Earlier this month, Joe Redner opened Inferno, an adult, uh, “themed” club in Ybor City. In the grand scheme of things, this is not what Tampa’s historic Latin Quarter needs in its entertainment mix. That’s why there’s Adamo Drive.
But grand schemes aren’t what they used to be. At certain hours, Ybor still seems the exclusive province of the tattoo -and beer-by-the-can crowd. Then there’s the curfew-creating Club Bling.
Not enough adults spending enough money is an all-too-familiar refrain.
Enter Inferno. According to Redner and early reports from the field, Inferno is operating within the confines of zoning ordinances that prohibit adult businesses — but permit risqué business. The Inferno dancers, says Redner, wear tops and bottoms and will only engage in eye contact with customers.
First, never forget that Redner will continue to push the legal envelope on adult-business ordinances. It’s his raison d’etre. Remember, he is still fighting to re-open Ybor’s adult Club Flamingo, which the city shut down in the 1990s.
Second, Redner – for all of his arrogance and hustle — knows his way around the First Amendment and is an astute businessman. He certainly knows his market – older guys with money – and knows they would be a welcome presence in Ybor.
As he told the Tampa Tribune, “My dancers are looking for mature men with a pocket full of money. They’re not looking for 18-year-olds.”
To be sure.
He also told the Trib: “I’m going to raise the caliber of clientele in Ybor City