Cigar City, Little Cuba, Misconception
After living in ybor city for almost 3 years of my life, I will always love this city. Yes, that is a one legged rooster, and that one legged rooster lived in our neighborhood. I cannot speak to how the leg was lost, but i do know that rooster could be a symbol for the city.
Vicente Martinez Ybor
Was born in Valencia, moved to Cuba at the age of 14. In 1856 Ybor started his cigar business in havana, El Principe de Gales ("Prince of Wales").
When the cuban independence war broke out, ybor moved his factory to key west. Labor unrest forced him to re-locate again, northeast of the small town tampa.
To avoid future labor unrest he provided, what he considered to be, a good salary and living conditions. Ybor also encouraged other businesses to invest in the area, and invested in other businesses himself.
Ybor City was becoming the cigar capital of the world. The largest cigar factorty was built in 1916.
Then the depression hit the USA and people switched from cigars to cheaper cigarettes.
Charlie Wall, Ignacio Antinori, Santo Trafficante Sr/Jr were all mob bosses in the city. Santo Trafficante Jr the most powerful of all. Trafficante Jr was involved in assassination attempts on Fidel Castro, and the assassination of JFK. Vincent LoScalzo is the current mob boss of Tampa.
In the 1980s and 1990s Ybor City became a home for artists and went through some gentrification. Bars, shops and night clubs opened along historic 7th ave. Ybor City is now the best bar and party district of Tampa.