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 Newsletter of the  Ybor City Chamber of Commerce

May 2011 

The Ybor City

Chamber of Commerce


Cordially invites you to our




Tues., May 10, 2011

11:45 a.m.

Columbia Restaurant

2117 E. 7th Avenue


Installation of Chair  

Andrea White


The  Honorable Bob Buckhorn


Advanced Member Registration $22;

 Guests $25; $25 at the door

For reservations contact Anna Ramosat  248-3712 ext. 22 or

Or to register online Click Here 

A Special Thanks For Joining To


ScreeningONE, Inc.

Michael Byrd

1860 N. Avenida Republica de Cuba 

Tampa, FL 33605

A Note of Appreciation To Renewed Members

Betty Dowd

Tampa, FL  


June Fillion

Tampa, FL  


Liana Fernandez Fox

Temple Terrace, FL


Carmine's Restaurant & Demmi's Market

Gino & Carmine Iavarone

1802 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Centro Cantina

Joe Vigliarolo

1600 E. 8th  Ave., Suite D204 

Tampa, FL 33605


Children's Board of Hillsborough County

Dr. Luanne Panacek

1002 E. Palm Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Circulo Cubano de Tampa

Steve Yturriaga

2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba 

Tampa, FL 33605


Club Skye

Lori Harm

1509 E. 8th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Design Interiors Furniture Showrooms

Matt Cadrecha

2234 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Florida Executive Realty

Tina Marie Eloian

7211 N. Dale Mabry #101 

Tampa, FL 33614


Francois Crowns

John Francois

Tampa, FL


Fresh Mouth

Joe Vigliarolo

1600 E. 8ith Ave., Suite D101  

Tampa, FL 33605


Garden of Memories Funeral Home

George J. Marvella

4207 E. Lake Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33610



Bert Oliva

100 N. Tampa St., Suite 2300

Tampa, FL 33602

Chrissy Koplenik

Tampa, FL


Habibi Cafe & Hookah Bar

Johnny Algonid

1632 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Hamburger Mary's

Kurt King

1600 E. 8th Ave, E-202 

Tampa, FL 33605


JJ's Cafe & Bar

Joe Vigliarolo

1601 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Kristopher Fernandez, Attorney at Law

Kristopher Fernandez

114 S. Fremont Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33606


Pipos Cuban Cafe

Daniel Hernandez

3501 N. Armenia Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33607


Revolve Clothing Exchange

Jessica Joy Gronewold

1620 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Seven One Seven Parking Service, Inc.

Jason Accardi

1523 N. Franklin St. 

Tampa, FL 33602


Shield Coatings & Weatherproofing , Inc.

Steven Conerly

1028 S. 50th St. 

Tampa, FL 33619


The Perry Company

Jerry Perry

1901 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


The Reservoir Bar

Devin Norton

1518 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


United Way of Tampa Bay 

Jaclyn Witmer

5201 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 600 

Tampa, FL 33609


Wilder Architecture, Inc.

Larry Wilder

1517 E. 7th Ave., Suite C 

Tampa, FL 33605


WilsonMiller Stantec

David A. Kemper

2205 N. 20th St. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Ybor City Food Mart, Supermarket & Deli

Johnny Algonid

1821 E. 7th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33605


Ybor House 

Pat Torrence

2218 E. 9th Ave. 

Tampa, FL 33602


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

Tom Keating Head Shot

May Days Ahead


The transition from April to May marks the end of one program year and the beginning of another for the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce.  I'm not sure why this specific date was chosen - could be that "pro bono accountants" are more available after tax season.  


This has been the best spring in my half-dozen years with the Ybor City Chamber.  We have had a wonderful series of events from Fiesta Day in late February to Ybor Aficionado Days last month.  Our leadership team is proud that we have been able to bring thousands of visitors to our National Historic Landmark District, while engaging our business members more fully than ever before.


We are excited that Ybor City is continuing to build its "creative industry cluster" with three digital production companies, several advertizing and PR firms and a top-level talent agency.  We have also been recognized as a "great place" for high-tech companies to do business.  Savtira, a cloud-based start-up, has joined Innovaro, one of the country's top innovation experts, and the Lions Eye Institute, host to several national research partners, as new stars in Tampa's constellation of emerging technology companies.


Now more that ever, Tampa and the Bay Area need the authentic cultural and creative advantages that a place like Ybor City offers.  While Tampa may no longer be the terminus of a high-speed rail line, we are in a unique position to take advantage of the building of the I-4 Cross-town Connector, the development of the Encore Project and the establishment of the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation (CAMLS).


One of my favorite sayings is "hope springs eternal."  Young people are the key to Tampa Bay's future - thank heavens for that!   


- Tom Keating

Chamber Happenings


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 by Mayor Bob Buckhorn 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. There are only a few spots left.  Sign up by close of business on Friday, May 6th by calling Anna Ramos at 813.248.3712 x22.


