Ybor’s New Night Moves

The big news out of Ybor City right now is that Seventh Avenue is open again to weekend auto traffic for the first time in a decade. It will take a while to assess the impact of what is touted as another step by Tampa police to decrease crime in the historic/ entertainment district.

Suffice it to say, not all the bouncers are happy. But hopefully the net result will be that the lion’s share of the partying on La Setima will now be channeled into the clubs – although the beer-by-the-can crowd might not be overly receptive.

Meanwhile, a couple of other happenings of note in Ybor:

*Joe Redner’s strip club, Inferno , has closed after less than a year in operation. But not because it was ordinanced out of business. It was losing money, and Redner is, to be sure, an astute businessman.

The reason it lost money was that the concept of a “first-class gentleman’s club” was incompatible with all the nightclubs catering to the 20-something set.

It was the marketplace that shut down “Inferno” – not city hall. It closed for the right reason.

* Arts Ybor , the second-Wednesday-of-the-month gallery hop, had a successful debut last month. More than 30 galleries and gift shops are taking part in the 6-9 p.m. event plus the Ybor City State Museum, the Colombia Restaurant’s Centennial Museum and participating restaurants, boutiques and retail outlets. Also included: live performances, musicians and free streetcar rides.

Observed Ybor City Chamber of Commerce President Tom Keating: “It was good to see people with shopping bags after dark.”

*Ybor has seen a jump in film production interest in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s impact on New Orleans.

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