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    La SÚtima       

April 2012 Mid-Month Newsletter                                                          Visit Ybor.org

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2012 Ybor Aficionado Days:
Cooking Challenge

Photos by Scott Rodenbeck

Contestant Angela Costa being interviewed by InfoMas, Bright House Networks' Spanish language news channel.

All contestants in 2012 cooking challenge
Contestants in clockwise order: Rebecca Sloan (pink), Todd Lopez (black), Angela
Costa, and Challenge Winner Crystal Guy

A Special Thanks For Joining To


Harbour Financial Group, Inc.

Robert J. Davis

1710 N 19th St.

Tampa, FL 33605


A Note Of Appreciation To Renewed Members


Avenida Suites LLC

Dan Gorman

1616 N. 17th St.

Tampa, FL 33605


La Tropicana Cafe'

Ray Cuttle

1822 E 7th Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


Paul J. Ferlita, CPA

Paul J. Ferlita

2014 A E 7th Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


Ron Dennison Insurance Agency, Inc.

Ron Dennison

8019 North Himes Avenue #405

Tampa, FL 33614


Tucker/Hall, Inc.

Darren Richards

One Tampa City Center # 2760

Tampa, FL 33602


West Palm Wines/The Tampa Wine Institute/Beaunes Wine Bar

James Sirna

2009 N. 22nd Street

Tampa, FL 33605


Pat Torrence

2218 East 9th Avenue

Tampa, FL 33605


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

Ybor Chamber Member Spotlight

The Hampton Inn & Suites - Tampa/Ybor City is located at the gateway to Ybor's famed La Setima or 7th Avenue. It's hard to believe that the Hampton Inn has been open since January 2005. It seems like only yesterday that it was the "new kid on the block."

The Hampton Inn has always been known for its hospitality. You can count on the staff to make your special clients feel welcome or to help you book a room for out-of-town guests. The management at the Hampton Inn, Steven, Maureen and Barbara, is very supportive of the Ybor City Chamber. As one of our Tiered Corporate Members, they were a 2012 Fiesta Day Block Sponsor and just this past weekend, were the sponsors of the Ybor Aficionado Days Spanish Brunch at the Columbia Restaurant. Thank you guys!

There are some exciting things happening this year and next at the Hampton Inn. In the fall, their lobby is being transformed into the "Perfect Mix Lobby" - a lobby designed to enhance their guest experience by offering a comfortable space to mingle, relax and enjoy, a lobby that encourages guests to come together. And shortly thereafter, their fitness center will be expanded to include more equipment as well as a 65 inch LCD TV.  Last but not least, in the Spring/Summer of 2013, all of the rooms will be renovated.

The Hampton Inn & Suites may be only 7 years old, but has become part of the fabric of Ybor City.

- Michele Keating

Stephen Nunez, General Manager
Maureen McGuire, Director of Sales
Barbara Fara, Sales Coordinator
1301 E. 7th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605

Upcoming Conventions


May 3-13  HQ Hotel: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Estimated Attendance: 3,000


May 14-20 
HQ Hotel: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Estimated Attendance: 1,500


Tom Keating Head Shot

President's Message


Hola -


Spring is such a great time of the year in Ybor. A cool breeze and bright sunny skies are the perfect setting for our most up-scale event - Ybor Aficionado Days. Our volunteers have developed a truly unique special event over the past half-dozen years. It features the best of Ybor - a Tapas Trail of our home-owned restaurants, a rousing After Party at the historic Italian Club, a genuine Ybor Smoker and an over-the-top Spanish Brunch at the world famous Columbia Restaurant. And, if this was not enough, we have chauffer driven transportation "Powered by Chevy."


We especially appreciate the participation of our member restaurants that make this special event possible. The winner of the people's choice award for the "best restaurant tapas" was Sunday's Fine Dining for the second year in a row. Chef David Sunday's restaurant is in the 1900 Block of Seventh Avenue. A special thanks to Bright House Networks, which is not only our Presenting Sponsor, but also one of our Media Sponsors. Andrea Gonzmart, John Trujillo and the Aficionado Committee did a great job with over 300 guests on the Trail and another 130 at the Brunch. Sickles High Senior Crystal Guy won the amateur Tapas Cooking Challenge. I understand she is off to the Culinary Institute of America this summer.


As you all know, Michele and I love to visit American cities and enjoy taking the train when we can. It's all part of a comprehensive research program (ha ha) to bring the best to Ybor City. Two weeks ago we needed a break, so we took the train to Winter Park for a long weekend. For me, it was a trip back in time. I lived in Winter Park on Lake Kilearny, just north of Orlando, when I was little bitty kid. This is a great mini get away. To my surprise I learned that Winter Park was actually established a few years before Ybor City (the train track got there first).


