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bobliocatt

House of Blue's deal falls Through in Ybor

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bobliocatt    0

Blues Venue's Amphitheater Plans In Ybor Fall Through

By SHANNON BEHNKEN [email protected]

Published: Jun 5, 2004

YBOR CITY - The details were secret, but Ybor City folks were excited when the old Badcock Furniture store was gutted to make room for an amphitheater.

Although no company officials would confirm it, word on the street was the House of Blues planned to open there this fall - right around the time Hampton Inn & Suites is scheduled to open.

Annette DeLisle, president of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, was thrilled because the two businesses would bring life to the entrance of the entertainment district's famed Seventh Avenue.

Two business locations behind the new hotel at 13th and 14th avenues - totaling 4,200 square feet - are now vacant. The former Tahiti Joe's bar, also for sale, was rumored to be included in the renovation for the House of Blues.

``It was a great disappointment to us,'' DeLisle said. ``It would be great to have a well- known entity there.''

Ybor City Development Corp. President Vince Pardo said the 321 Entertainment company had planned to open the franchise but backed out because the House of Blues corporation decided to open only corporate-owned locations. Ybor City would be too close to the Orlando venue, Pardo said.

``They said it had nothing to do with Tampa or Ybor and that they liked it here,'' Pardo said. ``Of course, we're still very disappointed.''

Calls seeking comment from representatives of 321 Entertainment, based in Rockledge, and the House of Blues were not returned.

Phil Gerardi of Gerardi Construction said he was hired by 321 Entertainment to conduct a structural evaluation and some demolition of the inside of the building. Work has halted, he said, but he is hopeful the entertainment company will open some kind of venue at the location.

Gerardi said he had signed confidentiality agreements and could not confirm whether the House of Blues was involved.

``I think an amphitheater would work well there,'' he said. ``I hope something works out.''

Regardless of what business buys the building, Gerardi said, it will need a lot of work because of termite damage. Because it is a historic building, the outside walls would be saved and a steel building built inside of it.

Reporter Shannon Behnken can be reached at (813) 259-7146.

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Jahi98    0

That's just too bad. A House of Blues would've really added to the Ybor scene. Ybor reminds me alot of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. A House of Blues would've really begin to put it on par with Bourbon.

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bobliocatt    0

I think they still will eventually location somewhere in Ybor, because they really want to be there. I say, give them another year or so and they will find something because Ybor is a special place. I wish we had something like that in Jax.

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