La Sétima                     

 Newsletter of the  Ybor City Chamber of Commerce

April 2011

aficionado logo 5

Don't forget to get your Ybor Aficionado Days tickets.  The event will be here next weekend on April 9th & 10th!

Pre-order your tickets by Clicking Here!

Buy your tickets by April 8th and save!

A Special Thanks For Joining To


Ybor City Gold Coffee Co.

Michael Lamont

5914 N. Tampa St.

Tampa, FL 33603


A Note of Appreciation To Renewed Members


Camille Renshaw

2001 E. 2nd Ave., # 8-C

Tampa, FL 33605


1st US Volunteer Cavalry, Rough Riders

P O Box 75892

Tampa, FL 33675


Anton Legal Group

David Anton

1509 E. 9th Ave.

Tampa, FL 33605


Bramlett Direct Mail Service, Inc.

Beth Bramlett

6301 N Florida Avenue

Tampa, FL 33604


Howard Johnson Plaza

Lisa Reilly

111 W. Fortune St.

Tampa, FL 33602


Italiano Insurance Services, Inc.

Jeffrey G. Italiano

3021 W. Swann Ave.

Tampa, FL 33609


Nicahabana Cigars, Inc.

Alfred Moreno

1625 E. 7th Ave.

Tampa, FL 33605


Roal Group, Inc.

Alyce Gross

1602 3rd Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


Staybridge Suites Tampa Sabal Park

Melissa Browne

3624 N. Falkenburg Rd.

Tampa, FL 33619


Yellow Cab Company of Tampa

G.J. Minardi

P.O. Box 1748

Tampa, FL 33601


Click on a company name to learn more about your fellow members.


Ybor Chamber Member Spotlight


New World Brewery, known as one of Ybor City's best live music venues, with gourmet pizza, and over 100 varieties of beers, including 30 on tap, can add great BBQ to its list of accomplishments. Owner Steve Bird has been cooking up BBQ chicken and ribs on Wednesday nights for some time now. The response has been so positive, that you can now enjoy his great BBQ for lunch, Wednesday - Friday, from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Offering four BBQ meat choices including chicken, pork, and sausage, along with four hot and three cold sides, you can have as little or as much as you want, as it is priced by the weight of your plate.


Enough about their great food, New World has always been famous for presenting original music from the local independent music scene to recognized and respected national bands. It doesn't get much better than sitting in their open air patio, sipping a Red Seal Ale, and listening to great live music. Thanks Steve!


Steve Bird

New World Brewery

1313 E. 8th Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


Board of Directors


Executive Board


Chair of the Board

Arturo Fuente, Jr.

Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company


Chair Elect

Andrea White

Bright House Networks


Vice-chair Events

David Alvarez

BB&T Bank 


Vice-chair Membership

Bryan Clancy

Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa/ Ybor City


Vice-chair Marketing

Marc Hamburg

Florida Real Estate Associates, LLC



Andrea Gonzmart

Columbia Restaurant Group



JoAnn Cornelius

Tampa Digital  


Immediate Past Chair

Angela Rodante

Swope, Rodante P.A.




Michelle Cardamone

Hilton Garden Inn Ybor City


Richard Chad

Highland Properties of Tampa Bay, Inc.


Kristopher E. Fernandez

Kristopher Fernandez, Attorney at Law


Sandra Fernandez-Lopez

Awnclean Diversified Services


Gassen Gutierrez



David Harvey

M&J Wilkow (Centro Ybor)


Gino Iavarone

Carmine's Restaurant


Dave Kemper

WilsonMiller Stantec


Wes Miller   

My Garden


Damon Shiver

The Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn


Ken Soule



Sarah Tildsley



John Trujillo

GTE Federal Credit Union


Jaclyn Witmer

United Way of Tampa Bay


Elliott Wheeler

Elliott Wheeler Architect


Appointed Directors


Chantal Hevia

Ybor City Museum Society


Vince Pardo

Ybor City Development Corporation


Dr. Shawn Robinson

HCC - Ybor City Campus


Directors Emeritus


Dick Greco, Former Tampa Mayor


Rafael Martinez-Ybor



Arturo Funte Jr. Headshot

Message From The Chairman 


Hola -


This has been an incredible year for me and my family - full of both hard work and great reward.  For a doting father, there is nothing like seeing your only daughter become President of the Ybor Rotary Club, while you Chair the Ybor Chamber.  It has been a great year for our beloved Ybor City and all involved in its preservation and promotion. 


