Ybor City

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Kongo took a walk through Tampa’s historic Ybor City district this afternoon. Ybor City, just about a mile from downtown Tampa, was founded by immigrants from Cuba, Spain, and Italy in the 1880s. The industry of the day was cigar making and Ybor City immigrants rolled millions of cigars annually. You can still find places where they hand roll cigars even today and then sit down and smoke them with say a Cuba Libre under an umbrella on the sidewalk. (Kongo did this and it was great!)


Today the neighborhood still wears an immigrant flair mixed with clubs, bars, tattoo parlors, hookah bars, a lot of LGBTV clubs, theaters, restaurants, and a few social clubs. Something for everyone!





The architecture is late 19th century and newer additions are built in the same style. There weren’t a lot of people out when Kongo visited (Hey, Tampa, WHERE IS EVERYBODY??) but he suspects that it’s a hoppin’ place on Friday and Saturday nights.

Kongo of course wanted to go into the Bad Monkey bar but it wasn’t open yet. Lucky for Kongo. He sometimes gets in trouble in monkey dives!

Travel safe. Have fun.


  1. Perfect for Kongo! I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you want to visit anything touristy in Florida that is usually pretty busy (including theme parks), the LEAST busy time of year to go is that magic period between Thanksgiving and Christmas (after Thanksgiving crowds have gone, and before Christmas crowds begin).


  2. It’s because we Floridians think it’s cold!
    Glad you like Ybor, just don’t ever get caught there w/an empty gas tank. You’d have a better chance trying to make your own ethanol from bar booze than finding a place to fuel up.


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