You may wonder why Tampa is sometimes called The Cigar City. Here’s the history of that unusual nickname. Tampa, FL can be seen here.
Just Northeast of downtown Tampa you will find a charming neighborhood called Ybor City. In the 1880s, long after the United States had bought Florida, an immigrant named Vincente Martinez-Ybor along with thousands of other Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants founded Ybor City. Their livelihood was hand-rolled cigars. From the 1880s to the 1930s these immigrants rolled literally hundreds of millions of cigars every year. See here for information about the Interesting History of Tampa, Florida.
So we see why Tampa is often called The Cigar City. Tampa grew from being a tiny backwater into a bustling city based on these hardworking immigrants. The workers in the cigar factories were well-paid and their neighborhood flourished until it crashed during the Great Depression.
The Cigar City Today
By the early 1980s, the Ybor City neighborhood was beginning to be reborn. Gentrification of the neighborhood was encouraged by artists looking for cheap studio quarters. The old cigar factories were just what they needed. By the 1990s, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other party destinations were becoming common in Ybor City’s old factory buildings.
So if you are looking to party on your trip to Tampa, check out Ybor City and have a great time.