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Tampa Bay Blog

Category - Memory Makers
  • Maria Esparza Columbia Memory Maker Square
    Since 1905, Florida's oldest restaurant, the Columbia, has been a pillar of historic Ybor City, Tampa Bay's Latin Quarter. Now in its fifth-generation under the Gonzmart family, the Columbia embodies Tampa Bay's Cuban and Spanish heritage from the menu to the decor. Six nights a weeks, visitors experience an authentic piece of Spain when the restaurant's Flamenco dancers take the stage to perform. Maria Esparza, whose mother was born in Seville, Spain, has led the troupe for...
  • Ro Patel Memory Maker
    If you've sipped a hand-crafted cocktail at Tampa Bay's hippest watering holes, chances are good that Ro Patel developed the drink you enjoyed. The master mixologist has made a name for himself as a king of local bar culture as the founding drink
  • Affari Trasnportation: Alex Fernandez portrait
    Alex Fernandez started Affari Transportation as a true mom-and-pop shop, with him and his wife taking reservations and sitting behind the wheel of their vehicles. "When we first started I had to do everything, from washing the buses, to driving
  • Memory Maker - Anthea Onufrak
    Among the last of its kind, the American Victory spent most of its life as a merchant ship ferrying goods and personnel to far-flung war zones across the globe. It was christened near the end of World War II and served honorably during military
  • Bojan Ilić smiling at the Hard Rock Casino
    Bojan Ilić (Bo-hahn Eeleech) has built a life and found a wife thanks to tourism. Born and raised in Serbia, he traveled the world before eventually settling in Tampa Bay, where he works as a concierge at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
  • Lauren Smith ZooTampa Memory Maker
    As the lead veterinarian for ZooTampa's David A Straz Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center, Dr. Lauren Smith's day-to-day routine includes working with wild animals as big as refrigerators (or bigger). Manatees are gentle creatures, but they're still a
  • Memory Makers: "Coach" Cheramye White
    A few years ago, Cheramye White went from guiding basketball players at schools in north Florida to guiding visitors between downtown and Ybor City as a motorman -- or is it motorperson? -- on the TECO Historic Streetcar. With her aviator
  • Downtown Tampa Partnership guide, Kalyn Sexton
    As a Tampa Bay native, Kalyn Sexton knows a thing or two about the beat of life here in the urban heart of Florida's west coast. She serves as a guide for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, helping visitors find their way around downtown, choose a
  • Headshot of Tabenero cigar roller Enrique Leferte
    Desde el año 1885 – cuando Don Vicente Martinez Ybor abrió su fábrica enorme de Tampa Bay – la fabricación de cigarros (tabacos) ha formado un gran parte de la vida de Ybor City, el distrito que lleva su nombre. Durante más de un siglo, la
  • Headshot of Tabenero cigar roller Enrique Leferte
    Since 1885 - when Don Vicente Martinez Ybor opened his huge Tampa Bay factory - the manufacture of cigars has been a big part of life in Ybor City, the district that bears his name. For more than a century, the industry invited generations of