heatwave festival when it returns to Tampa for its 33rd year, May 9 and 10. Read more from The Tampa Tribune.

At 89, Ybor native crafts book of poetry
Tampa Bay Times – April 4, 2014
Mary Elizabeth "Bettie" Perez has writing in her blood. She's the granddaughter of a newspaper founder and the mother of two newspapermen (one who works for the Tampa Bay Times). Now, at age 89, she celebrates her first nationally published book of poetry. Perez spoke with Times staff writer Caitlin Johnston about the importance of listening, the concept of fresh and the changing tides in Ybor City. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Festa Italiana returns to Ybor City
10 News - April 1, 2014
The 17th Annual Festa Italiana Weekend presented by Marathon will take place in the historic Ybor City district from Thursday, April 3 to Sunday, April 6, 2014. Read more from 10 News.

Museum will showcase Tampa’s rich baseball tradition
My Fox Tampa Bay – March 31, 2014
An old house built in the early 1900s, saved from the wrecking ball, will become the new Tampa Baseball Museum. It's not unlike many other homes lived in by cigar factory workers. But the man who lived here for a half century was quite special: Al Lopez was the first player from Tampa inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Read more from My Fox Tampa Bay.
FOX 13 News

Lady Columbia sign wins national recognition
Tampa Bay Business Journal – March 28, 2014
Lady Columbia, the electric sign that sits above the USAmeriBank branch on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City, has been voted the favorite electric sign by readers of Signs of the Times magazine. Read more from Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Tampa reclaims ‘largest Cuban’ title from Miami
The Tampa Tribune – March 23, 2014
Juan Cabana estimates he’s knocked back about a million Cuban sandwiches in all his years.
OK, that number is probably a tad off, but who’s counting? The point is, in those 51 years, he hasn’t gotten sick of them yet. “It’s hard to beat a Cuban sandwich, especially if it’s done right,” he said. Read more from The Tampa Tribune.

From This Day: It wasn't a question of if, but when
Tampa Bay Times – March 21, 2014
Water soaked the hem of Nicole Krawiec's Old Hollywood-style white gown as she spun around the dance floor in the Ybor City Museum State Park. It sloshed as Justin Brock twirled her in the light rain on the chilly evening of Feb. 7, but neither looked cold or upset. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Ask the Locals: Patrick Manteiga of La Gaceta
Creative Loafing - March 20, 2014
Patrick Manteiga is the editor and publisher of La Gaceta. The Ybor City-based newspaper, which was founded in 1922 by Manteiga’s grandfather, Victoriano, is the only tri-lingual newspaper in the country and one of the oldest family-owned minority publications in the nation. Read more from Creative Loafing.

Ask the Locals: Brian Schaefer of Skatepark of Tampa
Creative Loafing - March 20, 2014
Brian Schaefer is the owner and founder of Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT), a treasured mecca for skateboarders on the fringes of downtown Tampa. The park’s success has spawned documentary films, long features on, a high-profile professional skateboarding competition (Tampa Pro), a string of local retail stores, a bar and restaurant (The Bricks) in Ybor City, and custom Nikes. Read more from Creative Loafing.

St. Patrick's day parade in Ybor City draws large crowd
ABC Action News – March 15, 2014
Crews in Ybor City prepared for thousands of people to gather along 7th Avenue for the 19th annual Rough Riders' St. Patrick's Day parade. Streets were lined several rows deep and balconies were packed as revelers held out their hands as beads were hurled their way. Read more from ABC Action News.

Top 10 ways to explore Tampa Bay
Financial Express - March 12, 2014
TECO Line Streetcar System, Ybor City Saturday Market, the Columbia Restaurant and Gaspar's Grotto are mentioned in this list of top 10 experiences to discover Tampa Bay. Read more from Financial Express.

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