TAMPA - Set in the middle of the bay area and in the middle of Tampa is a historic district that has not only stood the test of time but has adapted with time. Ybor as I see it now, comes with multiple personalities, one of which, or all of which, can appeal to anyone. Here then is my take on the 3 Faces of Ybor.
First off the retail, from the traditional cigar shop, to the vanguard styling of cutting edge alternative fashions. From antiques to boutiques, in the last few year, according Tom Keating, the president of the Ybor Chamber of Commerce, Ybor has struggled with retail as most have, but all the while Ybor has managed to maintain a diverse group of retail outlets. Tom will tell me, that translates into a good day for those who want to explore, stopping at a specialty shop, then enjoying a cup of coffee, and moving on to an antique hide away.
Second the nightlife. Now, Ybor has garnered some bad press because of various violent incidents, but Tom says that is not indicative to the area. Tom believes the police and community groups have done a good job in calming things down, and that Ybor has a wide variety of night spots to enjoy, from the comedy club, the Improv, to the nightclub, The Amphitheater. Tom says it is a great mix of night spots where you can enjoy some good company, a beverage, a movie, or a bite to eat.
And speaking of a bite to eat, the third face of Ybor, the restaurants. Ybor is well know for its mainstays like the Columbia restaurant that has called Ybor home now for over 100 years, and Carmine's. But you really can take your pallet on a walking tour of cultures and a variety of foods, starting with the traditional Cuban, but branching off with Greek dinning at the Acropolis Taverna or to the Italian stylings of the Laughing Cat. And for an eclectic New York City feel stop at Beaune's Wine Bar at West Palm Wines.
Yes, Tom will tell you there truly is something for everyone, be it retail, nightlife, or restaurants, all of which help Ybor transition from morning to afternoon to night. All making up the 3 Faces of Ybor.
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