Ybor City: Tampa's Latin Colony

Ybor City:  Tampa's Latin Colony


  • Ybor City: Tampa's Latin Colony

Published Date

  • published 1941


[page 2]

Bola" from belita shops, are audible signs of a people busied in relaxation.
Odors of hot Cuban bread, roasting coffee, and tang of bright-leaf tobacco
mellowing in the dungeons of the cigar factories, pervade the atmosphere.

Each nationality has imported its native cuisine. Perhaps the
cocinero will defile his art for gold and prepare steaks American style, but he
would rather concoct the famed arros con pollo (chicken and rice), yellow
with saffron, and the black bean soup, or the garbanza sopa, (Spanish bean
soup). These delectable dishes are served with gracious smiles, string music,
and often with floor shows. For those who lack funds or capacity to enjoy
the elaborate dinners, the Cuban sandwich, at a dime, is equal to a five-
course meal. Blanketed between chunks of hard-crusted bread cut from a
yard-long loaf is a generous portion of seasoned meats.

The cigar factories have given Tampa the title of "The Cigar City,"
and as none of the factories use steam, it also has been characterized as
"Smokeless City of Smokes." The factories turn out an average of more
than 1,000,000 clear Havana, hand-rolled cigars a day, giving Tampa world
supremacy in this field.

The cigar industry came to Tampa in 1886 with the visit of V. M.
Ybor, Ignacio Haya, and Gavino Gutierrez. These men, experiencing labor
troubles in their cigar factories at Key West, were persuaded to settle in the