Nephew of the Week: Michael Simmons

“Great smile and just a little naughty” is how we would describe Michael. Working full-time with the US Army, he is part of the 351st Military Police Company. We are sure you will agree that we are all in good hands with Michael in the Army.

Cuban Sandwich Festival

This year’s third annual Cuban Sandwich Festival was renamed the “National Cuban Sandwich Festival.” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has declared in a proclamation that the month of March was Cuban Sandwich Month.

The two-day event packed out Centennial Park, featuring live music, including a special performance from Sol y Son. There was also a food truck rally, and of course the prized traditional and non-traditional Cuban sandwich contest.

One thing’s for sure, nobody left hungry!

The GaYBOR T-Dance

There was a great turnout for the first GaYBOR T-Dance in Ybor City. The afternoon party was held at Cristino’s Italian Restaurant. Over 100 attendees enjoyed the music by DJ Charles with great appetizers served by the famed coal oven pizzeria. The passing TECO Streetcar, people meeting up with friends and an especially nice outdoor spring day made for a rewarding time at the Italian establishment. Owner Lenny Cristino was very pleased with the turnout and the number of people partaking in the festive monthly bash.

The GaYBOR District Coalition is a seven-year-old business organization with over 250 business members.


What do you do when your best friend Jayme Kosar is having a birthday? We know she loves seafood and she is the owner of the famed Ybor City Wine Bar. What do you do? The seafood part was easy…do a fantastic old-fashioned Louisiana seafood boil. Don’t leave out the crawfish! But the wine part was the harder issue. Then a light bulb went off! Trader Joe’s has just opened in south Tampa. They are famous for a line of great inexpensive ($2.99 per bottle) wines. So we purchased nine different ones and had a Trader Joe’s wine tasting night!

The sommelier of the evening was Drew Drotleff. He took us through whites to reds, describing and critiquing along the way. The wines were actually good! Then we took it one step further and all the appetizers came from Trader Joe’s, and we used Trader Joe’s reusable bags for placemats. At the end of the night everybody took home a goodie bag in the placemat bags. Happy Birthday Lady Jayme!  Treat yourself to a visit at the new Tampa Trader Joe’s grocery store today.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Mathieu Stanoch is the set designer for Florida Entertainment. He is the creative genius behind the window decorations and huge club theme events. Mathieu was busy taking down this year’s dish_2St. Patrick’s Day window display at The Honey Pot. Putting things away in the back of the club, he heard a strange voice coming from the dance floor. There in the middle of the floor was a homeless woman with one leg in a wheelchair. She was pretending that she couldn’t speak and was asking for money.

Mathieu said many times, “No, and you need to leave.”  Finally Mathieu said, “Look, this is how this is going to work. Either I call the cops or…here (handing her a box of Lucky Charms from the window display). Now leave.”

The homeless person was suddenly cured and could speak, saying, “WOW! Lucky Charms are my favorite!” As she rolled off down 7th Avenue eating her Lucky Charms out of the box, Mathieu thought…”Only in Ybor.” LOL


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