BUSINESS IN YBOR
will contain text and photographs of business in early Ybor City.
When people like of Ybor City
and business, they think of restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment. Ybor
City was the nightlife
place during most of its existence. The
diverse population of Ybor
City did not all come from big cities
like Havana, but the love of maintaining the
traditions of late meals, and cafe hopping were
important contrasts between Ybor
City and the rest of Florida in the nineteenth century.
To the rural Anglo community, Ybor
City seemed a foreign
place, where people drank wine and often stayed up late to dance and sing and
In reality, Ybor
City for forty years was
a booming development where factories and stores and homes were built. Many of
the original commercial structures were made of wood with an almost frontier
mentality - the first store would get the business. Soon larger, brick structures began to
replace the wooden originals. Iron balcony rails and metal ornaments were
City's architecture was not like
Feeding and housing the growing population of
Ybor City and West Tampa
meant employment for thousands. The Ybor Ice Works
was a monument and stood along the Government Spring.
The Caligura Machine Shop. The
tobacco and other industrial workings that came by ship left as cigars and
cigar boxes on railroad trains. Between these two forms of transportation were
wagons and later trucks. Below is the notorious EL DORADO
HOTEL, which in the 1920's and 1930's housed a casino and one of the largest
houses of ill-reprute outside New Orleans.
There were more than just mutual aid and
social clubs in Ybor City.
The famous Labor Temple was one of many labor
organizations that supported the workers.
status as a colorful, different place attracted tourists by the 1920's and
having a Spanish meal in Ybor City
became a tradition for snow birds.
Until it folded in the 1970's Las Novedades was the oldest continuous restaurant in Florida.
City was a vibrant
workplace, offering jobs with a flair.