We stayed in a very nice Best Western Inn within walking distance of Park Avenue, where all the shops and restaurants are located. Winter Park's downtown doesn't look as historic as Ybor City, but it has more stores and a larger number of professional offices. I learned last time I was there that Winter Park is an "incorporated City," so they can exercise a great deal of control over landscaping, zoning and code enforcement. While we were Florida's first industrial town, they were one of Florida's first locations for up-scale winter homes.


The last event on the Chamber's spring calendar is our Annual Golf Tournament to be held at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club on Monday, May 21st. The Golf Committee, led by John Nertney and Dr. Shawn Robinson, is going for a record 100 players. If you love golf, this event is for you. Contact Anna Ramos for details about Sponsorship and fielding a team. Will the new "traveling trophy" move from its current home at the headquarters of Ybor's Radiant Group?


Ciao, Tom Keating

C Chamber Happenings


May 8- Annual Installation Luncheon, Tues. 11:45AM- 1:15PM- Join us Tuesday, May 8th 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 82 years.  The Installation is a formal sit-down affair where Past- Chairs & Presidents are recognized for their service.  Preregister with Anna Ramos by calling 813.248.3712 x22 or on-line when you receive your e-notice.  


May 17- PM Networking Event at GameTime, Thurs. 5:30PM- 7:30PM- Anyone feel up for a game of air hockey or facing off in a race at Daytona Speedway?  At the next chamber PM Networking Event, you can do just that with fellow chamber members. Come out and get acquainted with members while you enjoy a few complimentary nibbles and drink specials, and then see what you are made of when you have a joystick in your hand. 813.248.3712 x25


May 21- The Ybor City Chamber's Annual Golf Tournament, Mon. 11:00AM - For the golfers in our ranks, this is your opportunity!  The Ybor City Chamber of Commerce's Annual Golf Tournament is being held 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 aramos@ybor.org.  

Events and Announcements by Tom Favata
Click on the highlighted event name for more information. 


Now thru May 2- 38th Annual HCC Juried Student Art Exhition- Be sure to stop by the Ybor School of Visual and Performing Arts Gallery at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor Campus to take part in viewing a long running tradition. 813.253.7674

April 20- Hamlet in Cuba: A Panel Discussion with Nilo Cruz at Centro Asturiano, Fri. 7PM- Join the Pulitzer Prize winning author, known for Anna in the Tropics, for an Inside the Actors Studio style interview session in Centro Asturiano's ballroom. 813.229.2214

April 21- A Staged Reading of Born Yesterday, Sat. 8PM- Garson Kanin's comedy is the subject of this benefit performance by the Impromptu Players of StageWorks.  Proceeds from the performance benefit the StageWorks At Risk Youth Program. 813.251.8984

April 22- Whitney James: Live In Concert, Sun. 3PM- The Tampa Jazz Club presents famed jazz vocalist Whitney James at the Mainstage Theatre of Hillsborough Community College's Ybor Campus Performing Arts Building. 813.253.7695

April 28- I'd Rather Kiss A Wookiee! Art Show, Sat. 8PM- Join over 30 Florida artists at the Bricks as they dabble with the light and dark sides of the force for some artistic interpretations of that galaxy far, far away. 813.247.1785

May 4- An Evening of Glass And Copper Sculpture at Singing Stone, 6PM- 9PM-  The Singing Stone is hosting a meet and greet with artist Terry Andrews during an opening exhibition reception.  Light hors-d'oeuvres and drinks will be offered. 813.728.4325

May 4- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the Ritz, Pre-Party @ 7PM/ Doors @ 8PM/ Show @ 9PM- If ska and punk rock are your preferred music styles, and that is The Impression I Get, then you will want to get tickets for the Bosstones stop in Ybor during their current tour. 813.247.2555

May 12- Tampa Union Station Centennial Celebration, 10AM- 5PM- Join the Friends of Union Station in celebrating the landmark anniversary of Tampa's Nationally Registered Historic Place. The event is highlighted by the 5th Annual National Train Day and features displays, exhibits, history, entertainment, family fun, trains and more birthday fun! www.tampaunionstation.com

May 26- Cuban Sandwich Festival Of Tampa Bay, Sat. 10:30AM- 4:30PM-  Restaurants will be put to the test as to who has the Best Cuban Sandwich in town.  Join the Ybor City Saturday Market for a day dedicated to "Tampa's original sandwich." 813.241.2442


New Digs For The Pub- The James Joyce Irish Pub has moved to its new location at 1724 East 8th Avenue. With 50 beers on tap and a dark wood interior, you'd swear you were at an Irish pub in Boston or New York City. 813.247.1896