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bobliocatt

Centro Ybor Trying To Refocus Concept

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Accentuating Tampa's diverse Latin heritage is not only a good idea for Centro Ybor, but for all of Ybor City. People can go to a Victoria's Secret or Starbucks at practically Anycity, USA with multiple locations. Let's make Ybor unique.

The Columbia has been a mainstay among both locals and tourists for decades. Why? Because the ethnic food, architecture, decor and dance are really unique to this area.

I hope merchants and entrepreneurs continue to stretch their imaginations beyond the tattoo parlors and dance clubs in Ybor.

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Accentuating Tampa's diverse Latin heritage is not only a good idea for Centro Ybor, but for all of Ybor City. People can go to a Victoria's Secret or Starbucks at practically Anycity, USA with multiple locations. Let's make Ybor unique.

The Columbia has been a mainstay among both locals and tourists for decades. Why? Because the ethnic food, architecture, decor and dance are really unique to this area.

I hope merchants and entrepreneurs continue to stretch their imaginations beyond the tattoo parlors and dance clubs in Ybor.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I couldn't agree more, this is exactly what all the critics of our area claim we are lacking (character). I'd rather Ybor be know for it's Cigar industry and Latin heritage then stip clubs and bars.

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Ybor city must go back to it's Latin roots to prosper.

It would make an amazing Latin District.

Ybor generates nothing but problems and debt in it's current state.

Lets move the entertainment district downtown!

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Ybor city must go back to it's Latin roots to prosper. 

It would make an amazing Latin District.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmmm. Does anyone remember The Mezzanotte? It was the sister restaurant to the one in Miami. It closed in less than one year... and the food was good. Maybe it was too soon for the Tampa crowd and a similar restaurant may be more successful now, but personally I doubt it :( .

hjack

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Or...maybe there were/are enough Italian restaurants in Ybor already? Bernini's has been there for years, as has La Terraza. The Laughing Cat has done well in the three years it has been open, and Ybor Pesto Cafe has also been around for a couple years.

Maybe the concept just didn't fit the location. I don't think that "Ybor City" and "upscale" are compatible just yet. Seems like the most successful restaurants down there are no-frills: the Green Iguana, Fresh Mouth, Acropolis.

Some restaurants that might do well in Ybor: the Jerk Hut, Evos, Estellas.

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"Seems like the most successful restaurants down there are no-frills"

That's the main part of my point, the people here do not embrace expensive or cultural restaurants. As I type this I am still mourning the loss of The Signature Room. The Hooters below it will undoubtedly outlive the coackroaches on Earth. So this isn't really an Ybor problem as it is a Tampa problem. My wife and I always talk about our trip to International Mall when it was new. There was a 2 hour wait for The Cheesecake Factory and right next door was Profusion with no line or wait. It was less than 1/4 full. We walked right in and had an excellent meal in a very chic stylized restaurant. In the 2-3 years it was open, we were always able to walk right in and sit down and eat while The Cheesecake Factory was giving out beepers.

Example 2. One Friday evening I was driving home and passed a Denny's which was packed. Closer to home I passed Mia's in Hyde Park village which had 2 people in the entire restaurant! There are 2 different Post apartment complexes within 1 block of the restaurant and it was also in the middle of a suburban community!!!

Don't get me wrong, I love Tampa, but if the only type of new restaurant that's going to survive around here is Outback and Bennigans, I'm going to go crazy.

hjack

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As I type this I am still mourning the loss of The Signature Room

What the ? Where did you get this info from? Tell me it ain't so?!!! :(

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I googled it and showing:

http://money.tbo.com/money/MGBFCIAF8CE.html

Signature Room Grille Closes At Channelside

By SHANNON BEHNKEN [email protected]

Published: Aug 11, 2005

TAMPA - The new owners of the Channelside entertainment complex say it needs upscale restaurants to cater to residents moving into nearby condominiums. But the snazzy Signature Room Grille apparently wasn't the right fit.

The Tampa restaurant, which opened in Channelside in March 2004, closed Saturday. It was operated by the management of The Signature Room at the 95th, atop the John Hancock Center in Chicago. Tampa was the only other city in the country where the operators had opened a Signature Room.

Signature Room Grille representatives did not return calls Wednesday for comment.

Channelside's new owners are talking to two other high- end restaurants, said John P. Hoeller, senior vice president of mall operations with New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which bought the Channelside complex in April. Hoeller said retailers are interested, but he thinks a restaurant would be best.

There are more than two dozen new condominium buildings planned for the Channel District and downtown, and as the area changes, so will Channelside, he said.

``The restaurant needs to match the demographics, and the demographics of that area are pretty impressive,'' he said.

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I love Signature Room and it is the best fit for Channelside. My wife was from Chicago and we had a long-distance relationship for a year prior to moving in together. I proposed to her at the Signature Room in Chicago (95th story high). Lo and behold Signature Room opens up a place here (the only other city besides Chicago). I thought it was symbolic, but hopefully now not fully.

This bytes! How is the restaurant not upscale enough? WTF?

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This bytes!  How is the restaurant not upscale enough?  WTF?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I hope I don't get flamed for this but take it for what it's worth. The restaurant WAS upscale enough, it's the people who are not comfortable with it. As a colleague said to me a few months back when he was laughing at the number of high cost condos going in downtown "Tampa is a blue collar town..." Ofcourse that is a very general statement but the gist of it is true. Building a dozen upscale condos downtown is great, but if you can't fill it with people who find comfort in things like upscale dining and art gallery browsing, you might as well put in IHOP where Signature Room used to be... oh, and plan for a Starbucks where that Thai restaurant is experimenting in futility. There was more than enough people on Harbour Island and in condos along Bayshore alone to have kept The Signature Room hopping for years.

I believe there would need to be more business that attracts Northeasterners for this to work.

hjack

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Hey HJack,

That's bad news about the Signature Room. But I see your point, and I don't disagree.

Tampa, for whatever reason, does love the chain restaurants. I can almost guarantee you will stand in line on a Friday night to eat at the Cheesecake Factories and Outback Steakhouses, as well as the PF Changs and Chilis, while many quality indepently-owned restaurants will flounder.

I share your frustration, and the only thing that I can do is pass by the Bennigans and give my business to restaurants like the Acropolis, TinaTapas, Cafe Byblos, Spain, Restaurant BT, etc.

Don't quite understand your comment on "businesses that attract Northeasterners," though...

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Don't quite understand your comment on "businesses that attract Northeasterners," though...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, that didn't come out right! :blush: Actually what I meant was businesses that attracts more white collar workers to Tampa AND that those from the Northeastern states are ideal because they are more likely to spend high sums on condos (as opposed to homes) and eat at upscale/chic restaurants. There are no jobs that attract Northeastern people specifically... unless it's for the Yankees front office...

hjack

PS TinaTapas is one of my favs right now!

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Yeah, that didn't come out right!  :blush: Actually what I meant was businesses that attracts more white collar workers to Tampa AND that those from the Northeastern states are ideal because they are more likely to spend high sums on condos (as opposed to homes) and eat at upscale/chic restaurants. There are no jobs that attract Northeastern people specifically... unless it's for the Yankees front office...

hjack

PS TinaTapas is one of my favs right now!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Downtown has a great eatery......Spain.....we have gone there many times....great place!

Not too expensive and great drinks (no I am not an owner :))

g

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