Ybor City was founded by Mr. Ybor, a Spanish Immigrant, in 1889. He bought 40 acres, northeast of the present downtown Tampa. The railroad had just arrived, and the port was being improved. This was ideal for bringing cuban tobacco and manufacturing cigars. Also, a much bigger operation than the constrained situation in small Key West. It became a big cigar manufacturing center around 1900, attracting cigar workers from Cuba, Spain, Italy, among others.
For a while, Ybor became a rowdy area perceived as unsafe for tourists. Since then the city has worked hard to improve public perception. Many night life venues continue, even growing after 2000. An electric rail line from the Channelside District has helped bring more tourism. Seventh Avenue is the main artery, which runs several blocks through Ybor, and along it is where all attractions are. Many of the original homes around seventh have been restored.
In Tampa‘s historic Ybor City neighborhood, wild chickens have been strutting around since the first wave of immigrants arrived in the early nineteenth century. So, when a business owner complained that they were bothering his clients,and called a trapper, most of the community was in an uproar. Neighbors planned a protest, and even passed out “Save Ybor’s Chickens” flyers. The trapper now tags them and monitor the population, which is about a hundred.
The Ybor City Development Corporation will discuss creating chicken friendly boundaries. The Ybor City area is now a prime tourist attraction, and many of the old cigar factories have been preserved, some as museums or antique shops. Seventh avenue is the main drag, which has become a party-town haven, with bars, night clubs and theaters.