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SoHo bar's plan to increase occupancy denied by city leaders

Owner of Yard of Ale wants to increase occupancy
Posted at 8:50 PM, May 03, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — The owner of a bar on South Howard Avenue wanted to increase his bar's occupancy rate, so he asked Tampa city leaders to increase the rate from 120 to 250 people. Neighbors, however, put up a fight.

"What happens is you get trash all over, you get people urinating on your yards, throwing up on your yards, and falling asleep on your patios," said Anneliese Meier, vice president of Parkland Estates Civics Club.

Neighbors said the party starts on Thursday night and continues throughout the weekend. Neighbors said South Howard Avenue is packed with people bar hopping.

"They're young and often college kids. They're drunk and with that comes all types of antics," said Greg Subero, neighbor.

City leaders recently denied the Barry O'Conner's request to expand his bar, Yard of Ale, but he revealed to city leaders he has been serving up to 250 people at a time for years without city permission. He said he got approval from the fire marshal's office and did not realize he needed city permission too.

"It's not surprising, I mean you get the crowds. You're not going to turn them away. People show up for this type of stuff," said Subero.

O'Conner told ABC Action News over the phone, he will be following the original occupancy rate from now on.

"It's not that we don't want them there. We want them to be better neighbors," said Subero.