June 14- Ybor Chamber Membership Luncheon, Tues. 11:45AM- 1:15PM- Joe Lapano, Executive Director of Tampa International Airport will be our guest speaker in June.  Hear about Tampa's national gem, and find out about new routes to your favorite destinations and what the plans are for expansion.  The June luncheon is sponsored by Argosy University. Look for the luncheon registration in your email.


June 23-  PM Networking Event at Blue Dog Bistro, Thur. 5:30- 7:30PM-  Cool down this Summer with the chamber at our next PM Event. Blue Dog Bistro (more on Blue Dog Bistro in our Member Spotlight), formerly known as Rock-N-Sports, will be hosting the event. Mark your calendars for drink specials, complimentary nibbles, and making new business partners.  

Ybor Chamber Member Spotlight


One of Ybor's favorite restaurants has a new name - Rock-n-Sports Bar & Grille is now the Blue Dog Bistro, American & Cajun Cuisine. You can still watch your favorite sports team on one of their 37 televisions, while enjoying your old favorites or some serious Louisiana food.


Proprietor, Franja Eastling, a New Orleans native, has brought the Big Easy to Ybor City. You can enjoy her Cajun specialties such as Pasta Jambalaya, St. Louis Style Ribs, Gumbo Ya Ya or Gator Po Boys, and on Sunday's you can experience their Jazz Zydeco Brunch, featuring "Max the Sax Man."


The name, Blue Dog Bistro, comes directly from New Orleans, where famed artist, George Rodrique, created his Blue Dog series of paintings. When asked why she changed the name, Franja said that she wanted to broaden her clientele and promote her establishment first as a restaurant that serves good food and second, as a place to watch sporting events.


The Blue Dog Bistro is Tampa's home for the New Orleans Saints and a great weekday happy hour. Not only can you enjoy drink specials from 4 - 7 pm, Monday - Friday, but you can also choose from 15 appetizers at $5 each.


EAT, DRINK, REPEAT DAT! Now that's a motto.


Franja Eastling

Blue Dog Bistro, American & Cajun Cuisine

Centro Ybor

1600 E. 8th Ave., E-200

Tampa, FL 33605


Events and Announcements


May 5- Cinco de Mayo Street Party, Thurs.- Celebrate your Mexican Independence with The Green Iguana, Bernini, The Dogs Bullocks, and Coyote Ugly as the neighbors offer up drink specials through the night. Go to for more info.


May 5- Cinco de Mayo at Blue Dog Bistro, Thurs. starting at 4PM- 

Celebrate Cinco with some Cajun style, head over to the Blue Dog for $5 appetizers from 4 to 7PM. Check out drink specials on Corona's, select drafts, and blue margaritas! 813.242.6220  


May 7- National Train Day at Union Station, Sat. 12PM- 5PM- Have a good time with the family and enjoy a national legacy this Saturday with railroad displays, operating model trains, live music, history exhibits and hands-on locomotive simulators all at Tampa's landmark Union Station. For more information go to 


May 7- Meet the Artist: Terry Andrews, Sat. 11AM- 5PM- The Singing Stone will once again feature a live meet and greet this time featuring Terry Andrews.  Terry's art works include copper and fused glass sculptures with a whimsical and unique feel to each piece. 813. 247.2787


May 8- Reflections Chamber Ensemble in Recital, Sun. 3PM- As part of the Visual and Performing Arts Chamber Music Ybor series, Hillsborough Community College Ybor City Campus is pleased to present the talents of Carmen Bannon, flutist, and Cheryl Losey, harpist, both of the Sarasota Orchestra.  The performance will take place in the Mainstage Theatre of the Ybor campus's Performing Arts building. 813.253.7695  


May 14- 30th Annual Tropical Heatwave, Sat. Starts at 4:30PM- WMNF 88.5 will once again be showcasing a plethora of bands and performing at six locations around Ybor City including the Cuban Club, El Pasaje, New World Brewey, Orpheum, PLAY, and The Crowbar. With so many genres being played, there will surely be something for you to come out and listen to throughout the night! 813.238.8001


May 20- Ribbon Cutting for HCC's Workforce and Public Safety Training Center, Fri. 10AM- Member's of the Ybor Chamber are invited to a reception and tour of Hillsborough Community College's newest addition at 5610  E. Columbus Dr.  RSVP by May 18th by calling 813.253.7754


July 14- Natasha Bedingfield "Less Is More" Tour at The Ritz Ybor, 5:30PM- Grammy nominated Natasha Bedingfield is visiting Ybor on her 29 stop U.S. tour. Bedingfield is accompanied by singer songwriter Kate Voegele in what will surely be a night to remember.  Dig into your Pocket Full Of Sunshine and get your tickets today. 813.247.2555