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In spite of everything, Ybor just keeps Yboring

On a recent Sunday morning, Todd and Emily Twithaus ventured down to Ybor City from their home in Carrollwood to attend a Drag Brunch at Showbar.

“Of course we came to Ybor,” said Emily. “We had to. Do you think you’re gonna find Drag Brunch at Bob Evans or IHOP?”

Ybor City has been beset lately by high-profile criminal incidents that have cast something of a pall over Tampa’s most well-known party and entertainment district. Further, the resulting downturn in business and rising costs in rent and other expenses are forcing many businesses to shut down.

Still, the area fights to remain vibrant and relevant, thanks in large part to the efforts of local, independent merchants and the people who support them.

“What choice do we have?”, said Ybor denizen and face-tattoo collector Jo Jo Rebar. “Ybor is more than a place. It’s more than a way of life. It IS life!” 

That’s a view held by some who don’t frequent the area on a regular basis. 

“Listen, if I want to experience something weird, even if it’s something as benign as eating Eggs Benedict served to me by a man with titties lip-syncing a Donna Summer song or chickens held in higher regard than human beings or getting my shoes licked, then by God that’s what I want! And my only viable option is to come to Ybor City,” said Todd. “Hang in there, Ybor. Tampa needs you!”

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54