I have been very fortunate to have outstanding officers, directors and committee chairs to help promote the community more effectively.  We have worked closely with our professional staff to engage our member/merchants in making all of our events more "Ybor Centric."


We started out with the Chamber's Gala and Adela and Cesar Gonzmart Award.  It was a wonderful way to open the Latin social season for the 45th year and a great opportunity to see old friends.  Next, our New Events Committee produced our first Ybor OktoberFest Pub Crawl.  This well-managed, event involved a baker's dozen of Ybor's pubs and patio bars in a fun-filled activity that appealed to a younger, hip crowd and served our nightlife members well.


The Silver Anniversary proved that Guavaween is here to stay.  For the third year in-a-row the District had a turnout of over 20,000 costumed-revelers.  This event generates more positive press than any other single activity we do, with over 15 articles published across the region both pre and post event.  Americans love Halloween and Guavaween is Tampa's strongest fall event by far.  Thanks to our creative staff for distributing the fresh guavas to the press - a brilliant PR move!


With the cooperation of the weather, our 64th Annual Fiesta Day was "over the top" bringing over 15,000 guests to Ybor City, half from outside Hillsborough County.  Talk about promotion - 70% of the "street vendors" were Ybor Chamber members.  That's up 30% from last year.  The Columbia Restaurant street tent had 600 customers for their seafood paella and GameTime had 400 potential customers take a spin at their roulette wheel.  I was very proud of the quality of our ethnic entertainment with local flamenco, salsa and Spanish rock groups.


I am particularly pleased that our upcoming Ybor Aficionado Days (April 9th & 10th) is now in its fifth year and that it promotes the culture and cuisine of Ybor City in such a comprehensive manner.  With 17 restaurants on the Tapas Trail, it is a "must do" for bay area foodies.  I want to thank my former Co-Chair, Andrea Gonzmart, who took over last year and has added so much with her knowledge of food, wine and the culture of our community.


I look forward to playing in our 6th Annual Chamber Golf Tournament just around the corner (as Immediate Past-Chair).  All of these special events could not have been done without the hard work, dedication and commitment of our member organizations and many strategic partners in the Historic District.


Since this is my last Article, I want to thank my predecessor Angela Rodante for her guidance and support and wish the very best to my successor Andrea White.  Along with me, they have served as our unbroken "chain of command."  Our officers, directors, committee members, volunteers and staff have been in the business of "community building" for a lifetime - 81 years to be exact.


- Arturo Fuente, Jr.

Chamber Happenings


April 9 & 10 - Aficionado Days is coming-up next weekend! - Celebrate the first manufactured cigar in Ybor City with a Tapas Trail of Ybor restaurants and bring your crew to the Italian Club for the After Party.  Enjoy a complimentary cigar in the Cantina, if you are so inclined.  This year, trail transportation is "Powered by Chevy," who will chauffer guests between stops.  If you have not had a traditional Spanish Brunch you are missing something very special.  Join us for sparkling wine, an elegant buffet and smooth jazz by the Les Sabler Trio.  Be a part of the Chamber's second Tapas Cooking Challenge, as celebrity judges select the best amateur recipe.  For tickets go to  or call our Visitor Information Center at 813.241.8838.   


April 12 - Ybor Chamber Membership Luncheon, Tues. 11:45 AM- 1:15 PM - Wit Ostrenko, President of MOSI (the Museum of Science and Industry), is the guest speaker at the April Membership Luncheon.  Wit is the Immediate Past-President of the Association of Science Technology Centers and has built MOSI into the "most attended Museum in Florida" over the past 20 years.  The April Luncheon is sponsored by 5th/3rd Bank.  Sign-up on-line when you receive your e-mail notice.


