Bar owners in Ybor don't want to be singled out for bad behavior they say is now under control

Tampa considering requiring clubs to get permits

TAMPA - The shootings and stabbings that plagued Ybor City a few years ago have dropped off dramatically. Some of the most troublesome clubs like Fuel and the Empire Nightclub went out of business.  

Richard Boom owner of the Dirty Shame Pub on Seventh Avenue says no one tried harder to stop the violence than Ybor City business owners.

"Repeatedly we went to the City and asked, can you shut these guys down? And repeatedly the answer we got back was, 'No we cannot,'" said Boom.
But now the city council is trying to rein in bad behavior, discussing an ordinance that would require clubs,  defined as having a cover charge, late hours and room for 250 to 2,000 people, to get an operating permit. Some club owners feel the law punishes and singles out good operators in Ybor City for past bad behavior.

One of the concerns is that the permit could be revoked for repeated incidents of violence, underage drinking or drug possession. And that could make the club managers reluctant to report crime to the police.

"That's the problem where you have good operators working with TPD (who might be told) "you've had so many infractions," said Vince Pardo of the Ybor City Development Corporation.

Richard Boom, who sits on the board of the YCDC, came to express his guarded support for a club permit which would not affect his bar. But you'll see him back at city council chambers next Thursday when the council discusses a law to make all bars close at midnight unless they apply for a special permit to stay open later.

That more controversial proposal is expected to draw loud opposition.

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