A visually and cartographically explicit narrative blog about Tampa's built history and development.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The HUB of downtown existence
Recently I came upon a set of videos that someone took of patrons at the HUB bar in downtown Tampa twenty years ago, in 1991. The HUB opened in 1946 at 701 N. Florida as a package lounge (around the block from its current location). Smack dab in the middle of downtown, next to the federal courthouse it soon became a popular place. The 70s and 80s saw the decline of downtown, but it is apparent from the video that one business was still thriving during this time. Downtown workers, UT students and passers-through still needed a watering hole that served affordable, yet strong drinks in a friendly atmosphere. The HUB and its patrons have seen a lot of change over the years; regulars came and went, buildings were demolished and sometimes new ones were built in their place. Around the 38 minute mark one patron mentions the night he walked towards the HUB through what he thought was fog, it was actually the building across the street burning. That building was the beautiful downtown YMCA, which burned down in June 1991, the lot has remained a parking lot ever since. The HUB moved in 2000 to 718 N. Franklin, and I believe they took the bar, chairs and tables with them. The jukebox is still pretty good and it's nice to sit at the bar, talk to a stranger and watch a train or two roll by. Check out their website for a more history and pictures http://www.thehubbartampa.com/