May 10 - Annual Installation Luncheon, Tues. 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM - Join us Tuesday, May 10th for our Annual Installation Luncheon.  This is the one time of the year when the Chamber recognizes its own.  New Officers and Directors will be sworn-in and the out-going and in-coming Chairs will speak.  This once-a-year changing of the guard has been conducted for 81 years.  The Installation is a formal sit-down affair where Past- Chairs & Presidents are recognized for their service.  Register on-line when you receive your e-notice.


May 16 - The Ybor City Chamber's Annual Golf Tournament, Mon. 11:00 AM - For the golfers in our ranks, this is your opportunity!  The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce's Annual Golf Tournament is being held for the third-year at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club. Sign up to be a sponsor or register as a team from your company. By sponsoring this event you will not only be introducing your company to local professionals but also supporting the Ybor Chamber's HCC - Ybor Campus Scholarship Fund.  To sign-up call Anna Ramos at 813.248.3712 x22 or email her at 
Events and Announcements


April 1- Opening Reception for Queens of Confection, Fri. 5PM- 7PM- Join the Singing Stone Gallery for a concurrent independent exhibition juried by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) during their annual convention here in Tampa for their 45th annual conference.  The exhibit will feature containers for candies, condiments and cookies as its theme and is open now thru April 27th.  813.786.2324


April 2- The 10th Annual 5K Race for Sight: Roar Through Ybor, Sat. 6:30AM- Get registered for a race to benefit the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research. The race will honor males and females in 11 age divisions with awards as well as an after race celebration, and prize, t-shirt and goodie bag give-a-ways. Register online at 813.289.1200


April 2- Man on the Moon: a SQUARE ONE Event, Sat. 7PM- The Spring edition of the bay area's multi-dimensional art exhibit will have attendees questioning what is history and what is fiction.  Each of their events plays on a theme and even encourages audiences to participate by incorporating the theme in their wardrobe. 813.394.0559 


April 2- Grand Opening Reception of the Metro Wellness Center of Ybor, Sat. 7PM- 9:30PM- The event will feature building tours, entertainment, Champaign, refreshments, and a silent auction.  Opening remarks and featured speakers are scheduled at 8 PM. The public is cordially invited to attend.  The agency provides prevention services for at risk populations.  Services include free HIV testing throughout the community, substance abuse and mental health treatment, medical case management for those infected with or affected by Florida's HIV and AIDS and extensive education and counseling programs. 813. 727.321.3854     


April 3- The Straz Center Presents The Afro Cuban All-Stars, Sun. 7PM- Made famous by a PBS special, the Afro Cuban All-Stars have continued their mission to show the world the wealth, diversity and vitality of Cuban music. Visit the Straz and see something special. 813.229.7827   


April 16- Los Muñequitos de Matnzas perform at the Straz Center, Sat. 7:30PM- Drum rhythms and beating percussion sounds are the defining elements of the rumba movement.  These are the key sounds that sustain and popularize Los Muñequitos' tribute to the African roots in Cuba's culture.  Be enchanted and mesmerized by a memorable performance by this highly animated band. 813.229.7827


April 17- Easter Bonnet Bar Hop, Sun. 5PM- The GaYbor District Coalition is celebrating Easter early by throwing a bar hop with some flair.  Join in for stops at 12 well-known Ybor drinking spots, and don't forget your bonnets! 813.247.6233


BBQ Buffet at New World Brewery- By popular demand and as highlighted in this edition's spotlight, New World Brewery is now serving a weigh your plate BBQ buffet. Choose from slow smoked meats, fresh sides and salads on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday starting at 11AM. 813.248.4969  


Movie Night at Tre Amici- Catch a show and enjoy 2-4-1 Sangria every Wednesday from 7PM to 9PM, and if you want a free goodie be sure you show up in your PJ's. 813.247.6964   


MOSI Special Offer for the Month of April- Receive a free child's admission with a paid adult or senior admission the entire month of April! Mention this offer to receive the discount. Offer is valid  with the purchase of the three part ticket. Some restrictions apply. Offer good thru April 30th .813.987.6100  


Small Business Jobs Grants Available- Expand your business and get your part of a $500,000 grant made available by Hillsborough's Board of County Commissioners and the Hillsborough County Small, Minority Business Development Section.  Small business owners can get the application and more information online at or by calling 813.914.4028.  

Aficionados 2011 Ad